In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, club managers have expressed frustration with the timing of the matches. For their national team counterparts, the tight schedule also means an empty roster as top players take season-long injuries into the global showcase. Here are some of the standouts that might miss games or the entire competition.
A nightmare scenario for Senegalese fans on Thursday, when The team announced Star striker Sadio Mane will miss the World Cup as he recovers from a right fibula injury.
Senegal’s Football Federation board member Abdallah Su told reporters earlier this week that Mane would miss the team’s “first game” at the World Cup due to an injury sustained against Bayern Munich last week. Instead, the team will now be without its top player as it looks to improve on a 1-1-1 record in 2018 group stage play.
The 2022 African Player of the Year, Mane established himself as one of the world’s most dangerous attacking players with Liverpool before joining the German giants in June. His contributions have been crucial to the West African nation’s success this year, highlighted by his penalty kick to defeat Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final in February.
South Korea star Son Heung-min has not been ruled out, but his World Cup presence is in doubt after the Tottenham forward underwent surgery to repair a fractured eye socket this month.
To the relief of South Korean fans, Son was photographed training while wearing a mask on Wednesday. Son, who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Liverpool’s Mo Salah last season, scored twice at the 2018 World Cup. His South Korean team will play Uruguay in the group stage on November 24.
Kante, a key member of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning side, was ruled out of this year’s World Cup after undergoing surgery last month for the latest in a string of hamstring problems that hampered his early season with Chelsea.
France are hoping to become the first nation since Brazil in 1958 and 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups, but the squad’s impressive depth will be tested in Qatar. Also without Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba (knee surgery in September), Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana (knee injury in October) and RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkonko, who was injured in training on Tuesday, and the World Cup before the start of the World Cup He ended up getting hurt in this game.
French coach Didier Deschamps included the following names in his 25-man squad, although all three have been injured in recent weeks: Lucas Hernandez (hamstring), Raphael Varane (thigh) and Jules Conde (thigh).
Steffen was considered the highlight of the U.S. World Cup roster announced last week after he was the first-choice goalkeeper for U.S. coach Greg Berhalter for most of the coach’s tenure.
Berhalter instead picked up Arsenal defender Matt Turner, New York City veteran Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath, the goalkeeper of Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest, on loan from English second division club Luton Town.
Stephen, a former University of Maryland star, has been mostly healthy this season, starting 16 of 20 league games for Middlesbrough in England’s second division.
“Zach has been there for me so many times and it was heartbreaking for me to tell him he’s not going to be on the World Cup team,” said Berhalter, who coached Stephen in the 2017-18 MLS season with Columbus. It’s more about who we have and the comfort level with the guys that are on the roster. We felt really comfortable with Matt, Ethan and Sean. And this is the direction we decided to go.”
The USMNT World Cup roster has been released. Here’s who made the cut.
Gianluigi Donnarumma et al.
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is healthy and clear to play for Paris Saint-Germain. However, like the rest of his compatriots, Donnarumma will miss out on a second consecutive World Cup appearance in Qatar after the Azzurri fell short. Egypt’s Salah, Norwegian star Erling Holland, Nigerian star Wilfred Ndidi and Colombia’s best star in the 2014 World Cup, James Rodriguez, can also be counted in this group.
Chelsea’s rising star suffered a knee injury during last month’s Champions League game against AC Milan and was hoping to recover in time to help England’s World Cup chase. Where some rehabilitated players have been selected for their national team, James was “devastated” last week when he learned he had been left out.
James will be joined in the side by Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell, although his absence was expected after picking up a knee injury in another Champions League game this month. England’s back line now includes Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker – who made the cut despite undergoing groin surgery in October.
Chilwell’s former manager at Leicester City, Brendan Rodgers, drew attention to the injury conundrum during the World Cup, telling reporters: “The players will do their best. [for their club]but there is no doubt in their minds that an injury could keep them out of the game.
You can argue and say that it will be the same at the end of the season, but you get this buffer and that’s why we all thought the timing of this season wasn’t ideal.