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16 top footballers you will not see at the FIFA World Cup

Last updated on: June 04, 2014 09:57 IST

16 top footballers you will not see at the FIFA World Cup

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Rediff Sports Desk

The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and Brazil is preparing to make it a memorable show despite the protests and delays.

The footballers who are heading to Carnival capital will hope to make fate walk their path, but there are some big names who couldn’t make the big trip for some reason or the other.

Rediff.com presents the top 16 footballers you won’t be seeing in Brazil.

Radamel Falcao (Columbia)

Colombia striker Radamel Falcao failed to recover from knee surgery in time and was left out of their World Cup squad by coach Jose Pekerman.

The 28-year-old ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing for AS Monaco in a French Cup match in January.

Falcao, nicknamed Tiger, was a key element of the Colombia squad that finished second to Argentina in the South American qualifying group, scoring nine goals in 13 matches.

Experienced defender Luis Amaranto Perea, who has been recovering from injury, and forward Luis Muriel also missed the cut from Pekerman's provisional squad.

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Image: Radamel Falcao of Colombia
Photographs: Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

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Rafael Van Der Vaart (Netherlands)

Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart was ruled out of the World Cup after picking up a calf injury at a training camp in Portugal.

The Dutch football association KNVB confirmed that the 31-year-old Hamburg midfielder suffered the injury at a training camp for the Brazil tournament and would not be expected to recover in time to participate in the June 12-July 13 finals.

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Image: Rafael van der Vaart of Netherlands
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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Isco (Spain)

The Real Madrid playmaker was left out of Spain’s provisional squad.

Isco has struggled to hit form in the second half of the season after initially impressing at Madrid, which has now cost him his place in Del Bosque's roster, while Arbeloa has lost his spot to Dani Carvajal.

But, being only 22, the Spaniard can take heart in the fact that it is all not over yet.

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Image: Isco celebrates
Photographs: Getty Images

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Samir Nasri (France)

Samir Nasri, who was instrumental in helping ManchesterCity to win the 2013-14 Premier League title, was left out of France's World Cup squad when Didier Deschamps unveiled a 23-man list plus seven standby players on Tuesday.

Nasri, who has a reputation of being a troublemaker and was disappointing in Les Bleus's playoff first leg against Ukraine last year, was a notable absentee. 

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Image: Samir Nasri
Photographs: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

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Mario Gomez (Germany)

A shocking decision by Joachim Leow as the Fiorentina forward could have added some more quality in front of goal.

But injury issues and very little match time meant his exclusion from the national squad.

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Image: Mario Gomez
Photographs: Victor Fraile/Getty Images

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Eric Abidal (France)

Another big name Frenchman to miss the bus to Brazil is defender Eric Abidal.

Abidal, who has been used sparingly by Claudio Ranieri at Monaco during the second part of the season, has been deemed not good enough to travel to Brazil.

French radio RMC had reported that Abidal, 34, is retiring from international football.

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Image: Eric Abidal
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

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Riccardo Montolivo (Italy)

Italy suffered a serious blow ahead of next month's World Cup when midfielder Riccardo Montolivo broke his leg during a warm-up game against Ireland at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The elegant AC Milan midfielder was accidentally caught in a challenge by defender Alex Pearce after 10 minutes and, having stood up to test his leg, went to ground and was carried off on a stretcher after five minutes of treatment on the field.

The 29-year-old Montolivo was taken to hospital for an X-ray where it was confirmed he had suffered a fractured tibia.

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Image: Riccardo Montolivo of Italy #18 injured during the International Friendly match between Italy and Ireland at Craven Cottage
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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Gregory van der Wiel (The Netherlands)

Defender Gregory van der Wiel, who played in the 2010 World Cup final, was the major casualty when coach Louis van Gaal sprung a few surprises in naming the Netherlands’ preliminary squad of 30 for the finals in Brazil.

The Paris St Germain right-back has struggled with form and injury this season but was still expected to be included in the squad for the tournament.

Instead, Van Gaal promoted youthful talent, naming the uncapped 20-year-old Terence Kongolo and 19-year-old Tonny Vilhena. Both are from Feyenoord Rotterdam.

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Image: Gregory van der Wiel of Netherlands
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Kaka (Brazil)

Kaka returned to his ‘second home’ AC Milan last season and many expected him to shine. But he failed to find his golden touch, having scored just 9 goals in the 2013-14 season.

This could have prompted Luis Felipe Scolari from leaving the 32-year-old out of his squad.

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Image: Kaka of AC Milan and Brazil
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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Kevin Strootman (The Netherlands)

The Dutch have double trouble in midfield as they earlier lost another pivotal player through injury. Netherlands and AS Roma's Kevin Strootman was ruled out through a serious knee injury.

The midfielder was injured during Roma's defeat at Napoli in Serie A match in March.

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Image: Kevin Strootman
Photographs: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

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Carlos Tevez (Argentina)

The Juventus forward has had disciplinary issues and had been left out of the national squad since 2011.

So not seeing his name in the World Cup squad was not that big a surprise. 

Even though he had a fair season at Juventus, with players of the calibre of Messi and Sergio Aguero, Tevez had to be ignored for the La Albiceleste.

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Image: Carlos Tevez of Juventus
Photographs: Dino Panato/Getty Images

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Ronaldinho (Brazil)

The magical midfielder had a magnificient season in 2013. With 17 goals and 11 assists he made a brilliant comeback but that wasn’t enough for him to merit a place even in Brazil’s 30-man provisional squad.

The 34-year-old missed at chance at what could have been his final World Cup appearance.

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Image: Ronaldinho
Photographs: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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Fernando Llorente

The Juventus forward might have scored 16 goals for the club last season but that wasn’t enough to impress manager Vincent del Bosque.

Llorente was left of the La Roja purely because the manager had other attacking options in Fernando Torres and Diego Costa. 

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Photographs: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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Giuseppe Rossi (Italy)

The Fiorentina striker who was out for four months with a knee injury was left out of the national side by coach Cesare Prandelli.

The New Jersey-born player took to Twitter to express his anguish.

“Everyone says out of shape but you can ask anyone regarding the results of the (team’s physical) tests done during the week and in the game (Saturday’s match against Ireland).

“One would be surprised. Fear of contact? It makes me laugh …

Tough luck, we say!

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Image: Giuseppe Rossi of Italy
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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Jesus Navas (Spain)

He was the super-sub of the  2010 World Cup final when Spain played The Netherlands. It was his accurate assist that helped Andres Iniesta tap in that title-winning goal for Spain.

However, teams are not chosen on players' past laurels and, so Navas, who has had merely a satisfactory season at Manchester City, was overlooked by manager Del Bosque.

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Image: Jesus Navas
Photographs: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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Alvaro Negredo (Spain)

This 28-year-old striker has 10 international goals in 21 matches – three goals came in Spain’s World Cup qualifying matches.

Yet he couldn’t find a place in the squad.

His form for Manchester City had fallen in the later part of the season and this could be one of the reasons for him not being in the squad heading to Brazil.


Image: Alvaro Negredo
Photographs: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

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