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The football stars to miss 2018 FIFA World Cup

13 June 2018 10:23 865
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The football stars to miss 2018 FIFA World Cup

BEIJING. KAZINFORM The FIFA World Cup is a proving ground for football stars. But for a variety of reasons, there are many big names who can't add to their legacies at the sport's greatest spectacle. Here are the stars who will be absent from the upcoming tournament.

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PRELIMINARY DEFEATS

Italy failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958, while the Netherlands miss a second tournament in a row, following their absence from Euro 2016. As a result, many key players popular worldwide have lost their chance to perform at the World Cup in Russia. Gianluigi Buffon, who has been in the Italian squad since the 1998 World Cup, encountered one of the biggest frustrations of his career in November 2017, Xinhua reports.

The goalkeeper made his 175th appearance for his country in the second leg of their playoff against Sweden, but the 2006 champions were unable to overturn a 1-0 deficit and are now missing out on the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

Arjen Robben, 34, contributed two goals when the Netherlands faced Sweden in the last round of qualification. Although the 2010 World Cup runners-up finished their preliminaries with a victory, they only finished third in their group; not even making the playoffs.

The reigning Copa America title holder Chile missed out on World Cup qualification in the final round of the South American preliminaries, with stars Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez and their teammates not being able to make it to football's biggest stage.

Gareth Bale has won three UEFA Champions Leagues in a row, but the Welsh superstar could only watch on as his compatriots lost their all-or-nothing final group match against the Republic of Ireland. When talking about their helplessness when it comes to national or regional teams, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan may have something in common with Bale.

It's not for the first time that the World Cup finals will take place without the Chinese national team, although the newly-named head coach Marcello Lippi secured three wins and two draws for China in their last six qualification games. Zheng Zhi has brought Guangzhou Evergrande two Champions League titles and seven Chinese Super League trophies, but he has hardly made one World Cup finals appearance, and this year will be no different.

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