Now that 2018 World Cup in Russia is underway , the usual fever pitch of excitement has hit as fans around the world gear up for a month of non-stop football featuring the best teams and players on the planet.
The build-up has been full of gripping narratives - can Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi take home the one trophy that has eluded them in what will most likely be their last tournaments? Can anybody stop favourites France or defending champions Germany, who have both been so spoiled for choice that they have left numerous world class talents at home? Will a young England team (whose 23 have the lowest combined total appearances for their country of the 32 teams) amount to anything at all? Whatever happens, we're sure to see some incredible displays from both teams and individuals.
The World Cup is never truly a full showcase of the greatest players on the planet, however, as the 32 team limit always ensures that many nations fall during the qualification hurdles. Mainstays Italy and Holland were the most notable teams to miss the cut, whilst the likes of Gareth Bale and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will also be missing in action.
One would hope that they and their ilk get another opportunity in the future, unlike the following nine men, who never got the chance during their careers despite their renown.