football

Fabulous five who never played in Fifa World Cup

A look at five great footballers who never actually played in the Fifa World Cup

21:52 January 13, 2018

Dubai: As we count down to the start of Russia 2018, we look at the fabulous five who went down in history as footballers who have never played in the Fifa World Cup.

Bernd Schuster

Schuster was admired for his skills but was notoriously difficult to manage. During his career, he played for Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, and won the 1980 European Championships with West Germany. However he retired from the national team at 24 in 1984 over continuous fallouts with the federation and never made it to the World Cup.

 



Eric Cantona

Cantona was indefinitely banned by the French Federation in 1988 for abusing France coach Henri Michel on TV after he dropped him for a match. Following Michel’s departure after France failed to make it to Italia ’90, new manager Michel Platini recalled the volatile midfielder. France failed again to qualify for the 1994 World Cup and Cantona’s extensive ban for a kung-fu kick on a fan while playing for Man United meant he had lost his place to Zinedine Zidane as France’s playmaker by the time the 1998 World Cup came around. The rest is history...



Ryan Giggs

He picked up 64 caps between 1991 and 2007 but timing can be cruel. The most successful player in the English game for Manchester United was not born when Wales last played at a World Cup in 1958.



George Best

The 1968 European Footballer of the Year and European Cup winner seemed to be able to turn on the magic at will with his skills but conjuring up World Cup qualification for Northern Ireland was too tall a task even for him. He was capped 37 times and scored nine goals for his country between 1964 and 1977.



Alfredo Di Stefano

The free-scoring forward played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain but never graced the field at a World Cup. While representing Argentina, he was denied at in the 1950 tournament by the nation boycotting the tournament. He was barred from representing Colombia in 1954 and then, after acquiring Spanish citizenship, they failed to qualify for the finals in 1958.