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


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

These household names weren’t criticizing a bad game or a questionable call, but rather the timing of this year’s World Cup, which, after being controversially awarded to Qatar in 2010, was pushed back to late autumn for avoid the country’s bitter summer. temperatures.

In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, club managers have expressed frustrations over the timing of the tournament. For their national team counterparts, the jam-packed schedule also means a depleted roster as key players carry season-long injuries into the global showcase. Here are some of the standouts that could lose the games — or the entire competition.

The Senegalese fans’ nightmare scenario materialized on Thursday, when announced the team Star striker Sadio Mane will miss the World Cup as he recovers from a right fibula injury.

Abdoulaye Sow, a board member of Senegal’s football federation, 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 playing for Bayern Munich last week. Instead, the team will now be without their best player as they look to improve on a 1-1-1 record in 2018 group stage play.

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

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South Korea 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 World Cup participation is in doubt.

To the relief of South Korean fans, Son was pictured 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 World Cup 2018. His South Korean side open their group stage match against Uruguay on November 24.

Kante, a key member of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad, was ruled out of this year’s World Cup last month after undergoing surgery for what was the latest in a string of hamstring problems that have hampered his season early 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. It will also be without Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba (knee operation in September), Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana (knee injury in October) and RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku, who picked up an injury in training on Tuesday that ended the World Cup before it started.

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

Steffen was seen as the most notable omission from the U.S. World Cup roster, which was revealed last week, as he served as U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter’s first-choice goalkeeper for much of the coach’s tenure.

Berhalter instead opted for Arsenal defender Matt Turner, New York City FC veteran Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath, a Premier League newcomer Nottingham Forest on loan from second-tier English 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 so many times and to tell him he won’t be part of the World Cup team was heartbreaking for me,” said Berhalter, who coached Steffen with MLS’ Columbus Crew in 2017-18. “It’s more about what we have and the comfort level with the guys that are on the roster. We felt very comfortable with Matt, Ethan and Sean. And that’s the direction we decided to go.”

The USMNT World Cup roster is out. Here’s who made the cut.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, etc.

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is healthy and clear to play for Paris Saint-Germain. Like the rest of his compatriots, however, Donnarumma will not feature in Qatar as 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 latest star from the 2014 World Cup, can also be counted in this group.

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

Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell will join James on the touchline, although his absence was expected after he picked up a knee injury during another Champions League game this month. England’s backline now includes Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker – who made the cut despite undergoing hip surgery in October.

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

“You can 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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