6 greatest players who never received an international cap
While all the glitz, glamour and megabucks might be in club football, the international scene is actually considered by many to be the highest level, with many players rating the privilege of putting on their national jersey to represent millions of their compatriots on the field to be their highest honor.
You cannot genuinely claim to have achieved it all as a player upon retirement if you did not etch your name in gold in the annals of your country’s footballing history, with the chance to play at a World Cup being the childhood dream of many footballers.
However, unless a player is from a relatively modest footballing nation, chances of him getting to represent his country are rather slim, as the pool of players to choose from in certain countries with illustrious histories is rather wide, and it therefore is survival of the fittest to get picked from this pool.
A lot of factors such as excess competition for spots, fallouts with national football administrators or bad luck with injuries conspire to rob some of the most talented footballers throughout history of the chance to earn an international cap. In this piece, we take a look at the six greatest players who never earned an international cap
Honorable mentions - Stefan Klos (Germany), Kevin Nolan (England), Mario De Castro (Brazil), Mark Noble (England), Jack Grealish (Scotland), Agostino Di Bartolomei (Italy), Bert Trautmann (Germany)
#6 Carlo Cudicini (Italy)
We begin the list with a man who established himself as one of the best shotstoppers in the league during his heyday. Carlo Cudicini broke into the Chelsea first team at the turn of the millennium, spending the next nine years at the club, and holding down the spot as first choice at Stamford Bridge until the arrival of a certain Petr Cech in 2004, and acting as his able deputy until he departed for Tottenham in 2009.
Carlo was voted Chelsea Player of the Season at the end of the 2001/2002 season, which is testament to his immense contributions to the club pre-Abramovic money, and he ended his spell in London having made over 141 Premier League appearances for the club, winning two league titles.
The son of legendary goalkeeper Fabio Cudicini (who also did not represent Italy despite starring with AC Milan), Cuducini represented Italy at youth levels, but never got an international cap, despite being called up for a friendly against Turkey in 2002 by Giovanni Trapatonni.
Cudicini was a victim of circumstance, coming into his prime at a time when Italy had an abundance of world class talents in the goalkeeping department including Gianluigi Buffon (who is considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper of all time), as well as Francisco Toldo and Angelo Peruzzi, hence breaking in was always going to be a herculean task.
There were plans by the English FA to make him eligible for the England National team, but he did not pass some of the requirements by FIFA which included possession of an English passport by age 16 or having schooled in the country for at least five years, meaning he retired from his illustrious career without a single international cap to his name.