Sadio Mane, N’Golo Kante among stars who will miss World Cup


Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola said it was “crazy.” Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher said it was an “absolute disgrace,” while current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt the football world was “guilty” of the state of affairs.

These well-known names weren’t a bad play or a questionable call, but rather the timing of this year’s World Cup, which, after it was controversially awarded to Qatar in 2010, was pushed to the late fall to avoid a sweltering summer the country temperatures.

In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, club management have expressed frustration at the timing of the tournament. For their counterparts in the national team, the tight schedule also means depleting rosters as the best players carry season-long injuries into the global showcase. Here are some of the notable stances that could lose games – or the entire competition.

The nightmare scenario for Senegalese fans unfolded on Thursday, when the announce team Star forward Sadio Mane will miss the World Cup as he recovers from a right fibula injury.

Senegal’s football federation board member Abdoulaye Sow told reporters earlier this week that Mane would miss the team’s “first games” at the World Cup due to the injury, which he suffered while playing for Bayern Munich last week. Instead, the team will now be without its best player as it tries to improve on a 1-1-1 record in group stage play in 2018.

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The 2022 African player of the year, Mane established himself as one of the world’s most dangerous attacking players with Liverpool before his June move to the German powerhouse. His contributions were crucial to the West African nation’s success this year, evidenced by his game-winning penalty kick in a shootout to defeat Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final in February.

South Korean star Son Heung-min has not been ruled out, but after the Tottenham Hotspur forward underwent surgery to repair a broken eye socket this month, his participation in the World Cup is in doubt.

Much to the relief of South Korean fans, Son was photographed practicing on Wednesday while wearing a face mask. 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 side open group stage play against Uruguay on November 24.

Kante, a key member of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning side, was ruled out of this year’s World Cup last month after surgery for what was the latest in a series of hamstring issues that have blighted his early season with Chelsea .

France are hoping to become the first country to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil did so in 1958 and 1962, but the team’s impressive depth will be tested in Qatar. He will also be without Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba (September knee surgery), Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana (October knee injury) and RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku, who on Tuesday suffered an injury in training that brought the Cup A world is over before it begins.

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France Manager, Didier Deschamps, included the following names on his 25 player list, although all three have been injured in recent weeks: Lucas Hernandez (adductor), Raphael Varane (thigh) and Jules Koundé (thigh).

Steffen was considered the most notable snub from the US World Cup roster, which was unveiled last week, after serving as US Coach Gregg Berhalter’s first choice goalkeeper for much of the coach’s tenure.

Berhalter instead opted for Arsenal reserve Matt Turner, New York City FC veteran Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath, a keeper for Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest on loan from English second-tier club Luton Town.

Steffen, a former University of Maryland star, has been mostly healthy this season, starting 16 of 20 league games for Middlesbrough in England’s second tier.

“Zack has been there for me many times, and to tell him he’s not going to be part of the World Cup team was heartbreaking for me,” said Berhalter, who coached Steffen with the Columbus Crew of the MLS in 2017 -18. “It’s more about who we have and the comfort level with the guys on the roster. We felt very comfortable with Matt and Ethan and Sean. And that’s the direction we decided to go.”

The USMNT World Cup roster is out. This is who made the cut.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, et al.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is fit and clear to play for Paris Saint-Germain. Like the rest of his compatriots, however, Donnarumma will not feature in Qatar after the Azzurri failed to qualify for a second successive World Cup. Egypt’s Salah, Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland, Nigerian star Wilfred Ndidi and James Rodríguez, Colombia’s breakout star at the 2014 World Cup, can also be counted among that group.

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Chelsea’s rising star injured his knee during the Champions League game against AC Milan last month and was hoping to recover in time to contribute to England’s World Cup pursuit. Where some rehabilitated players were selected for their country’s squad, James was “delighted” to learn last week that he had been banned.

Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell will join James on the sidelines, although his absence is expected after he picked up a knee injury during 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 having groin surgery in October.

Brendan Rodgers, Chillwell’s former manager at Leicester City, highlighted the injury dilemma in the run-up to the World Cup, telling reporters, “players will give their best. [for their club]but there can be no doubt in the back of their minds that one injury could keep them out.

“You could argue and say it would be the same at the end of the season, but you get that buffer and that’s why we all thought the timing of this one wasn’t ideal.”


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