The dust has settled after the last round of World Cup qualifying games and unfortunately, we’ll be deprived of some world class footballers who won’t be going to the World Cup next summer.
The play-off round is yet to take place, which means the number of extremely talented players not going to Brazil is only going to increase.
Here are five of the best players we won’t be watching next summer so far.
Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in Europe at the moment and a forward who is capable of making things happen.
He’ll be one of the most sought after forwards this winter and next year as he mulls over his next career move. He’ll have all the time in the world to get his future sorted out next summer as Poland finished behind England and Ukraine in their qualifying group.
Gareth Bale (Wales)
The former Tottenham Hotspur man will not be at the World Cup next summer as Wales didn’t get anywhere near qualification.
Bale has just embarked on a journey with Real Madrid and it would have been fascinating to have watched him play after the developments he’s likely to make with the Spanish side, throughout the rest of the current season.
Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia)
Ivanovic has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League so far this season, showcasing his strength and versatility across the Chelsea back four.
Serbia finished behind Belgium and Croatia in Group A which means Ivanovic won’t get the chance to play at the World Cup on the right hand side of central defence or as a right-back where he’s nailed down a place under Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia)
The Borussia Dortmund star is a contemporary enemy to Arsenal fans right now following his goal against the Gunners in the Champions League.
Armenia finished second bottom of their group, despite being only three points off of Denmark who finished in second place. Mkhitaryan is one of the best midfield talents in Europe at the moment and it would have been great to see how he played as a higher profile star in a smaller international side at the World Cup.
Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro)
At one point, it looked like Montenegro were going to be the surprise package of the qualification campaign.
However, they weren’t able to maintain their momentum eventually finishing six points behind Ukraine in second place and seven points behind England in first place. Jovetic is not first choice at Manchester City at the moment and he could have unleashed his frustration towards any side that Montenegro came up against.
image: © Ben Sutherland