Top 10 Players Likely To Miss The World Cup
The kick-off for the World Cup is only a 100 days away and the last set of friendlies before the tournament preparations are being played.
It is fair to assume that by now the coaches have made up their mind about the players they will be taking with them on the trip to South Africa.
The following list of players are the ones who are most likely to be watching the World Cup from their homes than competing for it on the field.
10. Patrick Viera
Viera moved from Inter to Manchester City in the hope of more first team football but that has hardly happened at the Eastlands.
The Frenchman has struggled with injuries and suspensions, and with Raymond Domenech having a host of young talent at his disposal, Viera's time with Les Blues looks to be up.
9. Michael Owen
Owen is yet another player who isn't likely to make the final 23 that will be travelling to South Africa.
His lack of regular football at Manchester United and his problems with injury have left Fabio Capello with little choice but to look for other options.
8. Ruud van Nistelrooy
The Dutchman announced his return to international football after having retired following Euro 2008.
He scored twice for Hamburg against Stuttgart two weeks ago but his fitness levels are still very much questionable.
Bert van Marwijk is unlikely to accommodate the striker's wish for a swansong as his Dutch unit is well structured already.
The Real Madrid captain has voiced his desire to represent the national team numerous times but the Spanish coaches are having none of it.
Raul has now accepted his confinement to a bench role even at Los Galacticos and frankly in a team where Cesc Fabregas finds it difficult to get a start, Mr. Madrid might as well book a summer trip to the Maldives.
6. Esteban Cambiasso
It wouldn't be an understatement to say that Cambiasso would have made the starting line-up of any other team in South Africa.
The Argentine is the classic holding midfielder and his tactical understanding of the game has few peers.
Yet coach Diego Maradona has other ideas and with Javier Mascherano and Juan Sebastian Veron among his favorites, Cambiasso looks set to stay back with his Inter team-mate, Javier Zanetti.
'Il Fenomeno' announced his intention to retire from football at the end of next year but confirmed his motivation to appear for Brazil at the World Cup.
His recent form at Corinthians is encouraging and a tidal wave of public support is on his side. But Dunga is much like the cliff against which this Brazilian wave is likely to break.
The Portuguese international suffered a bad injury against Valencia towards the end of last year and is expected to be sidelined for at least another three months.
His participation in the World Cup is almost certainly ruled out and his presence will be most certainly missed.
3. Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti made himself available for national selection three months ago, but since then he has been a victim of injuries once again.
His form with Roma has been exceptional as he has scored 10 times for the Giallorossi in his 14 starts. But his legs just seem to be falling under him every time he plays for a sustained period.
He may be one of Lippi's favourite students, but the Professor will be doing great injustice to others if he chooses an injured Totti over them.
2. Juan Roman Riquelme
Riquelme is another one of Maradona's victims. The Boca Juniors man has had a history of trouble with coaches and Diego was just the latest one.
Riquelme has proved time and over again that he is one of the best playmakers in world football and his set-piece delivery is equally exceptional.
Riquelme's absence in the national squad is likely to have a major impact as Lionel Messi seems unable to recreate his Balloon D'Or winning form at the world level.
Ronaldinho's chances of making the World Cup squad looking extremely slim after he was ignored by Dunga yet again for the friendly with Ireland.
The Brazilian has been recreating some of his magic of the Barca days at Milan recently, and yet he was omitted by the national coach.
It is understood that Dunga does not wish to take Ronaldinho as he believes that he would undermine the discipline of the squad.