The final phase of the World Cup Qualifiers' group stage has been well stocked with surprises. Only 32 teams will make it to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. As a reminder of how high the stakes are when it comes to football's biggest spectacle, some of the biggest names in football might not even make it.
Different continents follow different qualifying formats for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
The World Cup will feature 13 teams from Europe, five from Africa, five from Asia (four + host nation Qatar), four from South America and three from North America. The last two spots will be filled by the winners of the intercontinental playoffs.
As things stand, there are several top footballing nations who are in danger of missing out on qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. On that note, let's go ahead and take a look at five of the biggest stars who could miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
#5 Erling Haaland (Norway)
However, Norway will have their work cut out trying to get a win over the Netherlands, whom they will face on Tuesday. Worse yet, Norway will be without their star man Erling Haaland, who is out with a hip injury and will not return any time soon.
Turkey, who are vying for a playoff berth, play Montenegro. It ought to be rather straightforward for the Turks to get a win in that game. Norway were never tipped to qualify straight from the group as the Netherlands were always the favorites to do that.
There could yet be a big twist in Group G. If Norway do end up winning the game and Turkey win theirs as well, then the Netherlands will crash out as they currently have only a one point lead over the chasing pack.
But if things go as predicted, Norway are set to crash out of the Qualifiers in the group stage itself and Haaland will be sorely missed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He is the most coveted striker in the world right now and is one of the most prolific strikers on the planet.
In the 2021-22 season, he has scored 13 goals and provided four assists in just 10 appearances for Borussia Dortmund.
#4 Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
It would be highly unfortunate if Luis Suarez fails to make it to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The legendary striker is 34-years-old and this could very well be his last World Cup. But as things stand, things are looking rather bleak for Uruguay.
They have lost all of their last three matches and are currently sixth in the CONMEBOL 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. They will need to climb above Ecuador and Chile who are fifth and fourth in the table respectively. All three sides are tied on points.
Uruguay are still in with a chance as all their matches against Brazil and Argentina are done while Chile and Colombia have a set of testing fixtures. If Uruguay don't end up qualifying, Suarez and his strike partner Edinson Cavani will be sorely missed at the quadrennial competition.