World Cup Absentees XI
A team of international talent deemed surplus to requirements in Russia
Leroy Sane was a shock omission from the Germany World Cup squad when it was announced on Monday morning.
The Manchester City man missed out on a trip to Russia despite a stellar season at the Etihad Stadium – but he is not the only big-name casualty.
Here, Press Association Sport selects a team of surprise absentees ahead of the tournament.
Joe Hart – England
While the Manchester City goalkeeper struggled at times on loan at West Ham last season, the 31-year-old started nine of England’s 10 World Cup qualifiers before missing the cut for Russia.
Alex Sandro – Brazil
Winning a third straight Serie A and Coppa Italia double at Juventus clearly does not guarantee you a World Cup spot as Sandro was overlooked as full-back cover in favour of Filipe Luis.
David Luiz – Brazil
The Chelsea man may no longer be an automatic first choice for club or country but his experience on the international stage could have seem him earn a spot in Tite’s squad.
Chris Smalling – England
With 31 caps, he is tried and tested at international level as well as spending the last eight years in the heart of the Manchester United backline, but he paid the price as Gareth Southgate wants defenders who can carry the ball out from the back.
Marcos Alonso – Spain
One of a trio of Chelsea players who would have hoped to make it to Russia but, despite making the Premier League team of the year, will instead be left at home as Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal got the nod over his compatriot.
Anthony Martial – France
A combination of an unsettled season at Manchester United and the embarrassment of attacking riches at Didier Deschamps’ disposal led to the 22-year-old being excluded this summer.
Fabinho – Brazil
The 24-year-old may have just signed for Liverpool in a big-money move having boasted some impressive stats for Monaco last season, but the midfielder only has four senior caps to his name and will not be adding to that tally in Russia.
Radja Nainggolan – Belgium
Roberto Martinez has appeared unconvinced by the Roma midfielder since taking the reins as boss of the Red Devils but it is still somewhat surprising that he misses the cut – even if Belgium have plenty of options in the middle of the park.
Leroy Sane – Germany
The Premier League’s young player of the year hit 14 goals and provided 19 assists in all competitions for Manchester City last season but Germany boast such a strong selection pool that the 22-year-old will be watching from his sofa this summer.
Alexandre Lacazette – France
Arsenal broke their transfer record to land the free-scoring forward from Lyon last summer but, despite a decent return of 17 goals in his first season in England, he missed out on the France squad.
Mauro Icardi – Argentina
Jorge Sampaoli was spoilt for choice in attack as he called up Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero as well as Juventus pair Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala – even though they hit less Serie A goals than Icardi during the 2017/18 season, with the Inter forward missing out despite a 29-goal campaign.