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Top Five Players Missing The World Cup Through Injury

With just three days to go until the biggest show on earth, we  look at the players that will be sorely missed at the World Cup. All of these players would have made their respective national squads had it not been for injury or questionable fitness crushing their World Cup dreams.

Sidenote: Only one player from each nation can be selected.

5: Giuseppe Rossi (Italy)

While Riccardo Montolivo is a big loss in the engine room of the Italian team, Giuseppe Rossi’s absence could prove more telling. If it wasn’t for the fact the Rossi was injured for the last five months, he would be a dead cert for the squad, if not the starting line up.

Prior to his injury five months ago, Rossi was the leading goalscorer in the Serie A, with 14 goals in 18 appearances. His attacking prowess was best seen in his 14 minute hat trick against eventual champions Juve.

Rossi’s workrate and skill could have proven to be the perfect balance for Balotelli, who’s known not to be the hardest worker. His replacement is Lorenzo Insigne, a young winger who has amassed just 5 caps. While it is understandable that Italian coach Cesare Prandelli would have been cautious of taking the American born striker who is only just back playing after such a long absence, he could not have expected the backlash that has come.

Rossi has even taken to twitter to vent his frustration. Italy may end up lamenting Rossi’s absence as he could have proved to be the flair up front needed to unlock the door for other industrious players.


4: Rafael Van Der Vaart (Holland)

How can Holland replace 109 caps? Rafael Van der Vaart is the third highest capped player in Holland’s history and was vice-captain for the last two major tournaments. His experience would have been crucial considering how relatively young and inexperienced this Dutch side is.

While the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie remain, many of the players in the Dutch squad are young players still playing in the Dutch league. No less than ten of the players in the 23 man squad ply their trade in the Netherlands and the majority of them are under the age of 25.

In comparison, Van der Vaart has been a feature of the Holland squad since 2001 and has played in the biggest leagues in the world, with some of the biggest teams in the world. His experience alone would have had a beneficial effect on the youngsters and give them a leader, on and off the pitch.

Aside from the injuries that have plagued his career, VDV has been in relatively good form. He captained Hamburg this season scoring seven goals and amassing six assists in 26 appearances. With better players around him, VDV could set up and score more but due to an illness, followed by a calf strain, HE is set to miss out on his sixth consecutive international tournament.


3: Marco Reus (Germany)

Although Reus may not be a big a loss to his side, considering the strength of the Germany squad, we as footballing fans will indeed miss the speedy Dortmund man. ReUs has established himself as one of the top players in the Bundesliga, scoring 16 goals and assisting a further 13 this season.

His pace, skill and attacking mentality have made him one of the most enjoyable players to watch over the last few years and we are only left wondering what he could have done at this World Cup.

While Germany have ample replacements for the 25-year-old, he was arguably the best left-sided attacking option at their disposal. In their last two warm up matches, Joachim Loew used two different formations; a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 respectively.

In both matches the midfield and attacking line ups were almost totally different, with one exception, Reus was always on the left wing. Additionally, Reus played in a more central role on occasions, impressing Loew,

“Marco was in top form and both in the training camp and in the friendlies against Cameroon and Armenia left an outstanding impression. He had played a central role in our planning for Brazil.”

While Reus may be out, his replacement is former Everton youngster, Shkodran Mustafi, a central defender, suggesting that Loew feels more than covered in attack with Lukas Podolski, Mario Gotze, Andre Schurrle, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller, and Mesut Ozil all quite adept at playing in Reus’ position. They also have the talented Toni Kroos.

While the Germans may feel secure in their squad, the fans have lost a player who could have shone at this World Cup.


2: Franck Ribery (France)

Franck Ribery is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world. Although many of his 80 caps have not been to the same standard as his club career, he has always remained the star man for Les Bleus.

Under Didier Deschamps, Ribery had finally flourished at international level. In his last 12 appearances for France, he has come up with 6 goals and 12 assists. This form was also seen in his club as he was a persistent threat for Bayern over the last two years, earning him a runners up spot for the Ballon D’Or.

Everything was falling into place, that is until Ribery picked up a back injury.

For the last number of weeks Deschamps has had Frank on a private rehabilitation schedule in an attempt to rescue any hope of the winger going to Brazil. These hopes were destroyed when, after making some progress, his injury was aggravated, ruling him out of the tournament entirely.

At 31 this was possibly Ribery’s last chance on the biggest stage of them all. Deschamps has lost his star man, and we too have lost a potential star of the tournament.


1: Radamel Falcao (Colombia)

Although it had more or less been known for a long time, it just does not make it any easier. In January El Tigre suffered a bad knee injury and an entire nation began to pray for his fitness.

Around the world Falcao’s fitness was a constant point of interest, but unfortunately it was not to be. Although the Monaco man was making impressive progress it was not enough. Colombia coach José Pékerman commented that announcing his World Cup squad without their best player was the saddest day of his career as Colombia manager.

Falcao is arguably the best frontman in the world. This is the man who kept Chelsea’s new boy Diego Costa on the bench. His pace, power and finishing make him a terrific international player. Here is Falcao demonstrating what the Colombians will be missing with a goal against the tournament’s dark horses Belgium:

Colombia still have an impressive team with the likes of Jackson Martinez and James Rodriguez providing plenty of attacking flair. However, they will be missing  Falcao’s end product. The man can finish in every way possible and considering the group Colombia find themselves in, he could have easily walked away with the Golden Boot.

At 28, Falcao is still young enough to make it to Russia but everyone felt that this was his moment to shine on the biggest stage  of all.

Jason Dundon, Pundit Arena.

Is there anyone that you will be missing at this World Cup? Comment below with the players you feel could have made the difference in Rio.

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at

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