Photos: Footballers who have never played a World Cup

Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 09:16 | Soumil Kamat
  • George Best (Northen Ireland)
    George Best, described as the 'greatest footballer ever to pull the shirt of Ireland' was capped 37 times for his country scoring 9 goals. The dishy footballer was named European Football of the Year and lifted the European Cup in 1968. Best represented Northern Ireland from 1964-1977, a period in which they never qualified for the World Cup but when they qualified 1982 WC, the gorgeous legend was well past his prime with age and alcoholism. Pic/YouTube.
  • Ryan Giggs (Wales)
    Ryan Giggs is known as one of English Premier Leagues' most finest players with two Champions League titles, four FA Cup titles and 11 EPL titles. Sadly, Giggs never managed to be part of FIFA's history as Wales have never qualified. Pic/AFP
  • Eric Cantona (France)
    The 'Red Devil' legend was banned for all international matches from 1988 after calling then-France manager Henri Michel a 'bag of s***'. France, however failed to qualify for the 1990 and 1994 World Cup. In 1995, the Manchester United star received a ban from football for his infamous 'Kung fu Kick'. France participated in 1998 World Cup but by that time Cantona had retired.
  • Jari Litamanen (Finland)
    Jari Litamanen won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995 but never played for the World Cup because Finland never qualified for it. Pic/AFP
  • Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria)
    Bulgaria last qualified for the World Cup in 1998 and Dimitar Berbatov made his senior international debut the following year. Surprisingly, the former Manchester United star has appeared in only one major tournament. Pic/AFP
  • Alfredo di Stefano (Argentina, Colombia and Spain)
    Despite representing three international teams during his stellar career, Alfredo di Stefano failed to make an appearance at the World Cup. In 1950 and 1954, Argentina did not enter the tournament. Post that he switched to Spain. Spain failed to qualify in 1958 and the following tournament saw him miss out due to injury. Pic/AFP
  • Bernd Schuster (Germany)
    Bernd Schuster played for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid during his club career. However, he got involved in various disagreements with the German Football federation ending his blooming career at a tender age of 24. Pic/AFP
  • Ian Rush (Wales)
    Ian Rush, a Liverpool legend, won 5 League titles as well as the European cup but did not manage to appear on the big stage. Pic/AFP
  • Abedi Pele (Ghana)
    Abedi Pele had a magnificient career at Ghana earning him the moniker 'The African Maradona'. Despite being a champions League winner with Marseille in 1993 and an African Nations Cup champion with Ghana in 1982, he couldn't wheel his team in the World Cup.
  • Adrian Mutu (Romania)
    Romania never qualified for the World Cup which resulted in Adrian Mutu never making an appearance in the World Cup. He now plays for Pune team in ISL. Pic/AFP
  • Andrei Arshavin (Russia)
    The Russian football star who is a hero at club level began playing for the nation in 2002 and was a regular during the 2006 World Cup which Russia failed to qualigy for. He performed exceptionally well showcasing his talent during the Euro 2008 season. Arshavin, who was part of Russia's squad during the 2010 World Cup helped the team enter the play-offs but they failed to go further on away goals. Pic/ AFP
  • George Weah (Liberia)
    George Weah was the only African player to win the FIFA World Player of the year. Despite having a fantastic career at AC Milan, he never played for the World Cup because his country Liberia never qualified. A true hero as he coached for, played for, as well as financed Liberia. Photo/AFP
  • Antonio Cassano (Italy)
    Antonio Cassano was left out of the squads for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. The flamboyant footballer, however, managed to appear at three European Championships for Italy, missing every World Cup between those Euros. Pic/AFP
  • Laszalo Kubala (Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Spain)
    Laszalo Kubala did not play at a major tournament despite representing three countries.His first two national teams were Czechoslovakia and Hungary after which he moved to Spain. While Czechoslovakia and Hungary did not qualify as post-war period, there were no World Cups, he missed representing Spain because of injury. Pic/AFP
  • Gareth Bale (Wales)
    Wales have never qualified for the World Cup. While Gareth Bale might get to play in the future, he is at present, one of the celebrated footballers who has never graced the big stage. Pic/AFP
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About The Gallery

Manchester United legend, George Best's death anniversary is observed on November 25. Although a star on the field, Best did not manage to play in a World Cup ever. We take a look at other football greats who did not manage to make it to the FIFA World Cup despite their talent in the game...

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