The 2022 FIFA World Cup will kick off on 19 November when host nation Qatar squares off against Ecuador. A month of exciting football action featuring some of the biggest stars in the world will follow.
While there will be no shortage of high-profile personnel at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the absence of a select few will be felt at the tournament. Some world-class players will be missing at the World Cup as their respective national teams failed to qualify for the tournament.
A few others have been ruled out due to injuries. But there are also players who have been dropped from their respective national squads. Some of these decisions have come as a surprise.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five of the best goalkeepers who have been dropped from the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
#5 Mitchell Langerak (Austrailia)
Mitchell Langerak came out of retirement to push to become Australia's first-choice goalkeeper at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The decision to retire was forced upon him due to COVID-19 as he was frustrated with having to spend a great deal of time away from his family during the peak of the pandemic.
He held discussions with Socceroos coach Graham Arnoldand Langerak earned himself a spot in Australia's two-match series against neighbors New Zealand in September. However, he did not feature in either game and has now been left out of Australia's 2022 FIFA World Cup squad.
Langerak has been in solid form for Japanese club Nagoya Grampus, keeping 14 clean sheets in 33 league games this year. Unfortunately for Langerak, Matt Ryan, Danny Vukovic and Andrew Redmayne have been selected ahead of him for the tournament.
#4 Zack Steffen (USA)
Zack Steffen joined Manchester City this summer and was subsequently shipped out to Middlesbrough on a season-long loan deal. He has done a decent job for the Championship side, keeping four clean sheets in 17 appearances.
Steffen seemed relaxed about his chances of making the USMNT 2022 FIFA World Cup squad. He was the favorite to be their No.1 for the tournament but he has been dropped from the 26-man squad in shocking fashion.
Matt Turner, Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath have made the cut and the decision to leave Steffen behind has baffled fans and pundits alike. While speaking to the press after the squad announcement, Berhalter was asked about Steffen's exclusion. He responded (via Andscape):
“Me and Zack go way back, and Zack’s been there for me a bunch of times. And to tell him he is not going to be part of the World Cup team was heartbreaking for me. But those are decisions that we made as a staff and we move forward and now it’s about, ‘Well, who do we have in camp and how are we going to be successful?"
#3 Jasper Cillessen (Netherlands)
With Louis van Gaal involved, fans were braced for a few surprises when it came to his squad selection for the 2022 FIFA World. The veteran coach has decided to leave behind one of their most experienced players Jasper Cillessen, who has been a mainstay in the national side.
On Cillessen's exclusion, Van Gaal said:
“Cillessen has not been in shape in recent weeks and I think the World Cup is now and not in five weeks when he has trained with me and Frans Hoek. Form is a very difficult concept.
“It is only natural that he is disappointed. Everyone reacts to this in their own way. I can imagine something with that. Cillessen was the most experienced goalkeeper and has always delivered with me.”
The three goalkeepers that Van Gaal has selected are Remko Pasveer, Justin Bijlow and Andries Noppert. All three players have made eight appearances combined for the national team. Cillessen has earned 63 caps for the Dutch national side.
#2 Dean Henderson (England)
In all fairness, England do have a wealth of quality goalkeepers and someone or the other was going to get the raw end of the stick. Dean Henderson is currently at Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan from Manchester United.
Despite turning in good performances for Forest, Henderson has failed to pip England's preferred goalkeepers to a spot in the squad. Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale have been selected over him.
Henderson was part of the Three Lions' squad for the recent UEFA Nations League games against Italy and Germany. As such, there was a feeling that the well-rounded keeper might make the cut for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But it simply wasn't to be.
#1 David de Gea (Spain)
David de Gea's inconsistency and dip in form in recent seasons has caused him to fall down the pecking order of Spain's goalkeepers. His distribution skills have emerged as a major weakness in his game and this has led many to believe that De Gea has let the game pass him by.
However, he has been in good form for Manchester United this season and has been in great shot-stopping form. In 20 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils so far this season, the Spaniard has kept nine clean sheets.
He has 45 caps for La Roja and would have been expecting to get a call-up to the national squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after his recent performances.
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