Date: 11th April 2022 at 6:10pm
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With the countdown to the 2022 World Cup very much on, excitement is already building among supporters of countries all over the world. 

While the human rights issues associated with Qatar will taint the tournament and its legacy, the quality of football on show promises to be of the very highest level, although there will be some notable absentees from the showpiece.

Here, we list five huge stars who will not be involved in Qatar 2022.


Last season’s UEFA Player of the Year has enjoyed a glittering twelve months in which he won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Euro 2020 with Italy, but he won’t be at Qatar 2022. The Azzurri failed to qualify for the tournament through the initial group qualification process, and were then shocked by North Macedonia in the semi-finals of the play-offs. Roberto Mancini’s side, less than nine months after beating England to lift the European Championship title, will miss out on their second successive World Cup, having also failed to qualify for Russia four years ago.

Jorginho and Italy are the most notable absentees from the World Cup

Erling Braut Haaland

Fans of Norweigan football have plenty to be optimistic about at present. As well as arguably the best young striker in the world, Erling Haaland, the likes of Martin Odegaard, Alexander Sorloth and Josh King give supporters further reason to be hopeful of impending success. The nation’s potential proved their quality in the most recent international break, when they beat Armenia 9-0, courtesy of goals from Haaland, King and Sorloth. Qatar 2022, though, came too soon for Norway, and Haaland will therefore miss out on the chance to continue his meteoric rise over the past two years.

Mohamed Salah

Just months after their AFCON final meeting, Liverpool teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane met once again with a place at the World Cup at stake, and it was Mane’s Senegal who proved triumphant yet again. With extra-time not enough to separate the sides, it went to penalties and Senegal were victorious, in remarkably similar fashion to the way that they won the AFCON final. Salah, who scored at the last World Cup in Russia, will likely have one more go in 2026.

Riyah Mahrez

One of the biggest Premier League names to miss out on the tournament, Manchester City’s Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez will have to wait until 2026 for the chance to make his second World Cup appearance. The winger played just once at the 2014 tournament, and Algeria have failed to qualify for both tournaments since his rise to prominence.

Mahrez has made just one World Cup appearance

Despite the absence of Italy, among other nations, the 2022 edition of the World Cup promises to be as exciting as ever. Brazil, Germany and England are all among the early favourites to win the tournament, but could that all change between now and November 21?

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