The World Cup is around the corner and its time to remember those great players to have never had the chance to taste the sweet success of having taken part in the top soccer competition on the planet
1. Alfredo Di Stefano
Considered the first great player of all time, the Argentine dominated the 50s with his all-encompassing style. He was the first known box-to-box, but he was much more than that. Those who saw him play are convinced he had the best attributes of Ronaldo, Messi and Falcao.
He could outrun anyone, he could dribble past anyone and he could score more goals and more consistently than anyone in his time.
He traveled with Spain to Chile 1962 but an injury kept him off the pitch. He had previously played with Argentina, which failed to qualify in 1954, and Colombia, plus after getting his Spanish citizenship in 1956, La Roja also didnt make it to WC 1958.
Pele would take his spot as best of all-time and Di Stefano would not even get to play a single minute in in a World Cup.
2. George Best
The winger born in Belfast played most of his career for Manchester United and he was known as the fifth Beatle. Best was so good and had so much charisma that he became more than a soccer icon; he was a pop culture symbol during a key era in British history.
Best was known for his antics both on the field and off the field. He left many memorable quotes, and his life on the fast line, filled with girls, alcohol and drugs saw him passing away before his 60th birthday due to liver disease.
Lining up with Northern Ireland in 37 occasions, he never got the chance to defend his national team in a World Cup.
3. Ryan Giggs
Much like Best, Giggs has probably been one of the most talented players in history to never play a World Cup. The Welsh international recently retired after 23 years in the top flight competing with Manchester United, the team he made his debut at 17 years old.
Giggs move to London very early in his career and he had such great qualities, that the FA scouts did not think about it twice and asked him to play the Englands national team.
However, Giggs decided to defend Wales and take –like Toshack before him and Gareth Bale afterwards– the responsibility of getting the small nation into a World Cup. Sadly, this didnt happen and his only taste of what a big tournament feels like was when he captained the UK team in the London Olympics in 2012.
4. Eric Cantona
There seems to be a thread of great stars of Manchester United not being able to make it to the World Cup, and Eric Cantona is clearly one of the best cases. The Frenchman did not have the handicap of defending a small soccer nations team, but he did take part on Frances lost generation, which did not qualify to World Cup 1990 nor 1994.
Alongside Ginola, Lama, or Papin, Cantona never had the chance of playing in World Cup, but in Erics mind this was the French federations problem, and because of it he publicly announced that he was supporting England in Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006.
5. George Weah
The man who was forever changed when he heard God in the streets of Monrovia, became one of the top strikers of the 1990s. Both with PSG and AC Milan he managed to win the best tournaments at the club level, but he failed at helping his birth Nation of Liberia make it to a World Cup.
George Weah was named the best footballer in the World, when he was named the first non-European Golden Ball winner in 1995, but Liberia never even had a fighting chance. He was pretty much the star, coach and economic power behind Liberia for almost 20 years, and after retiring he ran for president of the country –in 2005– and vice president –in 2011–, failing on both occasions to gain public office.
He was considered the Marco Van Bastens replacement, at AC Milan and in world soccer, but unlike the Dutch, he never was able to shine in a World Cup.