The World Cup comes just once in four years gathering the best talents from around the World. However, a few unlucky ones do miss the World Cup due to injuries.
The hope and dream of every player to play on the world’s biggest stage and represent their nation with pride is dashed in a matter of seconds when they get injured. Besides, when a top player in a team gets injured before the World Cup, it affects the entire team psychologically.
Unfortunately, in every edition, fans all over the world do miss some of their favourites playing in the World Cup. As we near the beginning of the World Cup, the list of top stars missing the World Cup due to injury is increasing.
Here, we have formed a team of top stars who have been ruled out of the World Cup due to injury.
GK: Victor Valdes (Spain)
Victor Valdes might not be the first choice goal keeper for Spain, but he will be missed in the World Cup by his national side. As a senior goalkeeper, he could have been a valuable understudy for skipper Iker Casillas. Unfortunately, Valdes tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a league match against Celta Vigo and was stretchered off the field. Also, this happened to be his last ever appearance for Barcelona. He underwent a successful knee surgery two months ago but the recovery period is a minimum of 6 months.
Defense: Gregory van der Wiel – Holger Badstuber – Kyle Walker – Bryan Oviedo
RB: Gregory van der Wiel (Netherlands)
The Dutch full-back was consistent in terms of performances and appearances for his club this season but a persistent knee injury will keep him out of the World Cup. After the advice of doctors, Wiel himself called van Gaal, the Dutch manager, and said that he would not be able to play in the World Cup. He told the media that he had been taking painkillers all year to play for PSG and would not risk his health by playing in the World Cup.
CB: Holger Badstuber (Germany)
The Bayern Munich centre-back was ruled out for more than 14 months after he twisted his knee ligament in December 2012. After his surgery, he again injured the same ligament during the initial rehabilitation training last year which extended his recovery period up to a total of 16 months. The overall rehabilitation required four operations over a span of one year. Though he began with basic training few months ago, he did not play for Bayern nor was he selected in the German squad as he did not regain his full fitness.
CB: Kyle Walker (England)
Tottenham defender Kyle Walker was sure to be handed a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup. The Spurs star could have been an effective outlet for the England team, if he had recovered from a pelvic injury that he sustained while playing against Benfica in March. Initially, the recovery period was said to be around 10 weeks but he failed to make it to the squad after his recovery slowed down. We have him playing centre back as he seems the best fit among all the players injured.
LB: Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica)
Everton starlet Oviedo broke his tibia and fibula during an FA Cup tie in January. Though he was ruled out for the rest of the season, he was expected to be fit before the World Cup. But, during the physical tests before the squad selection, Costa Rica team doctors confirmed that the recovery period will be extended as he felt pain while running on hard surfaces thus ruling him out of the World Cup.
Midfield: Walcott – Montolivo – Strootman – Reus – Ribery
RCM: Riccardo Montolivo (Italy)
AC Milan captain Montolivo fractured his shinbone during the World Cup warm-up match against Republic of Ireland thereby ruling himself out of action for two months as he required surgery. This is a big loss for Italy as he was one of the first choice midfielders in Italy squad. Cesare Prandelli has had to re-work his team plans to overcome the loss of Montolivo.
LCM: Kevin Strootman (Netherlands)
The Roma midfielder injured his left knee during a Serie A match against Napoli in March. Strootman’s contribution was invaluable for the team in the qualifying phase which prompted van Gaal to guarantee him a place in the squad as early as in February. But, the Dutch star got injured and his absence will be a huge blow to their aspirations of doing well at the World Cup.
RAM: Theo Walcott (England)
Theo Walcott’s injury will be a major set-back for England as they will miss the services of a pacy winger. The Arsenal star ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in an FA Cup match against Tottenham in January which sidelined him from the rest of the season and from the World Cup as well. Walcott’s experience would have been a boost for England as they are drawn in a tough group against Italy and Uruguay.
CAM: Marco Reus (Germany)
Marco Reus had a wonderful season with Borussia Dortmund and was expected to make a great impact in a star-studded German team in the World Cup. However, he suffered a torn ligament in his ankle during a warm-up match against Armenia last week. Though the German squad possess wide attacking options with the likes of Schurrle, Ozil, Gotze and Muller, they will certainly miss the services of Reus.
LAM: Frank Ribery (France)
After Samir Nasri was left out of the squad in a controversial manner by Deschamps, the Bayern Munich midfielder was the greatest hope of French team and was expected to lead the attack with his huge experience. A versatile winger who can play on either side, he was ruled out of the World Cup due to a back injury. It will be a major blow for the French team as they have to rely on inexperienced younger players.
Radamel Falcao (Colombia)
Radamel Falcao was the key man in the Colombian team during the qualification. The Monaco striker injured his knee ligament in January and underwent surgery. He was expected to be fit before the World Cup but, he failed to regain 100% fitness and was not named by coach Jose Peckerman in the final 23-man Colombian squad.
GK: Steve Mandanda (France)
DEF: Marcel Schmelzer (Germany)
DEF: Perreira (Portugal)
MID: Rafael Van der Vaart (Netherlands)
MID: Niko Kranjcar (Croatia)
MID: Thiago Alcantara (Spain)
FOR: Cristian Benteke (Belgium)
The formation of the injured XI will look like this:Published 10 Jun 2014, 19:12 IST