The FIFA World Cup is believed to be the world’s most anticipated and biggest sporting extravaganza. Brazil will open the Fifa World Cup 2014 tournament against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12. 12 stadiums across Brazil will play host to matches. The final will take place at Estadio Maracana on July 13. While there have been immaculate players who have donned the showpiece event, here is a list of five great footballers who never participated in the football’s greatest stage.
Best played only 37 times for Northern Ireland and scored 10 international goals. The Manchester United legend was named European Football of the Year, lifted the European Cup in 1968 and won two league titles with his beloved Manchester United. Best missed his chance to take Northern Ireland in the World Cupthe World Cup between 1958 and 1982.
Di Stefano played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain but was denied an appearance in the finals. Argentina refused to compete in the 1950 tournament, and then didn’t enter in 1954. He was considered ineligible for Columbia. After that he qualified for Spain, but they failed to qualify for the World Cup finals in 1958 and when he finally got his chance in 1962 he was injured. Di Stefano won five consecutive European Cups with Real Madrid and was twice voted European footballer of the year, in 1957 and 1959.
3) Ian Rush
Similar to Ryan Giggs, Rush enjoyed huge success at club level. He scored 346 goals for Liverpool and is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.The Liverpool legend won the European Cup and five League titles. He made 73 appearances for the Wales national football team and he remains the record goalscorer for Wales with 28 goals between 1980 and 1996. Rush won the European Golden boot, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
4) Ryan Giggs
Giggs has won almost everything for his club Manchester United, holds the record for the most United appearances and PFA’s Players’ Player of the Year award in 2009. He was denied the chance of playing in the World Cup and European Championship. Giggs finished with 64 caps and 12 goals, but he could never shine at international level because of Wales’ failure to qualify for a World Cup.
5) George Weah
Weah was named FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year, and African Footballer of the Year and won League titles with Paris Saint Germain and AC Milan. Weah moved to Paris Saint Germain in 1992 where he won Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League 1994–95. Weah helped Milan win two Scudetto titles in 1995 and 1999. Weah played, coached and even financed Liberia but never they have never reached a World Cup, falling just a point short in qualifying for the 2002 tournament.