Ultimate starting XI who won’t be at 2022 World Cup – from Haaland to Salah

The eyes of the footballing world will descend on Qatar on Friday evening as the final 32 teams learn their groups for the World Cup.

However, not all of football's superstars will be present in the desert sun in November. It's not an unusual phenomenon, and plenty of football's best players have missed one or more of football's ultimate festival.

Qatar will be no different, with European Champions Italy crashing out of the qualification process alongside Mohamed Salah's Egypt. And Daily Star Sport looks at the ultimate starting side that will be missing the 2022 World Cup.

GK – Gianluigi Donnarumma

Life comes at you quick. Last summer, Gianluigi Donnarumma was the heart of the European conquering Italian side during the 'Great Italian Summer of Sport'.

However, the PSG shot-stopper was hapless to help the Azzurri navigate their World Cup Playoff last month.

Donnarumma could only attempt to scramble across his goal as North Macedonia's Aleksandr Trajkovski's strike pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.

Will the World Cup miss any of these players? Let us know in the comments section

LB – David Alaba

Austria was once a footballing superpower – well in the 1920s when the World Cup was still just an idea.

However, since their 'golden era' – over a century ago – Austrian sides have found it difficult to maintain an era of prolonged success on the international stage.

And David Alaba is the victim of their latest dip in form as ageing stars such as Alaba and Marko Arnautovic continue to represent the Alpine nation.

CB – Giorgio Chiellini

We've tried to make sure this entire side isn't just the reigning European Champions, but it's hard to overlook Giorgio Chiellini and his centre-back partner.

For a period, Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci could have claimed to have been the best partnership on the planet.

But the great Italian wall just had to show one crack for North Macedonia to knock it down.

CB – Leonardo Bonucci

Bonucci was at the heart of the most memorable images from Euro 2020, when the Juventus hardman grabbed the camera and screamed: "It's coming to Rome."

After months of hearing Baddiel & Skinner's timeless classic 'Three Lions' it's fair to assume it got under the skin of the Italian side. And it was Bonucci's strike that put Italy level at Wembley in the final.

But there won't be any final heroics for the Italian in the desert, when, like us, he'll be forced to watch from the sofa.

RB – Vladimir Coufal

One of the more underrated stars in the Premier League, Vladimir Coufal has been central to West Ham's success this season.

And Coufal was part of the Czechia side that earned so many plaudits last summer. While Patrick Schick took the headlines, it was Coufal's tireless work that allowed Czechia to progress to the quarter-finals.

However, World Cup qualifying didn't go as well, and it took a Nations League berth to earn a spot in the playoffs, where they promptly lost to Sweden.

CM – Jorginho

Okay last Italian: we promise. There are two points to be made about Jorginho missing the World Cup.

The first, the good one, is we won't have to see Jorginho's name in contention for the Ballon d'Or.

The second, the bad one, we won't get to see his satisfying penalty technique – and the resulting fume on Twitter as armchair fans claim 'all you have to is wait'.

CM – Martin Odegaard

Ah, Martin Odegaard, the one and only wonderkid to be declared a flop only to regain the status three years later.

But the wait for Odegaard to announce himself on the world stage will go on until at least 2026. Norway failed to qualify after finishing third in their group, behind Turkey and the Netherlands.

However, it's not all bad news, as Arsenal fans will be hopeful a rested Odegaard will help with their Champions League push.

CM – Arturo Vidal

It's an open secret that the COMMENBOL World Cup qualifying campaign is perhaps the hardest to navigate.

With only four spots open, plus a sneaky fifth in an inter-continental playoff, and numerous superpowers clashing, there's always a major side that misses out on the tournament.

Chile and Colombia were this year's victims, leaving the tournament without Arturo Vidal.

LW – Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez must be left scratching his head with what happened to Algeria.

It wasn't too long ago that they were the champions of Africa – but a 124th minute from Karl Toko Ekambi, Cameroon, means the North African side will only be watching the World Cup.

However, there could be a twist in the tale with the Algerian FA requesting the clash to be replayed, citing 'scandalous arbitration'.

RW – Mohamed Salah

More penalty heartache for Liverpool's star man saw Salah's Egypt come crashing out at the hands of Sadio Mane's Senegal.

Salah's World Cup career hasn't exactly gone to plan, and in Russia, his game time was limited after suffering a shoulder injury in the Champions League final.

However, there's still time for Salah, and he will have his eyes set firmly on 2026.

ST – Erling Haaland

Perhaps the best striker on the planet, Erling Haaland, will be missing in November – if he's still a Borussia Dortmund player then is a different matter.

Haaland's goals weren't quite enough to fire Norway out of their group, or even into a playoff spot.

Norway last qualified for the 1998 World Cup, and that campaign featured a famous victory over eventual finalists Brazil.

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