The FIFA World Cup 2018 is just a month away and international managers are looking to finalize their squad by the deadline. FIFA had released a statement on February 8 stating that provisional squad lists are required to be submitted by May 14 and their final 23-man squad list by June 4.
But due to the ever presence of injuries, millions of fans will be left heartbroken should their nation’s star player be forced to sit out through the tournament. Though this is what most managers and players would like to avoid, they can find themselves in this predicament, nonetheless.
Here are some players who might not be able to represent their country in the upcoming Russia 2018 World Cup.
England is sure to have some problems without their midfielder, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain. The Liverpool star suffered a knee ligament injury during the Reds’ Champions League first-leg victory against Roma. Chamberlain took to Twitter to express distraught for not representing his club and his country in the 2018 World Cup.
Laurent Koscielny could clearly be seen in excruciating pain during Arsenal's Europa League second-leg semi-final match against Atletico Madrid. Though the Gunners haven't released a statement whether Koscielny will be available for the World Cup, his tearful and agonizing reaction says a lot. The absence of the French defender might alter France's dream of holding their second World Cup title.
Jerome Boateng’s thigh injury is sure to cause a defensive reshuffle in the Germany squad. Though head coach, Jupp Heynckes has stated that he sees "no danger" for the defender, the Bayern Munich center-back is expected to be out of action for 4 to 6 weeks. His involvement in the World Cup is highly doubtful, however, he remains optimistic and has vowed to fight for a place at the tournament.
The 31-year-old Argentine defensive midfielder is expected to be out until April after sustaining a knee injury towards the end of 2017. Though he was a part of the Argentina squad that finished as runners-up at the 2014 World Cup, chances of him making into Jorge Sampaoli’s 23 squad list for Russia 2018 is pretty slim.
This is the first time that Iceland will be taking in a football World Cup event and Gylfi Sigurdsson, is undeniably one of the best talents they possess. However, due to a knee ligament injury in March major doubts over his availability for the tournament have been circulating. Though Sigurdsson remains optimistic about returning to full fitness in time, history has shown that knee injuries are often the most problematic.
One of the key figures behind the 2014 World Cup victory against Argentina, Manuel’s successive injuries had curtailed his involvement in Bayern Munich’s squad. The goalkeeper returned for light training after fracturing his metatarsal and is likely to return for the DFB cup and hopefully the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well. However, the form of Barcelona goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, might put his spot on the squad at risk. We will just have to wait and find out!
Though Filipe Luis was in the lineup for Atletico Madrid’s Europa League victory against Arsenal, he is still recovering from a broken leg he suffered during the club’s tie against Lokomotiv Moscow. After undergoing surgery, he is expected to miss around eight weeks of action and might not be able to make Brazil’s 2018 World Cup lineup in Russia. Even though he may fully recover by the time of the start of the tournament, reports suggest that Brazilian head coach Tite may opt out for options such as Marcelo or Alex Sandro.
Another English player, who might be able to represent his country in 2018 World Cup is none other than Harry Kane. The Tottenham forward has been in great form with 24 goals in 29 matches in this Premier League season. Even though he scored against Watford in their match, his overall performance in the game was pretty low in comparison to his past performances. According to The Times, the Three Lions’ backroom team feel that Kane might have rushed back from his injury quickly in hope of chasing Salah’s golden boot award.
The face and hope of triumph for the Brazilian team, Neymar Jr, holds high expectations from fans and critics alike. However, Neymar suffered a broken metatarsal bone while playing for PSG in February. Club doctors revealed that he would be out of action for three months. Though he is not likely to be fit in time for the start of the tournament, hopes of winning the World Cup title lies in Neymar’s feet.
Which of these players do you think deserves the golden trophy this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Make sure to leave a like and subscribe to our channel as we will be back with more insights on FIFA World Cup 2018.