David alaba


The 10 Best Players Who Will Miss Qatar 2022 (Photos)

Qatar 2022 is fast approaching and it will be a chance for the greatest players in the modern game to strut their stuff in front of the watching world.


Below are the best players who won’t be at the World Cup this year.


Erling Haaland

The obvious place to start is with the free-scoring Manchester City striker whose Norway team could only finish third in their UEFA qualifying group behind Netherlands and Turkey.

Haaland himself found the target five times in the 10 qualifying games to make it 21 goals in just 23 games for his country – but he won’t be adding to that tally in Qatar.


Sohamed Salah

Africa’s patently unfair qualifying process will see a number of top teams and players absent from the tournament in Qatar, and perhaps none bigger than the unfortunate Egyptian, Salah.

Liverpool’s main man missed a penalty in a playoff shootout defeat to Senegal, meaning that he won’t be able to display his considerable talent on the world stage.

After injury impacted his tournament in 2018, Salah may have to wait another four years to finally get a proper chance at the tournament, by which time he will be just shy of 34 years old.

Luis Diaz

Another Liverpool star who will be watching the tournament from home will be the dazzling Diaz after Colombia missed out on a CONMEBOL playoff place by a single point to Peru.

The gruelling 18-match process saw Diaz contribute three goals to his country’s efforts, but it wasn’t to be following a decisive and damaging 1-0 home defeat to the Peruvians in January.


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Martin Odegaard

Another Norwegian absentee will be the Arsenal playmaker.

Having been handed the captain’s armband for his country in 2021, the 23-year-old will unfortunately not be able to lead his side out at the tournament due to their failure to qualify.

David Alaba

It may be little surprise that Austria are not at the World Cup seeing as they haven’t competed on the grandest stage since 1988,

but recent years have seen an upturn in form, culminating in a narrow last-16 defeat to eventual winners Italy at Euro 2020.

Part of their improvement is due to the presence of highly decorated Real Madrid and former Bayern Munich defender David Alaba.

However, while he has been able to hoover up league titles and Champions Leagues at club level, he could do little to prevent his national side from losing to Wales in their UEFA playoff semi-final.

Franck Kessie

From helping a resurgent AC Milan to a long-awaited Serie A title to earning a move to Barcelona, a World Cup appearance would have capped off a pretty impressive 2022 for the Ivorian.

Sadly, the cursed CAF qualification process saw Ivory Coast eliminated in the second-round group stage after finishing second to Cameroon.

As a result, the world will be denied the chance to see the rapidly-improving box-to-box midfielder at the tournament.


Gianluigi Donnarumma

The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper’s last touch of a ball at an international tournament was saving Bukayo Saka’s shootout penalty to win the European Championship for Italy.

Perhaps still basking in the high of that Wembley win, the Azzurri contrived to finish second in their UEFA qualifying group behind Switzerland, forcing them into a playoff semi-final, in which they were stunned by North Macedonia.

At 23, Donnarumma has ample time on his side to reach the World Cup with his country, but seeing as they have now missed the last two tournaments, who’s to say that’s even a given in the future?

Victor Osimhen

Recent focus on Nigeria has tended to focus on their amazing kits year after year, but on the pitch, the Super Eagles have actually assembled a super-talented side, spearheaded by Napoli’s prolific hitman.

However, a poor AFCON showing was followed by a disappointing away goals playoff defeat to rivals Ghana as Osimhen failed to add to his 4 goals from the previous group stage round.


Alexander Isak

The successor to Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be seen at the World Cup following Sweden’s playoff final loss to Poland.

Failure to qualify could perhaps be partly attributed to Isak’s own dip in goalscoring form, which saw him fail to add to his nine international goals at all in 2022.

Seemingly rediscovering his scoring touch since joining Newcastle this summer, the break this year may actually be beneficial for the 23-year-old as he targets future tournaments to show what he can do.


Marco Verratti

One of the standout performers of Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph and adding further bewilderment to their failure to reach Qatar this time around.

A vital cog in the respective Azzurri and PSG teams, fans of the classy midfielder will be left disappointed not to see him dictating play and spraying passes on the biggest stage.

Alaba: I Had A Great Experience With Guardiola, But Now I Want To Frustrate Him

Real Madrid will need to defeat Manchester City over two legs in order to reach another Champions League final and David Alaba is keen to be a nuisance to his former coach Pep Guardiola.

Alaba has been a revelation in defence since signing for Los Merengues on a Bosman transfer in the summer,

filling the leadership vacuum left behind by Sergio Ramos, and he will have a big part to play in the two matches against the Premier League champions.


“We haven’t been in contact lately, but it will be lovely to see Pep again,” Alaba explained in interview with Bild.

“We had a wonderful time together at Bayern. However, it’s all about frustrating him this time.”


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Alaba hopes to use his Champions League experience

Alaba is one of the few members of the Real Madrid squad to have won multiple Champions League titles away from Los Blancos,

so he hopes to utilise this experience in the coming matches against the Blues.

“We have to prepare perfectly,” he added.

“Naturally, our goal is to get through to the final and, if you get there, you want to win it as well.

“We have two games first against an extremely an strong opponent.”

Karim Benzema will be crucial

Alaba is getting a front row seat to Karim Benzema’s best run of form in his career,

yet he also played with prolific goalscorer Robert Lewandowski and drew comparisons between the pair.

“Benzema has always been world class, but he has improved even more,” he continued.

“Lewandowski? No defender likes to play against him.”

The World Cup-winning France international striker continues to have a summer switch mooted after entering the final year of his current contract

Toni Kroos “would not be surprised” if Kylian Mbappe ends up at Real Madrid this summer, with the Blancos continuing to be heavily linked with the Paris Saint-Germain contract rebel.

Mbappe has entered the final year of his current deal in France and has offered no indication that an extension will be agreed.

That situation is keeping La Liga heavyweights interested with Madrid having made Mbappe a top target for some time, and Kroos thinks a deal could be done before the next deadline.

What has been said?

Discussing the long-running transfer saga with SportBild, Kroos said of Mbappe: “I prefer to talk about signings that have already been completed, but since Real always want the best, I would not be surprised.

“Next to him, [Erling] Haaland is definitely the most interesting player on the market, and therefore [would] not exactly [be] cheap. We must not forget that we are in a period where there’s not an endless flow of money and, at the same time, we are completing our stadium, [which] is not free either.”

Who have Real Madrid signed this summer?

Madrid have been relatively quiet in the current window, with no transfer fees paid.

Much of the focus in Madrid has been on outgoings, as Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane have headed through the exits, but David Alaba has been signed as a free agent.

The versatile Austrian is considered to be quite a coup for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, with Kroos expecting big things from a man he previously played alongside at Bayern Munich.

The German midfielder added: “I knew relatively early that Alaba would come, not from David but from Real Madrid.

“As for what he brings, I see it like this: with Ramos and Varane, we have lost what has been our pair of central defenders for the last eight years. Just counting Ramos, he has made more than 600 appearances, scored more than 100 goals and won 22 titles.

“Consequently, he and Varane also did not play for free. If you want to replace those players at a similar level, then it costs. Also, Real Madrid received a transfer fee for Varane, but did not pay anything for Alaba. You have to take everything into account.”