Eight stars ruled out of the World Cup in Qatar due to injury, including Mane

The World Cup begins on Sunday with hosts Qatar playing Ecuador in the tournament opener. However, several stars will be forced to watch from home after missing out on injury.

express sport takes you through some of the key players who won’t be in Qatar.

Reece James and Ben Chilwell

Chelsea and England stars Reece James and Ben Chilwell both lost their careers to be fit for the tournament. James suffered a knee injury in October and some of his social media activity seems to suggest that he wasn’t happy Southgate left him out.

His Blues teammate Chilwell suffered a devastating hamstring problem against Dinamo Zagreb in early November. Both would have been in line to start on either side of the defense in England’s opener against Iran.

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Pablo Pogba

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was the first high-profile star to be a confirmed absentee. The Juventus star underwent surgery on his right knee in September and will not return until after the World Cup.

His agent, Rafaela Pimenta, said in October: “It is extremely painful to report that Paul Pogba will still need recovery time from his surgery. For this reason, Paul will not be able to join the Juventus squad before the World Cup break or the French team in Qatar.”

N’Golo Kante – The best of N’Golo Kante

Chelsea players have dropped like flies in the early months of the Premier League season. Midfielder N’Golo Kante was one of the first to suffer a serious injury in just his second game of the season.

The Frenchman underwent surgery after suffering a hamstring problem in the Blues’ 2-2 draw with Tottenham in August. He ultimately lost his battle to get fit for Qatar and is not expected to be fit again until the new year.

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sadio mane

Sadio Mane’s injury is perhaps the saddest story in the preparation for the World Cup. The former Liverpool striker suffered a knee injury while playing in Bayern Munich’s last Bundesliga game before the World Cup break.

Mane was initially included in Senegal’s squad, with the African nation admitting that he could miss the first few games of the tournament. But a subsequent MRI revealed that the 30-year-old requires surgery and will not play in the World Cup.

Gini Wijnaldum

Another former Liverpool player who is not in Qatar is Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutchman broke his leg while playing for Roma in August and will not return until January at the earliest.

Diogo Jotá

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota will not be part of the Portugal team along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and company. The former Wolves star suffered a serious calf injury towards the end of the Reds’ thrilling win over Manchester City in October.

Jurgen Klopp then ruled Jota out of the World Cup. Luis Díaz is another Liverpool player who would have missed the tournament if Colombia had qualified.

Timo Werner

Part of the reason Timo Werner left Chelsea in the summer was because of the regular playing time that would ensure his inclusion in the Germany squad. So it would have been devastating for the striker to have injured his ankle in October.

Other notable absentees: Christopher Nkunku, Presnel Kimpembe (both from France), Arthur Melo (Brazil), Gio Lo Celso (Argentina), Marco Reus (Germany), Pedro Neto (Portugal) and Mikel Oyarzabal (Spain).

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