2010 World Cup: 10 Best Players NOT Going
These are the 10 best players that are not going to have the chance to shine at the World Cup because there teams did not qualified.
It doesn't include Wayne Bridge. It isn't really in order as all of these players have equal rights to be at the World Cup. But on terms of form, talent and impact, I have ranked them.
There might be a few I've missed, and if you think there is, just let me know (:
10. Yury Zhirkov
He's the deftest left winger in the World and has slowly adapted his game to the fullest effect this season with Chelsea. With Russia, he is usually the catalyst of most of the creativity. He is flexible on the left-hand side.
It will be a shame that Zhirkov won't be able to shine at the World Cup. He is ready to make an impression on the international stage.
9. Hamit Altintop
Turkey's Hamit Altintop is truly talented. Quick on and off the ball, and his tendency for flair goals have made him stick out. He doesn't get the most game time at Bayern Munich. Injuries and lack of opportunities see to that, but with Turkey, Altintop creates, scores and generally leads the attacking line with much fervour and passion.
Given Turkey's recent underachievement, it might be some time before we see him on the main stage.
8. Antonio Valencia
Ecuador really should be at the World Cup finals. A fine team that has a splattering of very good talent. Including this man, Antonio Valencia.
He had the unenviable task of living up to Ronaldo's legacy. Whilst it has been slow burning, Valencia has settled well and grown in stature. His stock is rising all the time, and the World Cup is an ideal platform for all his talents to be seen.
He is 24. Ecuador are a young side, so we might still see him at the World Cup.
7. Edin Dzeko
His breakthrough season was last season, as Wolfsburg clinched the Bundesliga. This season Dzeko has struggled to get back his glittering form. But he still remains a huge problem for defences.
For Bosnia, he has scored 14 goals in 23 appearances and has often lead the line in games. Bosnia came very close to qualifying, and the team has a talented core. Dzeko will have to wait for his big international chance.
6. Seydou Keita
Barcelona's principal holding midfielder, Keita has garnered a reputation of a tough tackling but effective going forward.
He is regarded as one of the most talented African footballers, and for Mali, he has demonstrated this on several occasions. Mali is a strong African presence but are not world beaters. For Keita, whose career is currently riding high, it might be some time before we see him donning a Mali shirt at the World Cup.
5. Marouane Fellaini
The afroed one has emerged as one of the most talented midfielders in the Premier League.
The Belgian and Everton Midfielder has shown great skill and awareness in his career at Everton, it is his passing game which has attracted the most plaudits. Out injured now, Fellaini will not be able to make an impact this year again.
For Belgium, Fellaini is one of a number of players growing in reputation—including Defour, Witsel, and Eden Hazard. Belgium will get there, and Fellaini will get his chance.
4. Goran Pandev
With his career resurrected at Inter, Pandev has gone some way to repaying the faith shown in him by Inter. He is a spirited player who often plays with too much heart, but his talent is irrefutable.
For Macedonia, he is the sole star performer, has the team record for international goals scored and often carries the team the best he can.
Truth is, though, Pandev is unlikely ever to see a World Cup. Macedonia just doesn't have the money, talent or infrastructure yet to breakthrough internationally.
3. Luka Modric
A majority of the Croatian football team could have been included on this list given their odd failure to reach the World Cup Finals. But Modric stands out due to injury. He was unable to help the cause.
Back in his pomp this season, The Spurs midfielder has shown his quality with some truly excellent performances.
It remains to be seen whether or not Modric can build on his international reputation. Not being at the World Cup will hurt him and Croatia in general.
2. Emmanuel Adebayor
Love him or loathe him, Adebayor is an extremely talented footballer. Considering Togo's first and last World Cup appearance, their disastrous qualifying campaign and their African Cup of Nations woe, it seems quite odd to be bemoaning the lack of Adebayor's talents at the World Cup.
Togo are not the force they once were, but Adebayor's star has risen since. Sometimes irritating, always entertaining, Adebayor will be missed at the World Cup.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The Swedish superstar is one of the finest strikers on the planet. At Barcelona, he has grown into his role of a lone striker or talisman, much like he did at Inter.
Internationally, Sweden's quality has diminished, and the team is fractured. The team needs rebuilding. Whilst Ibrahimovic will be the basis of this rebuilding, it remains to be seen if he can have the same sort of impact he has at club level.
One thing is for sure, the World Cup will be a strange affair without this mercurial performer there.