While not all football players dream of playing in the FIFA World Cup, no one can deny that it’s a different high.
On the other end of the spectrum, some players have never played in the World Cup when they should’ve. Here are some of them.
#6 Abedi Ayew
Ayew is more popularly known as Abedi Pele because of footballing skills comparable with Pele.
He was a dominant figure in African football since he joined Real Tamale (Ghana) in 1978 and continued until the early 1990s. He was awarded three African Player of the Year titles.
Abedi Pele played for various European clubs, although he became more famous internationally during the French Ligue 1 specifically with Lille OSC and Marseille.
Despite this, he never appeared in World Cup because his national team, Black Stars, failed in the qualifying rounds for all its attempts.
However, Abedi Pele has three sons, Ibrahim, Jordan, and Andre, who played for 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups.
#5 Eric Cantona
Cantona is a legend, but his temperament was his biggest hindrance. Remember the Eric Cantona moment?
At one point in his career, he had an outburst against Henri Michel, his then coach, questioning his decision to leave him out of the team during the 1990 World Cup qualifiers. He was banned from playing in international matches.
He had another chance in the 1998 World Cup. However, Zinedine Zidane prevented him from appearing on the international stage.
#4 Ryan Giggs
Giggs is a well-decorated football player in its entire history. Most of them he received when he played for Manchester United. He even won double European champion.
The international stage proved to be elusive for the Welsh team, however, so Giggs never got to play in the World Cup.
#3 George Weah
Weah is considered as one of the greatest African football players. He also won the World Player of the Year once.
Weah made his mark playing for Paris Saint Germain and Monaco. However, it was his AC Milan performance that really took him to pedestal. He won two Scudettos (Italian football championships).
Although he played for Liberia, he never had a chance to play in the FIFA World Cup.
#2 George Best
Best was the pride of Northern Ireland, playing for the country for 37 times. He won the European Football Player of the Year once.
Sceptics noted that while Best has the best rosters at Manchester United which won the European Cup, the same cannot be said when it comes to his international teammates.
The closest he got at playing in the World Cup was in 1982. The team’s then manager of Northern Ireland, Billy Bingham, was keen on letting him play, but it did not push through.
He was already 36 years old then and past his prime.
#1 Alfredo di Stefano
Pele called him the best football player ever.
Di Stefano was the primary man behind the success of Real Madrid, particularly in the international footballing world. The club won five European Cups.
He played for the Spanish, Colombian, and Argentinian clubs, none of which allowed him to play in the World Cup. Argentina did not enter the 1950 tournament. FIFA deemed him ineligible due to playing for both Argentina and Colombia.
Spain did not qualify in 1958. When Spain was finally able to qualify, he had an injury and prevented him from playing in 1962 World Cup.