Yes, we know – 2018 World Cup is very much on the cards. For better or for worse, teams only get to take 23 national footballers with them. This certainly leaves some room for error or at least leaving a few promising chaps at home. I will try to mention a few names that could have been part of the national rosters, but had to pass up or were left out of the final composition. The 2018 World Cup is an extremely competitive event, as are most football derbies. It’s understandable why concessions ought to be made. Here comes a list of six players who would have been great nationals during the June football fray.
Alvaro Morata, Spain
Alvaro Morata is the 25-year-old striker who plays for Chelsea. The team paid dearly for him, placing a $75 million as his acquisition price. With 11 goals during the Premier League this season, Morata is definitely a notable pick.
However, Spain’s coach Julen Lopetegui has said that while Morata deserves to be on the team, Lopetegui has looked into footballers who bring something different to the team. Morata, for his alleged slips here and there, have proven a true Spaniard. Hw took to Twitter and expressing his support for Spain.
Radja Nainggolan, Belgium
Belgium is one of the underdogs of this tournament and the team may indeed prove quite the competitive squad. Nainggolan would have fit perfectly in the current set-up, but he was finally left home. He is a midfielder for Roma. At 30, he has been one of the instrumental players to help his regular team reach the Champions League semifinals.
Nainggolan was probably left out because of his overindulgence with substances that reduce performance. However, his athletic prowess remains intact and the country’s manager, Roberto Martinez has pointed out.
According to Martinez, it’s a stratagem and to adjust the players in the roster to a specific type of play, which may take Nainggolan longer to adapt. Like a true sportsman, Nainggolan also took to social media to hint at his proclivities and say that he will ‘remain a fan,’ and root for his country.
Anthony Martial, France
Anthony Martial is France’s 22-year-old Manchester-United-recruited midfielder. Martial is clearly a skilled player who however may be considered too young to participate in the event. Mr Descamps, France’s manager has said that Martial played well against Germany, but that was an isolated case, meaning that he had no hard facts to support that Martial would be able to fare well up against the Germans again.
Mario Götze, Germany
Mario is a youngster in the Germany squad. He plays for Borussia Dortmund and he also managed to score the winning goals during the World Cup final in the previous event. Already seasoned in such events.
However, Mario has had his own personal battle to endure, fighting myopathy, a muscle illness, and that finally took a toll on his performance. Still, much like fellow players from across different countries, he went on Twitter to express his hopes that Germany will be a national champion once again.
Renato Sanches, Portugal
Renato Sanches is another midfielder. Only 20 years old, he has helped his team in the European Championships in 2016. He’s been one of the country’s most noteworthy players from a young age.
His performance has been somewhat impeded in the last months. As a result, the country has decided to leave him out for now. Given his young age, he would certainly have an opportunity to join his team’s squad.
Joe Hart, England
Joe Heart is Manchester United’s goalkeeper. Aged 31, he definitely stands tall in the pantheon of footballers and has certainly seen his fair share of football action. He participated in a number of qualifying events with his national team and his performance have been declining. He left City and went to West Ham, but after a while, he had to also take a seat at the bench.
Hart has also been laconic on social media, but he clearly expressed his disappointment acknowledging that he may have been also the reason of misplays. Still, he is a great player and a sportsman whose absence matters.
Can’t Teach Old Dogs New Tricks
Of course, for some players, this has been the last chance to participate in a World Cup event. For others, their career is only just beginning. Wherever and whatever you think about our selection, there are certainly other players who have been quite deserving of a mention.
In some cases, the play style of the team takes precedence over the personal qualities of a player. With this in mind, it’s understandable why strongly individualistic players can be left home, despite their aptitude with the ball. The World Cup is after all about making your country’s players work as a team.