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Twenty notable World Cup absences (and who could join them)

Jun 2, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

Honduras v United States - 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Getty Images

When Luis Montes was stretchered off during Mexico’s friendly against Ecuador this weekend, fans of El Tri feared the worst for their prolific playmaker.

Their fears were justified, as Montes will miss the World Cup after breaking his right leg in two places following a collision with Ecuador’s Segundo Castillo.

There are also reports floating around that Franck Ribery’s back issues could keep him out of the World Cup altogether (though for now he’s just missed a significant bit of training and a pair of friendlies).

These are big, exciting names, but certainly not the only high-profile players who won’t be at World Cup due to injuries, cuts or failing to qualify. We begin.

Didn’t qualify:

source: Getty Images7. Robbie Keane (Ireland)

6. Christian Eriksen (Denmark)

5. Arda Turan (Turkey)

4. Petr Cech (Czech Republic)

3. Gareth Bale (Wales)

2. Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)

Analysis: Too bad 20 is such a nice, round number because Branislav Ivanovic, Demba Ba and Moussa Sow are all worthy of the list.


6. Rafael van der Vaart (Netherlands)source: Getty Images

5. Jay Rodriguez (England)

4. Theo Walcott (England)

3. Christian Benteke (Belgium)

2. Victor Valdes (Spain)

1. Kevin Strootman (Netherlands)

Analysis: Who else will join? Will Luis Suarez, Ribery and Radamel Falcao all avoid this list?


7. Kaka (Brazil)

source: Getty Images6. Jermain Defoe (England)

5. Landon Donovan (United States)

4. Ashley Cole (England)

3. Samir Nasri (France)

2. Giuseppe Rossi (Italy)

1. Carlos Tevez (Argentina)

Analysis: What a group. Forget center back and keeper, can you imagine how this group of 7 would fare in a World Cup with even four average internationals? Defoe, Rossi & Tevez up top, Donovan and Nasri flanking Kaka. Nice.

  1. mikeevergreen - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Between the DNQ’s and the cuts you’d have one nasty starting lineup.

  2. Greg - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    You put Victor Valdez, who frankly had no chance of seeing action anyway, but ommit an injured Riccardo Montolivo?

    • Nicholas Mendola - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      You spelled Valdes wrong.

      • Greg - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        Autocorrect fail

  3. navyeoddavee9 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Tevez not going is still surprising

  4. sa371916 - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Carlos Vela deserves a mention, though no one thought he was going.

  5. psuhoffman - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Why does the American press allow klinsman to duck having to really justify the LD snub by labeling him a forward?????? That hasn’t been his position on the usmnt and everyone knows it. LD has always been a wing player so why let klinsman simply state he is a forward and not press or flat out say no he has played wing so again why did you decide the group of mediocre crap Bedoya Davis and green was better to play out wide then Donovan????? The press has been pathetic on this and the more I watch those 3 look ordinary at best the more I want answers. At least pressure JK to try Aaron J there, maybe he can be a dynamic threat that those other 3 are not.

  6. antoniobutterscotchmd - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Aaron Ramsey

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