football players who never played in fifa world cup eric cantona

6 Football Greats Who Never Played in the FIFA World Cup

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.

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10 Most Decorated Football Players of All Time

If there’s one sport who produced legends and legacies, that would be football. These football players have contributed immensely to their respective clubs, and the entire league recognized them for their contributions and dedication.

Here are the football legends whose legacy is winning medals and trophies—the laurels that are solid proof of being the sport’s greatest of all time.

10) Xavi, 31 trophies

Xavi is a Spanish midfielder who played for Barcelona throughout most of his professional career. He won every title he could win. For instance, he collected four championship titles with Blaugrana. When he left Barcelona for Al Sadd, a Qatari football club, he went on to obtain three more titles. He also played with his national team and won the UEFA Euro and 2010 FIFA World Cup.

9) Kenny Dalglish, 31 trophies

Dalglish is one of the greatest British players in football history, playing for Celtic and Liverpool. He had a stellar career playing not just in the UK, but for European football as well. Dalglish is a proud owner of European Cups, Football League First Division titles and Premier Division titles. His last two titles he achieved as a player-manager.

8) Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 31 trophies

Although he has yet to play for the Premier League, Ibrahimovic has played in many leagues including Italy, France, England, Spain, and the Netherlands. He won on each of these leagues, earning not just the accolades, but also the fan base. 

7) Gerard Pique, 32 trophies

Pique has been winning titles consistently since he played with Manchester United. He continued the winning streak when he was with Barcelona. He is still actively playing football which means a higher chance of winning more titles.

6) Maxwell, 33 trophies

Maxwell does not always appear on lists of most celebrated football players, but he still managed to win titles because of playing for the right clubs at the right moment. He has Serie A, La Liga Barcelona, and Ligue 1 titles as well as a Champions League title. He works side by side with Ibrahimovic.

5) Andres Iniesta, 33 trophies

Iniesta performs very well as a midfielder. He was instrumental for all the successes that Barcelona achieved, along with Lionel Messi and Xavi. He left Barcelona as a legend. Today, he was playing for Vissel Kobe, a Japanese club, where he is expected to win more trophies.

4) Ryan Giggs, 34 trophies

Giggs is one of the most respected football players worldwide because of the immense talent he showcases every time he plays. It’s with Manchester United where he won most of his trophies which include 13 league titles and a FIFA Club World Cup. 

3) Lionel Messi, 35 trophies

Messi is the best football player ever winning all his trophies for Barcelona except one. He has an Olympic gold medal that he earned when playing for his national team, Argentina. Since he is still active, he may collect more trophies in the next seasons.

2) Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, 36 trophies

A Ukranian goalkeeper, Shovkovskiy stayed with Dynamo Kyiv throughout his professional career. This is where he earned all the titles and made his club the most important in his country.

1) Dani Alves, 42 trophies

Despite his age (36 years), Alves is showing no signs of slowing down. He has his best years with Barcelona where he won a total of 23 titles. He also played for the Brazilian national team.

 

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22 Quotes about Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the best players to grace the football world. No one can deny his presence regardless of which club you are supporting or league you are watching. 

In the last ten years, he broke all the records there is and he received all the awards there is. Perhaps one of the few players to do so.

And the most magnificent names have to say these about Ronaldo.

“When Cristiano Ronaldo gets the ball, you can just leave him to it while he beats player after player.” 

Ryan Giggs

“There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it’s been a compliment to me.”

– George Best

“He has magic in his boots. The first thing you notice about him is that he is incredibly quick and very, very powerful for such a young man. He has great, close control, and his technique is excellent. He believes he can do anything with the ball, and that confidence makes him very special indeed.”

– Eusebio

“He (Ronaldo) is a phenomenon, a number one, a barbarian footballer.”

– Alfredo Di Stefano

“Cristiano is a striker like we’ve never seen before.”

– Sergio Ramos

“After we played Sporting last week, the lads in the dressing room talked about him constantly, and on the plane back from the game they urged me to sign him. That’s how highly they rated him.”

– Sir Alex Ferguson

“We’ve had some great players at this club in my 20 years, but he’s up with the best.”

– Sir Alex Ferguson

“He is the best. The best in the world, yes. Probably the best ever. I saw Maradona a couple of times. I never saw Pele. But Cristiano is amazing. This man is the best. Cristiano is a goal machine. He is an incredible player. He is like Zidane, there will never be another Ronaldo.”

– Jose Mourinho

“It’s a great honour for me to play with him, you just have to pass him the ball, and he does the rest.”

– Marcelo Vieira

“There is no doubt about his quality as a footballer. I think that today  there can be no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world, the best scorer and the best forward.”

– Pele

“When you play with Ronaldo on your team, you are already 1-0 up.”

– Zinedine Zidane

“Cristiano is unique for his talent and professionalism – he is also extraordinarily consistent. [He] is an outstanding professional. He’s committed to the team and the club, he doesn’t talk much, but he is a leader.”

– Carlo Ancelotti

“The kid makes you sick. He looks the part; he walks the part–he is the part. He’s six-foot-something, fit as a flea, good-looking – he’s got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully, he’s hung like a hamster! That would make us all feel better!”

– Ian Holloway

“Cristiano is from another galaxy; he knows he’s going to score. He’s different and special.”

– Zinedine Zidane

“Cristiano is part of football heritage. He’s one of those players who, practically on his own, can put a team in a final.”

– Diego Maradona

“There are some things Ronaldo can do with a football that makes me touch my head and wonder how on earth he did it.”

– Luis Figo

“He (Ronaldo) does things I have never seen from any other player, and it really is marvellous to watch. It takes a great player to grab the bull by the horns and make things happen, but he has done it repeatedly.”

– Sir Bobby Charlton

“Cristiano Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United.”

– Johan Cruyff

“(Ronaldo) is always there scoring goals in all the games and taking part in his club and [the] national side. He has been doing that for many years and whether he is at his peak or a bit below it makes no difference.”

– Lionel Messi

“[He’s] a world star in soccer like Michael Jordan was in basketball. They have both been blessed with a genius that has never been seen before.”

– Carlos Queiroz

“He makes the most difficult plays look easy.”

–  Henrik Larsson

 

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