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World Cup Absentees XI

A team of international talent deemed surplus to requirements in Russia

Germany’s Leroy Sane will not be going to the World Cup (Adam Davy/Empics)
Germany’s Leroy Sane will not be going to the World Cup (Adam Davy/Empics)

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

Hart was not one of the three goalkeepers picked to represent England (Owen Humphreys/PA)

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

Alex Sandro (right) will not be playing alongside Philippe Coutinho (centre) in Russia (John Stillwell/PA)

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

David Luiz will not be adding to his 56 Brazil caps in Russia (Joe Giddens/EMPICS)

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

Smalling has fallen out of favour on the international scene since Gareth Southgate took charge of England (Owen Humphreys/PA)

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

Chelsea’s Alonso missed out on a place in Spain’s World Cup squad (Adam Davy/PA)

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

An inconsistent season at Old Trafford saw Martial omitted from France’s World Cup squad (Nick Potts/EMPICS)

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

Fabinho will play at Anfield next season after a summer of rest (Steve Paston/EMPICS)

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

Nainggolan is another big-name player to be left behind by his country (Nick Potts/EMPICS)

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

A superb season at Manchester City was not enough for Sane to make the Germany squad (Mike Egerton/PA)

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

Lacazette did not make the cut for the France squad (John Walton/EMPICS)

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

Mauro Icardi scored 29 times in Serie A last season but still could not get into the Argentina squad (Niall Carson/PA)

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.

Press Association


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