In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, club managers expressed their displeasure at the timing of the tournament. For their national team counterparts, the busy schedule also means a depleted roster as key players carry seasonal injuries into the international showdown. Here are some notables who might miss the Games — or the entire tournament.
The dream of Senegalese fans came true on Thursday The team announced Star striker Sadio Mane will not miss the World Cup after recovering from a right fibula injury.
Senegalese Football Federation board member Abdoulaye Sou told reporters earlier this week that Mane will miss the team’s “first games” following an injury sustained while playing for Bayern Munich last week. Instead, the team will be the current top scorer as it improves on its 1-1-1 record in 2018 group-stage play.
Mane, the 2022 African Player of the Year, established himself as one of the world’s most dangerous attackers with Liverpool before his move to the German giants in June. His contribution in February’s Africa Cup of Nations final victory over Egypt was crucial to the West African nation’s success this year.
South Korean star Son Heung-min has not been ruled out, but the Tottenham Hotspur forward is in doubt for the World Cup after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured eye socket this month.
To the relief of South Korean fans, Son was photographed practicing on Wednesday wearing a face mask. Son, who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Liverpool’s Mo Salah last season, scored two goals at the 2018 World Cup. The South Korean team will open their group stage against Uruguay on November 24.
In the year A key member of France’s World Cup-winning side in 2018, Kante has been ruled out of this year’s World Cup due to a severe muscle ailment that hampered his season with Chelsea.
Brazil in 2010 France will be hoping to become the first nation to win back-to-back World Cups in 1958 and 1962, but the squad’s impressive depth will be tested in Qatar. Also, Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba (September knee surgery), Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana (October knee injury) and RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku, who picked up an injury in training on Tuesday, are all out before the World Cup.
French manager Didier Deschamps has included the following names in his 25-man squad, despite all three having been injured in recent weeks: Lucas Hernandez (adductor), Raphael Varane (thigh) and Jules Kunde (thigh).
Stephen was considered the most popular player on the US World Cup roster announced last week, serving as US coach Greg Berhelter’s first choice during his coaching tenure.
Berhelter instead signed Arsenal back-up Matt Turner, New York City FC veteran Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath to Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest on loan from second-tier English club Luton Town.
Stephen, a former Maryland star, has started 16 of 20 league games for Middlesbrough in England’s second division this season.
“Zach has been there for me a lot, and it was really sad for me to be told he’s not going to be a part of the World Cup team,” said Berhelter, who coached Stephen with the MLS Columbus Crew 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’ve decided to go,” he said.
The USMNT World Cup roster is out. Here’s who made the cut.
Gianluigi Donnarumma, et al.
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is healthy and clear to play for Paris Saint-Germain. However, like the rest of his countrymen, Donnarumma will not be seen in Qatar as the Azzurri failed to qualify for the second consecutive World Cup. Egyptian Salah, Norwegian player Erling Haaland, Nigerian star Wilfred Ndidi and 2014 World Cup Colombia star James Rodriguez can be counted in this category.
The rising Chelsea star injured his knee in last month’s Champions League game against AC Milan and hopes to recover in time to contribute to England’s World Cup campaign. With some recovering players selected for his country’s squad, James was devastated to learn he was ruled out last week.
Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell is expected to be absent after picking up a knee injury in another Champions League game this month, but will join James at home. England’s backline now includes Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker – a decision he made despite having surgery for pain in October.
Chilwell’s former manager at Leicester City, Brendan Rodgers, has drawn attention to the injury crisis in the lead-up to the World Cup, telling reporters: “The players will give everything they can.” [for their club]But there’s no doubt in their minds that an injury can keep them out of harm’s way.
“You can argue at the end of the season and say it’s going to be the same, but you’ve got that grip and that’s why we all thought the timing wasn’t ideal.”