Thomas Delaney became the latest member of the infamous “missing the World Cup due to injury” club joining several other players who are not in Qatar due to injury-related absences.
The timing of the World Cup, which is taking place in the middle of the club competition cycle, raised safety concerns among the players well before the tournament kicked off with many big names now officially missing the biggest footballing spectacle as a result.
Following is a comprehensive list of absentees.
PAUL POGBA (FRANCE)
Pogba injured his knee while training with Juventus and underwent surgery in September to repair a damaged meniscus. The 29-year-old resumed training but was unable to recover in time for the World Cup.
N’GOLO KANTE (FRANCE)
The Chelsea midfielder was unable to shake off a hamstring injury that has restricted him to just two league appearances this season denying France another piece of their title-winning team from 2018. He will be sidelined for four months after undergoing surgery.
GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (NETHERLANDS)
Wijnaldum fractured his leg in August playing for AS Roma which ruled him out of the World Cup.
DIOGO JOTA (PORTUGAL)
The Liverpool forward is missing the World Cup due to a calf injury sustained in their victory over Manchester City but should be back for the latter half of the season.
ARTHUR MELO (BRAZIL)
Arthur, on loan at Liverpool, picked up a muscle injury in the build-up to a Champions League clash with Rangers in October ruling him out for a place in Brazil’s squad.
PEDRO NETO (PORTUGAL)
The 22-year-old Wolverhampton Wanderers suffered an ankle injury against West Ham United in October.
SADIO MANE (SENEGAL)
Mane was named in Senegal’s squad despite suffering an injury while playing for Bayern Munich. He was ruled out of the tournament after needing surgery on the injured knee.
MIKEL OYARZABAL (SPAIN)
Real Sociedad’s Oyarzabal ruptured his ACL during training in March and was unable to recover in time to make Spain’s World Cup squad.
TIMO WERNER (GERMANY)
The RB Leipzig forward sustained an ankle injury during their 4-0 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at the start of November and will be sidelined for the rest of 2022.
REECE JAMES (ENGLAND)
The right-back injured his knee in Chelsea’s Champions League clash against AC Milan in October and failed to recover in time to make Gareth Southgate’s squad.
MARCO REUS (GERMANY)
The Borussia Dortmund captain’s rotten luck of missing international tournaments continued after he sustained an ankle injury. He also missed the 2014 World Cup after getting injured on the eve of Germany’s departure for Brazil, where they won the title.
BEN CHILWELL (ENGLAND)
Ben Chilwell suffered a hamstring injury during Chelsea’s Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.
CHRISTOPHER NKUNKU (FRANCE)
The RB Leipzig forward was included in France’s squad for the World Cup but injured his knee in training ruling him out of the competition
GIOVANI LO CELSO (ARGENTINA)
The midfielder picked up a hamstring injury while playing for Villarreal with Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni describing him as “irreplaceable”. He was sorely missed when Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina in their first game.
KARIM BENZEMA (FRANCE)
The Ballon d’Or winner suffered a muscle injury on the eve of the tournament ruling him out.
LUCAS HERNANDEZ (FRANCE)
Hernandez tore his ACL during his side’s 4-1 win over Australia in Group D.
THOMAS DELANEY (DENMARK)
Delaney was the latest player to be ruled out after also injuring his knee during his side’s goalless draw with Tunisia.