From Moura to Gomez: Five shock World Cup omissions so far
England fans may be anxiously awaiting the announcement of Roy Hodgson’s England squad, but the process has already begun for a number of countries and there have been a few surprises already.
News of Brazil’s 23-man grouping may have grabbed the headlines but Nigeria, Australia and Germany have also moved to announced 30-man preliminary squads – with a few eyebrow-raising omissions to boot.
Here are five of the biggest names to be missing out on the World Cup this summer.
Lucas Moura – While the absence of Robinho, Ronaldinho and Kaka generated headlines, the man who will feel most aggrieved to be missing out is Moura. Already the star of an ill-advised Adidas advert, the PSG man must have hoped a title-winning season in France, along with 31 national team appearances in three years would have been enough to see him at the finals – but it was not.
Mario Gomez – Injury may have curtailed Gomez’s debut season in Italy with Fiorentina, but the former Bayern Munich man has impressed when featuring for the Viola and would have hoped his international record and experience would have been enough to put him in with a shout of making the plane to Brazil. But concerns over match-fitness made Joachim Loew think otherwise.
Lucas Neill – Having represented Australia at two World Cups, during a 96-cap career including 60 games as captain, Neill would have hoped to be on the plane to Brazil. But after struggling to find regular first-team football, with sporadic recent short-term spells at Watford and Doncaster Rovers to his name, Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou has opted for youth over experience.
Lee Myung-joo – An unknown quantity outside of his native South Korea, Lee Myung-joo nevertheless looked a good shout to make the squad for the World Cup, having been arguably the best player in the domestic K-League this term and at 24-years-old, was in the prime of his career heading into the tournament. But with the manager favouring overseas talent, he was overlooked.
Obafemi Martins – Though no longer an established part of the Super Eagles setup, Martins would have nevertheless been optimistic about making Stephen Keshi’s preliminary 30-man group for the competition. A part of the 2010 squad, the 29-year-old has an impressive record of 18 goals in 39 games for the national team but despite scoring 12 in 30 MLS games for Seattle, he was overlooked.
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