With many of the 2018 FIFA World Cup squads having been confirmed, there were quite a few high-profile players who were left out. Here is a starting XI that could probably do very well in Russia, but consists of players who will only watch the tournament from home.
Click through the gallery above to see a starting XI made up of some the biggest stars who were not called up to their World Cup squads.
Most countries have begun their preparations for the tournament in Russia, which kicks off on 14 June.
Even though each manager still has until 4 June to submit their final 23-man World Cup squads, most coaches have opted against naming a preliminary squad and instead already cut down their selections to their final 23.
As a consequence, it has been confirmed that many star players have been left out of their teams’ selections. Here is an astonishing starting XI of the biggest names.
In goal, former England captain Joe Hart missed out. The 31-year-old has made 75 appearances for the Three Lions, and was their first-choice shot-stopper at their past three international tournaments, but will watch the showpiece in Russia from home.
At the back, Brazil’s Fabinho and Spain’s Marcos Alonso are among the strongest fullbacks in football, but were not selected for their respective countries. In addition, France centre-back Aymeric Laporte and 2014 World Cup winner Skhodran Mustafi were left at home.
Adrien Rabiot had a strong 2017/18 season, making a spot in a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain side’s central midfield his own, and making 49 appearances for the French champions overall. However, he was omitted by France boss Didier Deschamps for Les Blues.
Another of the biggest upsets was Radja Naaingolan’s snub by Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, which led to the midfielder announcing his international retirement.
Mario Gotze, who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final for Germany, will also only watch from home this time around after struggling to consistently reach his full potential over the past few seasons, while Kingsley Coman, who has already made more than 120 senior appearances at club level and was involved in 15 goals for Bayern Munich this season, was also left out by France coach Deschamps.