The World Cup may be just around the corner but the squad surprises keep coming, with five more surprise omissions revealed in the past few days.
With Italy, Spain, Ivory Coast and the USA all in the headlines after cutting their squads from 30 to 23, each of the four feature alongside Iran in our latest surprise omissions countdown.
Giuseppe Rossi – Despite playing 71 minutes of Italy’s recent 0-0 draw with Ireland Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli opted to cut Rossi from his squad. The 27-year-old had battled back from a serious knee injury to get this far, but with alternatives like Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile boasting more match-fitness going into the finals, Rossi was a gamble Prandelli wasn’t willing to take.
Alvaro Negredo – On the surface of it, Negredo’s omission represents something of a surprise, though the reality is that, since January, the Spaniard has struggled for form at Manchester City. Vicente Del Bosque appears to have favoured experience in his selections with Fernando Torres and David Villa both included despite less-than-stellar seasons in front of goal.
Lacina Traore – Ivory Coast boast their fair share of attacking options with Didier Drogba, Wilfried Bony, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho included but Lacina Traore offered the Elephants something different. Standing tall at 6ft 8in, the targetman would have been a shoo-in a year ago after impressing at Anzhi Makachkala. However stop-start spells at Monaco and then on loan at Everton saw his form dip.
Landon Donovan – The biggest omission so far, Jurgen Klinsmann opted for youth over experience in Brazil, with the untested 18-year-old Julian Green included and Donovan left out. Rumours persist of a rift between the pair, while some suggest Donovan’s attitude in training also contributed to the decision. But with 11 goals in his last 17 games for Team USA, the former Everton will be is a big miss.
Sardar Azmoun – Arsenal fans must have hoped that the World Cup would provide them with the opportunity of seeing the man dubbed “the Iranian Messi” in action, with the Gunners reportedly eager to sign the Rubin Kazan star. But Carlos Queiroz had other ideas, cutting the 19-year-old attacker from a decidedly defensive squad, as Iran aim to cause an upset.
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