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Best XI of World Cup 2018 rejects

Talented rejects: The best XI of players omitted from the 2018 World Cup

June 5, 2018 By Ali M.
Leroy Sane was the latest star to miss out on a trip to Russia, but he isn't the only talented player to have been axed.

With the World Cup being right around the corner, there was bound to be heartbreak for some players even before the tournament kicked off. With some national teams being blessed with an abundance of talented footballers, it was inevitable that some talented names would be omitted from the plane to Russia.

This was the case with the likes of France, Germany, Argentina, and Brazil. Here we have combined the best starting eleven of players who were snubbed by their country.

For this reason, footballers who would have been included but missed out only due to injury are not eligible. Similarly, stars of teams who failed to qualify will not be considered.

Goalkeeper

Sven Ulreich

Okay, the Bayern Munich goalkeeper made a serious blunder which allowed Real Madrid to eliminate his club from the Champions League final. Nonetheless, the German had been excellent for most of the season in the absence of Neuer. Normally, he would have made the squad, but die Mannschaft has too many quality shot-stoppers.

Defense

Center-backs: Laporte and Javi Martinez

Laporte was Man City's record-breaking January signing, and while he struggled a bit in the Premier League, the Frenchman had a fair claim at a World Cup spot. Martinez, despite being a defensive midfielder, has played as a center-back on occasions for Bayern Munich and has done well. Unfortunately, Spain deemed him surplus to requirement.

Left-back: Alex Sandro

He was influential for Juventus as they won the league and cup double last season. UInfortunately, Marcelo and Filipe Luis are both ahead of him in the pecking order in the national team and he was thus snubbed.

Right-back: Sergi Roberto

He was a regular in Barcelona's lineup as they won the league and cup double. Nonetheless, he did not make Spain's squad either

Midfield

Central midfielders: Adrian Rabiot and Radja Nainggolan

It was a close race between Rabiot and Wilshere, but the Frenchman edges out the Englishman due to his superior season. The PSG ace could have been pivotal for Les Bleus as he could have been a calm passer and a key link between defense and attack

Nainggolan was left out of Belgium's squad despite yet another brilliant season at Roma. He helped them reach the Champions League semi-final, which makes Roberto Martinez's decision all the more surprising.

Wide midfielders: Sane and Martial

Sane won the PFA Young Player of the Year and was instrumental in Man City's title-winning campaign, but was snubbed for Leverkusen's Julian Brandt. We will let fans be the judge of that decision.

Martial's axe isn't all too surprising given his lack of playing time at Man United, but he would have definitely made any other starting eleven.

Attackers

Lacazette and Icardi

Lacazette's form towards the end of the season tremendously improved, but that was not enough to convince Deschamps. The Arsenal forward can consider himself unlucky.

Icardi, on the other hand, was impressive throughout the 2017/18 campaign. He finished as the joint-top scorer in Serie A but was overlooked by Sampaoli for a number of reasons. 

 


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