A number of elite-level footballers will not be plying their trade at this summer's football festival in Brazil.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will contain no Zlatan Ibrahimovic, no Gareth Bale, no Robert Lewandowski (all due to the respective failures of Sweden, Wales in Poland in reaching the tournament finals) but, after the recent announcement of a number of provisional international squads, players such as Philippe Coutinho, Ashley Cole and even Samir Nasri will be joining them in vacationing, rather than competing.
Nasri, arguably, is the biggest shock.
Quite simply put, the attacking midfielder has been awesome for Manchester City.
While players such as Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero hog the headlines, Nasri has been beastly in the final third, with a 91.5% passing accuracy, 56 total passes attempted per appearance, 43 completed dribbles, 92 chances created (more than any other France player who did make the cut) and seven goals and seven assists - all in Premier League competition alone.
Clearly, there is no love lost from the former editor of the Daily Mirror, who may not yet have forgiven the player for leaving the Gunners for the lure of City, as he sarcastically sent him a public Tweet…