You are currently viewing Best Players who never Played in a World Cup

Best Players who never Played in a World Cup

Spread the love

World Cup is the pinnacle of international football, it comes every 4 years to provide a grand stage for the top players to showcase their talents in front of the world and garner fame and fortune for both themselves and the countries they represent.

But, unfortunately, since the start of the World Cup in 1930, many of the sport’s biggest identities never got the chance to put their talent on showcase at the World stage.

Most of the time, it’s because of the country they are associated with and their poor performance as a team, and their inability to advance to the World Cup tournament. While in other unfortunate cases, it’s because of the passing of the player before an opportunity presents itself.

This year as well, many top players of the world will be watching their league teammates at World Cup from the discomfort of their homes, waiting on their first World Cup opportunity. Some of the players who have yet to make an appearance on the World Cup stage include Gareth BaleDavid Alaba, Vlad Chiriches, Arda Turan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Stevan Jovetic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mohamed Aboutrika, and many more. And looking at the nations that they play for, some of them probably never will.

On that note, below are the best players who never played in a world cup.

Best Players who never Played in a World Cup

George Weah (Liberia)

Without a doubt, the best player in the history of Africa to never have played at the World Cup stage is George Weah.

He is by far the top-quality footballing star the country of Liberia has ever produced. He was a natural at the sport and often left a huge number of goals and championships for every club, he ever played for. Due to this, he became a football legend and a global star throughout the world.

But given the country that he played for it is not very surprising he didn’t get an opportunity to showcase his skills on the World stage

Throughout, the 1990s, Weah became a sensation around European clubs for his amazing skills on the pitch. He managed to win three Coupe de France, one FA Cup, one League One, two Leagues in his home country, and many more. His footballing career was exceptionally fruitful and this led to him winning the 1995 Ballon D’or and “Best African Player” three times.

Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina, Colombia, Spain)

Stefano has by far one of the most interesting relationships with the World Cup tournament. Despite him representing three different nations throughout his career, he never managed to play on the World stage. 

The Argentinian-born native’s weird career in international football started in the 1940s when he choose to leave the Argentina national team due to debate over inadequate wages and joined the Colombia national team with no regard to FIFA regulations whatsoever. But the change of alliance didn’t really matter as both teams failed to qualify for the 1950s World Cup.

In 1953, Stefano joined the legendary Spanish club Real Madrid and had a magnificent career at the club. He managed to break a number of Spanish as well as European records and is still remembered fondly by Real fans around the globe. And with this, we also saw yet another chance for an alliance with Stefano being part of the Spanish national team.

But even with a stellar Spanish squad that featured the likes of Di Stefano, Laszlo Kubala, and Francisco Gento, the team was unable to qualify for the World Cup of 1958.

The Spanish team would eventually qualify for the 1962 World Cup but Di Stefano was unable to register even a single minute on the field due to an injury and this ended his international footballing career.

George Best (Northern Ireland)

During the 1960s, George Best was arguably the best player in the world. It is especially hard to believe that a player of his caliber never played in the World cup. Best was always faithful to his home country Northern Ireland and thus was unable to qualify for the World Cup.

He was renowned throughout the world for his incredible skills and talent which led to him lifting various championships with Manchester United that included the UEFA Championship. This made him loved by many English fans.

Even though he was tempted to nationalize for the English national team, he never did so. A number of times Northern Ireland came very close to qualifying for the World Cup but never did. For the 1996 qualifiers, they missed the chance to go to the World stage by a single goal. They only did qualify for the World Cup after his retirement.

Eric Cantona (France)

Cantona is one of the most skilled as well as a notorious player to ever grace the pitch. He is still remembered by Manchester United fans as “King Cantona” for the championships and league he helped the Red Devils win throughout this career. He provided Manchester United sort of revival in the 1990s by being an incredible playmaker to the team.

For all the praise and exemplary Cantona’s club career was, his international footballing career was equally dismal for his home country, France. 

After his full international debut in 1987, Cantona began as the star playmaker for the French national team. But in September 1988, he was left out of the team by then head coach of the French national team, Henri Michel and in midst of anger and frustration, Cantona called Michel a “bag of s**t” in a TV interview that got him a lifetime banned from international matches. 

Shortly after Henri Michel was fired from the position as he was unable to take France through qualifiers in World Cup 1990 and Cantona was back in the national team.

However, Cantona could not bring the same flair to his international footballing career just like his league matches. And thus France was yet again unable to qualify for the World Cup in 1994 by losing a home game to Bulgaria 2-1.

Duncan Edwards (England)

The Munich air crash of 1958 was a tragic incident that took the life of young 21 years old Duncan Edwards. He was one of the eight players on Matt Busby’s Manchester United team to have died from that crash along with eight journalists and three club officials.

It was a dreadful end to a career that could have earned Edwards as one of the best football stars in the world in history books especially for England.

Edwards was the product of Manchester United’s program in the late 1940s of developing new young talented footballers instead of buying them to reduce the club’s cost. From a young age, Edwards showed signs of being a football star in a making. His plays and leadership qualities in motivating other players on and off the field were world-class.tque

Had the crash never happened, he would, without a doubt, have been in the squad for the English national team and would have gone on to make a name for himself on the World Cup stage.

Leave a Reply