It’s only 2 years until he 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia. The FIFA World Cup is not just the pinnacle of football, it’s the pinnacle of world sport. The biggest sporting event on earth attracts hundreds of thousands of fans from around the world and over a billion people watching from home on their televisions.
It’s a grand stage for the best players to shine. That’s why it’s unfortunate when the best players at club level never get a chance at World Cup glory. So who are these unfortunate fellows, who are the 10 Best Players Never to play at the World Cup?
10. Bern Schuster
Bern Schuster was a talented German star that unfortunately never saw the glamour of the World Cup. After shining in the European Championships for his nation, he never got along with the coaches and subsequently did not take part in latter campaigns for Die Mannschaft.
9. Laszlo Kubala
During Kubala’s days as an International, FIFA’s lax laws meant that he donned the colours of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Spain. However, despite his outings, he never managed to play in the World Cup and came close with La Roja, but a shambolic qualifying display meant that the immensely talented footballer never witnessed the glory of the biggest stage in the world.
8. Gunnar Nordahl
Although Nordahl was a shining light for Sweden and seemed prepped to shine at the 1950 World Cup, the Swedish F.A shot itself in the foot after refusing to name Nordahl and a couple of others playing at Milan because they only wanted local-based players for the game. Gunnar missed the squad and Sweden passed a glorious chance to carve their name in glory.
7. George Weah
Weah is a household name in Liberia and is noted as perhaps one of the best players Africa has ever produced. With his abilities, he could have easily shined in the World Cup but unluckily the Nation never qualified for the finals despite Weah’s best efforts in the qualification rounds.
6. Ian Rush
When he wasn’t scoring and winning titles for Liverpool, Rush was leading the Wales line-up but sadly the team never made it to the World Cup despite repeated attempts at qualification. And for Rush it meant that despite his triumphs in the European cup, he never managed to grace the fabled turf of the world’s biggest tournament.
5. Duncan Edwards
Many experts claim had the Busby Babes not perished in the Munich Disaster, the Manchester United man-boy would have been lifting the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 instead of Bobby Moore. Such was his class that he could power past defenders, dribble past players and score like a striker, but lady luck never shined on his career and the world lost a truly talented footballer.
4. Eric Cantona
A certain enigmatic Frenchman reigned supreme at Old Trafford in the 1990’s and he so good that he kept Zinedine Zidane out of the France line-up. And while Les Bleus lifted the trophy at home in 1998, Cantona was serving a 9-month ban for assaulting a fan and subsequently never reveled in the glory of the World Cup.
3. Ryan Giggs
He’s won everything there is to win in club football. But for Welsh Wizard Ryan Giggs, who is still playing for Manchester United despite making his debut in 1991, there’s one thing he never did – Play at the FIFA World Cup. And while the legendary winger will soon hang up his boots and will look back at his career with a smile, missing the world cup will always linger behind his thoughts.
2. George Best
George Best was perhaps the most naturally gifted footballer ever to play the beautiful game. But due to his off-field not-so-beautiful antics, he threw away a prime part of his career and never graced the World Cup with his legacy.
1. Alfredo Di Stefano
Di Stefano was a complete footballer and a legend at Real Madrid. And although he played for Spain, Argentina and Colombia at International level, he never played at the World Cup, where his abilities could have made him the greatest player ever.
Do you agree with our list of the 10 Best Players never to play at the World Cup?
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