Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big names NOT playing at the 2010 World Cup

There are a number of big name/star players who have not been selected for World Cup 2010 squads. There are also a number who will be missing through injury and there are others who are under an injury cloud. I will try to provide a list below. No doubt I will miss a number so feel free to add players in the comments section. It can be quite subjective as to whom one considers a star player or not. Especially as for some of the weaker nations their star player(s) may be also-rans in relation to players from the traditional power house nations.

We must also consider that some of the star names we bemoan the managers for omitting are over the hill, are not what they were four years ago, and are still twinkling in our minds eye as the amazing player they used to be. Some of the surprise inclusions, or should I say the new players we haven’t heard of, will dazzle us all at the World Cup. I am excited to find out who and how!

Not selected

Ronaldinho (AC Milan)
Pato (AC Milan)
Adriano (Flamengo)

Ronaldinho has barely featured for Brazil over the last year so I and many others had predicted he wouldn’t make the World Cup squad. It was still a shock nevertheless to have it confirmed. Ronaldinho is synonymous throughout the world (including for those who know nothing about football) with breathtaking skill and has been on good form for AC Milan. He is also one of the stars of the brilliant new Nike ad. His inclusion could be considered by some as a Nike fail.

Pato is 20 years old, an immense player for AC Milan and has somehow been overlooked. This is a shocking decision.

Zanetti (Inter Milan)
Cambiasso (Inter Milan)
(Gabriel) Milito (Barcelona)
The omissions of Zanetti and Cambiasso are criminal. What was Maradona thinking? Zanetti has been in brilliant form for Inter Milan and Cambiasso is the only player I’ve seen contain Messi. I repeat, criminal.
Totti (Roma)
Del Pierro (Juventus)
Toni (Roma, on loan from Bayern Munich)
Grosso (Juventus)

Manager Lippi seems intent on bringing through new prospects and as a result these four players on the wrong side of 30 miss out. Totti hasn’t played for his country since the last World Cup but after making himself available many had expected him to be picked. The only one of the four I am really surprised about is Grosso. He is the youngest of the four at 32 (and this is normally young for an Italian defender!) and seemed to still have a lot to offer. He did come the closest as he was picked in the preliminary 30 man squad but Lippi has deigned to cull him since then.
Vieira (Man City)
Nasri (Arsenal)
Benzema (Real Madrid)

Surprised with Nasri who is a talent I would have expected Domenech to want at his disposal. I am sure Benzema’s absence is in part because of his inability to hold down a place at Real Madrid.

Van Nistelrooy (Hamburg)

Was surprised at this but he is certainly past his prime.

Moutinho (Sporting)

Rodriguez (Porto)


Charlie Davis - USA (Sochaux) – serious car crash in October 2009
Beckham - England (AC Milan)
Michael Ballack – Germany (Chelsea)
Rene Adler – Germany (Bayer Leverkusen)
Diarra – France (Real Madrid)
Cabanas – Paraguay (Club America)

Michael Ballack is a massive blow to Germany. He is the main cog in the German machine. It’s all very well for people to say that Schweinsteiger should step up but they play a different type of game. His direct replacement in the team is to be Sami Khedira: he has big shoes to fill.

Rene Adler is hardly a superstar but he is the first choice goalkeeper for Germany so he deserves to be included in this list. Germany will have to employ their 2nd choice goalkeeper who will be hoping the fans won’t be making Oliver Kahn comparisons.

You have to feel sorry for David Beckham – a model professional and a man who is still one of the best exponents of the precision pass from one side of the field to another. He was very unlikely to have been a starter but his experience and quality of the bench may have been useful. He will be in South Africa with the team, probably in a mentoring capacity.

Diarra has an odd problem. He developed stomach pains during altitude training and is ‘indefinitely’ out due to a genetic red blood cell disorder.

Cabanas is Paraguay’s star striker. In January of this year he was shot in the head at a nightclub. He has recovered very well since but is not able to play football yet.

Under an injury cloud

Torres (Liverpool)
Fabregas (Arsenal)
Iniesta (Barcelona)

3 of the best players in the world all under an injury cloud but expected to recover in time for the tournament. For Spain’s sake you have to hope it won’t affect their preparations too badly.

Other Countries
Essien – Ghana (Chelsea)
Kewell – Australia (Galatasaray)
Sorenson – Denmark (Stoke)
Skrtel – Slovakia (Liverpool)

Kewell seems like he’s always injured. Neither has he been the same player since his wonderful displays for Leeds United in the early 2000’s. But he’s the most naturally talented player in the Australian squad.

Skrtel’s been out of action for Liverpool for 3 months and hoping to be fit in time.

There are also some excellent players who can’t play at the World Cup because their country failed to qualify. The player that I will most miss, from a country which did not qualify, is Arshavin of Russia. He is a superb midfielder I love to watch play.

As the World Cup nears there will be other stars who pick up injuries, and again when it starts unhelpful injuries and suspensions are a given.

No doubt I have missed a very many fine individuals out from these lists. Please do inform me of who they might be and anything you might disagree with.


Hayden said...

Couple of things I was up in arms about ronaldinho as well but heard an interview with a South American scribe the other day and apparently the guy has a serious drinking problem which coincided with his drop off in form after the last world cup, while he has improved both him and Adriano are very unreliable to turn up to trainign apparently which is why they've been left out. Pato is mystical to me.
Zanetti had to go that call was ridiculous, but apparently the Cambiasso non-selection has gone down well in Argentina, he was one of the players performing terribly when Maradonna took over so his omission is understandable. Let's not forget defensive midfielders always look good in Mourinho teams due to his formation.
Nasri I couldn't work out if you watch his goal against Porto you know you want him on the bench at least, and he's versatile he can play any where in the midfield on either wing or as a second striker. Before i get accused of Arsenal bias the player I would have left out for him is Diaby massively talented but very inconsistent.
Just curious on what planet is Arshavin a midfielder, His preferred position is just off a main striker and plays on the left in a front 3 for Arsenal.

William Fussey said...

I am not going to change my views on Ronaldinho because of hearsay. Who knows if he has a drinking problem and is unreliable. If so it's understandable although I would have still had him there regardless.

Cambiasso would have been a terribly important player at the World Cup, Argentina need a quality defensive midfielder!