With every passing day, the World Cup feels an inch closer and the fans are biting their nails in anticipation. Every World Cup, the 23 best players are selected to represent their respective countries. For a footballer, there is no bigger honor than playing for one’s country in the FIFA World Cup. Now while the best players are carefully picked, some players miss out due to injury or preference of the manager. Below is the starting line-up of such players who were snubbed out of their national teams.

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart (England)

England’s trusty No.1 for the past few years, Joe Hart has been left out of the England World Cup squad, reportedly replaced by Burnley stopper Nick Pope. Hart holds a record of winning 4 Premier League Golden Gloves in a period of 5 years and is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in English football. His recent drop in form has been quite visible but the exclusion from the squad still comes as a shock to many football fans as he was by far their most experienced goalkeeper and. Gareth Southgate’s choice turned controversial especially with the fans of The Three Lions.

Left-back: Marcos Alonso (Spain)

Marcos Alonso‘s performances in the Premier League led many football fans and pundits alike to believe that he had a real chance to make it into the Spanish World Cup squad. His brilliant attacking style of football would make him a valuable weapon for the side, but it was not to be. He fell behind Nacho Monreal in Julen Lopetegui’s pecking order, who had a stellar season and seemed like the more experienced choice but some fans would argue with the decision.

Center-back: Aymeric Laporte (France)

Ayermic Laporte recently got a big-money move to Premier League Champions Manchester City and had a run of good performances with the club on a higher level than before. Although just 23, Laporte is considered to be one of the higher-profile French youngsters. Adil Rami got picked over him and it generated some buzz among the fans who disagreed with Didier Deschamps’ decision.

Center-back: Shkrodan Mustafi (Germany)

This is a tricky one, one-half of the fans believe that it was right to leave Shkrodan Mustafi out of the German World Cup Squad while the others disagree. Mustafi had an inconsistent season with Arsenal but people still believed that he was a sure shot for the German squad but Antonio Rüdiger beat him to the spot, hence a lot of fans were shocked not seeing his name on the Joachim Löw’s sheet.

Right-back: Hector Bellerin (Spain)

Another player who suffered because of Arsenal’s terrible season and another player who didn’t get selected because of Spain’s infinite bowl of talents. This time it was Álvaro Odriozola who pushed Hector Bellerin off with his brilliant form for Real Sociedad last season.

Center-Midfield: Radja Nainggolan (Belgium)

One of the biggest shocks of the World Cup squad selections this year has to be one of Radja Nainggolan‘s omission from the Belgian National team. The whole world is questioning Roberto Martinez on his choice to leave out Nainggolan and replace him with the likes of Marouane Fellaini.

Center-Midfield: Jack Wilshere (England)

Yet another player who has suffered from Arsenal’s poor season. Jack Wilshere had a strong season where he finished without major injuries after a very long time. The English fans were excited to witness his resurgence and had a lot of faith in him but he failed to make the cut; likely behind Fabian Delph.

Center-Midfield: Cesc Fabregas (Spain)

And again the trend continues as another world class player is snubbed. This time its Chelsea’s midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas. The strength of Spain’s midfield is out of this world, so much so that we cannot point a finger at any one particular player who might have been just ahead of Fabregas.

Left-Foward: Anthony Martial (France)

A victim (one could say) of the quality in depth of the forwards of the French National team. A brilliant young talent who had a decent season with Manchester United, difficult to point out who replaced Anthony Martial due to the sheer quality of the French attackers.

Right-Foward: Alexandre Lacazette (France)

Alexandre Lacazette, the striker who wore the no.10 shirt of the French National team is another surprise exclusion from Didier Deschamps’ side. One could say there is a suspicious trend with Arsenal players not making the cut for their respective national teams.

Center-Foward: Mauro Icardi (Argentina)

Mauro Icardi had another terrific season with Inter scoring 29 goals in the Serie A, outscoring both Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Dybala in the process. Ironically both of them made the squad and Icardi did not. Jorge Sampaoli’s decision made the fans go berserk on social media as they bombarded Twitter with stats showing how prolific the striker had been. 

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