FIFA World Cup 2018: Apart from injuries, it is saddening to see top players and their respective teams who cannot make it to the World Cup despite their best efforts. The 2014 edition saw Zlatan Ibrahimovich’s Sweden failed to qualify. There have been many such instances where fans stick to the qualifiers desperately in the quest for their favorite team and player to qualify. This term there could be some major players who would not travel to Russia along with their respective teams.
Gareth Bale (Wales)
Los Blancos second highest paid footballer, Gareth Bale was instrumental for Wales in the Euro 2016. Along with Ramsey and Allen, Bale formed a formidable frontline that reached the semifinal stage only to bow out to his club teammate Ronaldo’s Portugal.
However, things have not gone well since then with Wales as they have struggled to keep up with league leaders Belgium. A chance to qualify isn’t that slim, but given Wales’s current form it will be hard to overcome Bosnia-Herzegovina with Belgium well on course to top the group.
Gareth Bale needs to step up like he always has and deliver a performance that could help Wales reach the most coveted tournament in the World, a feat untouched by Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs.
Edin Dzeko (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
The former Manchester City striker is in prime form this season with AS Roma, but he faces a major crisis that might lead to Bosnia’s inability to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup edition. Bosnia is currently sitting third with Wales and Belgium ahead of them.
The match against Wales will be an all-important clash with Bosnia needing to win to keep their hopes alive; any other result will see Gareth Bale’s Wales qualify. Dzeko will be the man under the firing line although he was one of the reasons why Bosnia qualified to the 2014 edition.
Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
Perhaps the most underrated forward of our generation, Sanchez is a wonder in itself. The swift winger can play as a central striker too with his ability to drop a tad bit to receive the ball and run at defenders. He has been in sensational form this season for Arsenal and is looking to end the year on a high.
However, there are bleak chances to see Sanchez doing the same with Chile in the upcoming World Cup as they are gasping for the fifth place currently occupied by Argentina. There is little hope that Argentina might falter and even if they do, Chile will have to play Intercontinental playoffs to make it to the finals. Alexis’s form for Chile was never in question, and alongside Vidal and Medel it is hard to imagine Chile’s languishing situation.
Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
Never would have anyone thought that Netherlands would have to fight until the last day of the qualifiers to make it through to the finals of the World Cup. The semifinalists of 2014 and runners up of 2010 have found it difficult since then. Netherlands has not looked anywhere near their attacking best. They have conceded goals at tandem, and their star man Arjen Robben has been a peripheral figure most of the campaign.
Injury issues have plagued the Dutchman’s time with the national team. Netherlands have been drawn in a group consisting France, Sweden, Bulgaria, and Luxemburg. Currently, Netherlands are sitting fourth in the group below Bulgaria. It will be tough for the Oranje’s to make it through as they still have to play against France. Chances are very slim to see Arjen Robben playing in the 2018 edition.