Seven notable absentees as World Cup squads continue to be named

Isco has been left out of Spain's World Cup squad

With European domestic campaigns drawing to a climax and the football world’s gaze starting to shift to Brazil, the majority of participating nations in this summer’s World Cup have named a preliminary squad for the tournament.

Managerial selections will always be the source of some debate, with the build-up to this competition seeing a number of top-class players omitted from their respective national squads.

With most nations naming 30-man groups that will be cut further to 23 for the actual event, here are seven players that will feel aggrieved by their destiny of watching football’s biggest showcase from the sidelines this year.


Undoubtedly talented, Real Madrid midfielder Isco has been omitted from reigning champions Spain’s squad for the tournament.

The ex-Malaga playmaker has taken time to settle into life at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, but has shown glimpses of exceptional quality when afforded the chance to play by Carlo Ancelotti.

Isco is a player that will surely represent his nation in major tournaments in the future, but for the time being is the victim of a multitude of attacking midfield options for Vicente del Bosque.

Samir Nasri

Another of international football’s badboys, Nasri has not seen eye-to-eye with France boss Didier Deschamps and has hence been left out of Les Bleus’ squad.

The Gaelic nation have had their internal disputes in recent competitions and as such the outspoken Manchester City man’s absence may not be the worst idea for collective harmony.

Nasri has had a good season at club level, but his attitude when turning out for his nation has cost him a place at the World Cup.

Carlos Tevez

Carlos TevezThe Juventus forward’s omission from Argentina’s contingent is not a massive shock given his public fallout with coach Alejandro Sabella.

However, with Tevez a key player in the Bianconeri’s Scudetto success this term and scoring goals for fun in Italy, it is an absence of a top-class player.

Argentina’s array of other attacking options will again account for this star’s omission, but Tevez will feel slightly aggrieved; if the squad was picked on form he would be on the plane to Brazil.

Ashley Cole

The experienced defender has announced his international retirement after being overlooked by Roy Hodgson for England – but the decision to omit Cole seems fair.

Left-back is one of The Three Lions’ areas of strength, with Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw good value for their place in the squad.

Cole’s lack of playing time at Stamford Bridge has cost him his spot and giving others a chance is probably the right decision.

Philippe Coutinho

Luiz Felipe Scolari was never going to be short of attacking talent when selecting the hosts’ squad for the tournament, with the likes of Kaká, Ronaldinho and Robinho all left out.

However, Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho can arguably feel the most aggrieved to not even get a spot on the waiting list.

The Reds midfielder has improved at Anfield over the course of the domestic campaign and will now have to wait until future events to show his calibre on the global stage.

Mario Gómez

Despite the likely possibility that Germany will line up with a false nine at this summer’s tournament, Mario Gómez’s omission is something of a surprise.

With 35-year-old Miroslav Klose the only recognised number nine in Joachim Löw’s 30-man squad, being overlooked will be a hammer blow for the Fiorentina forward.

Although suffering from injuries this term, Gómez will have hoped to sneak a place in the squad but will now have the summer to get back to training and full fitness ahead of next season.

Gregory van der Wiel

The Paris Saint-Germain defender was not named in Louis van Gaal’s youthful-looking Netherlands squad after starting for his nation in the equivalent competition four years ago.

At a time regarded as one of the finest full-backs in European football, Van der Wiel’s career has moved sideways since leaving Ajax to move to the French capital.

Competition for places in Laurent Blanc’s Ligue 1 winning team is the reason for the 26-year-old’s absence, but it still comes as something of a shock.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo,, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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