The first World Cup I remember was 1950 when I was 9 or 10 years old. My father was a soccer player and there was a big party and when Brazil lost to Uruguay, I saw my father crying. I was with all the kids and I said, 'Why are you crying?' My father said, 'Brazil lost the World Cup.' - Pele
Now, you can imagine how big a deal it is just watching the teams play in the World Cup. If your team lose, it's a world of melancholy. But for the players, the feeling is worse. The only thing they can take pride in is the fact that they represented their team at the biggest tournament there is in football.
Football can be a cruel game at times. Like I said before, losing gives you the sinking feeling, but just how bad is it to miss out on making an appearance on the grandest stage of them all? We've seen some of the best players pick up injuries right before the tournament.
Here, we'll take a look at some of the stars who were close to featuring in the World Cup before their hopes were dashed by cruel injuries...
#5 Marco Reus
The German is perhaps one of the unluckiest when it comes to playing in international tournaments. A sure-shot starter when fit, Reus has had a stellar career at Borussia Dortmund. However, not making an appearance in the Euro or the World Cup will annoy him.
Although Germany went on to win the World Cup and in hindsight, his injury didn't matter for the side, Reus' presence would have arguably made them a stronger side in attack.
In the 2013-14 season, Reus scored 16 goals and mustered 14 assists, a tally he hasn't matched in the last few seasons. It was his best campaign in club colours, and he was in the best possible shape for the World Cup before picking up an injury in a friendly game against Armenia. Germany won the game 6-1 but lost one of their best attackers if not the best at the time.