Combined XI of players who didn't qualify FIFA World Cup
The best players missing the World Cup because their team didn't qualify for the tournament
The World Cup is the ultimate football extravaganza on the planet. Players like Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle attained stardom after excelling in the most important moments on the biggest stage of world football. This is the tournament in which every football player aspires to excel and lead his nation to glory.
However, only 32 teams from around the world make the final trip to the host nation and a few of the more established footballing superpowers end up missing out too. Some star players in club football don't get the opportunity to make it to this stage as their national teams aren't good enough to challenge the world's best.
In this article, we take a look at the Best XI missing out on this year's FIFA World Cup in Russia because their respective national teams missed out in the qualification process.
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Arguably the greatest goalkeeper of all time, the 2006 World Cup winning goalkeeper was hoping to sign off in style from the international arena after leading his side in the World Cup in Russia.
However, Italy were shockingly eliminated by Sweden in the playoffs, meaning Italy missed out on a ticket to Russia. The defeat reduced Buffon to tears in a scene which moved football lovers across the world.
As a result, the 40-year old Italian legend announced his retirement from the international game but suddenly reversed his decision within a few months and got back into the team for the international friendlies.
Having made 176 appearances for Italy, he's just 8 short of the all-time record and he'll be targeting to break that record. With the Euros a further two years away, it remains to be seen whether Buffon will stay that long as he'll be 42 then.
Other Goalkeepers missing out: Jan Oblak (Slovenia), Claudio Bravo (Chile), Jasper Cillesen (Netherlands)