The much-awaited FIFA World Cup 2022 is only two days away with the opening ceremony scheduled to be held on Sunday at 7:30 pm IST. The opening ceremony has a star-studded lineup that includes BTS's Jung Kook and Canadian-origin Indian actor Nora Fatehi. Millions are expected to tune in for the matches that will be held over the course of a month culminating with the final match scheduled to be held on December 18.
While fans will see big names like Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil) and Frenkie de Jong (Holland) among several others bringing their A-game to Qatar, there are several footballers who will miss out on the chance to perform on the world arena because of injuries.
From Germany's Marco Reus, Senegal's Sadio Mane to Japan's Nuta Nakayama, here's a look at the players who will miss football's biggest event because of injuries.
Reece James, Ben Chilwell — EnglandThe English team will be missing out on both of their full-backs, Reece James and Ben Chilwell. Ben Chilwell sustained a hamstring injury during a Champions League clash against Dinamo Zagreb ruling him out of the Qatar World Cup 2022. The 'great wall' of Chelsea will not be flying to Qatar after he suffered an injury against AC Milan in a Champions League clash. He is arguably the best right-back option for England but unfortunately, England's manager Gareth Southgate will have to look up to full-backs like Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Kyle Walker. English fans were hoping for James's return as he was pushing hard for recovery and was not willing to give up on the World Cup, but the knee ligament injury needed time to recover.Sadio Mane — Senegal
Senegalese coach Aliou Cissè will be missing out on one of the most crucial players of the squad, Sadio Mane. This was a golden opportunity for the Senegalese forward to prove his worth on the international stage after his consistent and ferocious performance for Bayern Munich.
Mane suffered a leg injury while playing for Bayern Munich. Senegal's team doctor confirmed in a video that Mane will be missing out on the World Cup this year, he said, "It's quite unfortunate to announce that we'll have to withdraw Sadio Mane from the World Cup squad as the pace of the recovery is not favourable as per the MRI reports."
The withdrawal of Sadio Mane from Cissè's XI was a huge blow to the hopes of Senegal's World Cup dream.
Timo Werner, Marco Reus — Germany'Turbo Timo' is sidelined for the FIFA World Cup 2022 after he sustained an ankle injury, tearing a ligament, during a Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk where RB Leipzig won 4-0. The club confirmed the same through their official Twitter handle on November 3, 2022. Hopefully, the German forward is 26 years young and will be making it to the United States, Mexico, and Canada for the FIFA World Cup 2026.Germans will surely be missing out on some serious blistering pace on the field.Marco Reus aka "Woody Woodpecker" is arguably one of the most technically gifted football players and he has proved it a number of times, but the German legend is set to miss the World Cup due to an ankle injury. "During yesterday's match, Marco Reus sustained a muscle injury that looks to keep him sidelined for up to four weeks. Get well soon, Captain" confirmed Borussia Dortmund through their official Twitter handle.
This is the second time that Marco Reus will be missing out on the World Cup campaign after 2014, when Germany won the World Cup, defeating Brazil 7-1 in the finals on their home soil.
Arthur Melo — Brazil
Arthur sustained a muscle injury soon after being transferred on loan to Liverpool from 'The Old Lady', Juventus. Arthur had to undergo surgery for this injury, Arthur also confirmed the same through his official Twitter handle. "Last week was not the best for me… Sadly, as you know, an unfortunate injury to my left thigh will keep me out of action for a while" he said.Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, Boubacar Kamara, Presenel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunku — France
Didier Deschamps's XI has suffered a huge setback as two of the crucial elements of the French team will have to sit back and watch the game from the sidelines. Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante won't make it to Qatar as they are dealing with an injured knee and hamstring respectively. The two have never lost a game together and have starred for France 28 times. This magical duo will be missed for the value they've added to the squad to date. The French team face yet another blow when it was announced on Sunday that Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema would not play in the World Cup because of an injury in the quadriceps of the left thigh.
Apart from Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante, youngsters like Boubacar Kamara, Presnel Kimpembe, and Christopher Nkunku will also be sidelined for the upcoming Qatar World Cup. Nkunku and Kamara have sustained knee injuries whereas Kimpembe is dealing with a hamstring injury.
Diogo Jota, Pedro Neto — Portugal
Both the young Portuguese forwards will not be participating in the campaign as they've suffered calf and ankle injuries respectively. Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp
confirmed the news saying, "It's really not good news about Diogo. Yes, he will miss the World Cup. [It's a] pretty serious injury in the calf muscle and now the recovery process starts. That's it pretty much". Jota plays for Liverpool at the club level.
Neto has suffered from a serious ankle injury and will have to undergo surgery. He was touted to be Portugal's wildcard in the World Cup which clearly portrays his potential and how important a player he was for Portugal boss Fernando Santos and co.
Giovani Lo Celso — Argentina
Lionel Messi-led Argentina had to leave out Giovani Lo Celso from it's World Cup squad after the player had a hamstring injury while representing Spanish football club Villareal. It's a huge loss for team manager Lionel Scaloni as he said Lo Celso was an "irreplaceable" midfielder in the squad
. Lo Celso is a crucial player in Scaloni's midfield along with Leandro Paredes and Rodrygo De Paul and played a key role in Argentina's Copa America win.
Nuta Nakayama — Japan
Nakayama is not a part of the Japanese squad for the World Cup 2022 as he sustained an Achilles injury. While the defender was supposed to be part of Japan's squad for the World Cup, he injured his Achilles tendon while playing a match for the English football club Huddersfield and is scheduled to undergo surgery.
Jesus Corona — Mexico
The Mexican midfielder is dealing with a fracture on his left ankle which he sustained while training for Sevilla at the end of October. Corona has undergone surgery and is undergoing physiotherapy for the same.
Editor's note: This article has been updated in light of French footballer Karim Benzema being ruled out of the World Cup because of injuries.