The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of professional football. Every player dreams of representing his country in the quadrennial showpiece. Invariably individual brilliance alone won't take a player to the mega event as a solid team is essential to get a chance to feature in the elite competition. Onmanorama picks five such stars who will miss Qatar 2022.
Mohammed Salah (Egypt)
The Liverpool talisman could not guide Egypt to a second successive World Cup. Salah and Egypt came second best to Sadio Mane's Senegal in the final round of qualifiers. In fact, Salah's then Liverpool teammate Mane converted the winning penalty in the shootout to deny the Pharaohs. The 30-year-old Salah has 49 goals from 86 matches for his country.
Erling Haaland (Norway)
The Norwegian is a goal machine as he has demonstrated for his national team and Borussia Dortmund as well as his current club Manchester City. However, the striker failed to take Norway to the World Cup finals as they finished third behind the Netherlands and Turkey in Group G of the European qualifiers. Haaland is only 22 and he will be upbeat about appearing in the World Cup in the next edition.
The Italian midfielder is one of the biggest losses of Qatar 2022. The Chelsea star played a key role in Italy's triumph in Euro 2020. However, the Azzurri won't feature in a World Cup for the second edition running as they were shocked by North Macedonia in the first round of the play-off. The 30-year-old Jorginho has five goals to his credit from 46 games.
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
The Manchester City winger will miss the World Cup for the second successive edition. The 31-year-old Mahrez, who represented Algeria at Brazil 2014, has 27 goals from 77 appearances. The Algerian captain could not lead the Desert Foxes to Qatar 2022 as Cameroon edged them in the final round of the qualifiers.
David Alaba (Austria)
The 30-year-old is one of the top defenders in the world and captains Austria. The Austrians were never in the race as they finished fourth behind Denmark, Scotland and Israel in Group F. The Real Madrid player has donned the national colours 96 times and scored 14 goals.