Major players in World Cup wilderness

2014-05-18 15:01

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Believe it or not, Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri, Ashley Cole, Kaká and Emmanuel Eboué are not going to the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

These are but some of the top players omitted by coaches for next month’s spectacle and their exclusion has already stirred debate.

Nasri’s girlfriend Anara Atanes could not contain her anger and took to Twitter to blast France’s coach Didier Deschamps: “F**k France and F**k Deschamps! What a s**t manager,” she tweeted, although she did apologise a day later.

The Manchester City playmaker was surprisingly left out of Deschamps’ 23-man squad, and wasn’t even among the seven standbys named as replacements.

Nasri also missed the 2010 World Cup after then-Les Bleus coach Raymond Domenech left him out of the team.

In Argentina, upset fans took to the streets of Buenos Aires in support of Tevez in a last-ditch effort to get him on the plane to Brazil. But it was not to be – coach Alejandro Sabella stuck to his guns.

The former captain has been in great form for his Italian club Juventus and scored 21 goals in the season, but was overlooked for the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Ashley Cole’s exclusion saw him announcing his retirement from international football.

Even Italy legend Paolo Maldini was surprised by the 33-year-old left back’s exclusion, saying Cole would have been one of the first players on the team sheet if he were in charge.

England will also be without Theo Walcott, who injured his knee in January, while Belgium’s Christian Benteke has also been ruled out because of an Achilles injury.

In Africa, former Arsenal defender Eboué, now at Galatasaray, was the surprise absentee from the Ivory Coast squad.

Other players who will miss the event include Spain’s Thiago Alcântara, who tore a knee ligament this week.

Earlier in the week, the 23-year-old Bayern Munich and Spain midfielder had been named in Vicente del Bosque’s provisional squad.

Alcântara joins Víctor Valdés, who announced this week he was leaving Barcelona, on the sidelines.

The good news is the likely return of Colombia’s Radamel Falcao after the Monaco striker was named in the provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup.

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