The best Serie A players miss out on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Following the sporting failure of the Italy national team, a long list of Italian players competing in Serie A will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is set to take on Ecuador tomorrow at 11:00am EST as hosts Qatar at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar.

Along with Roberto Mancinis AzzurriSeveral highly talented players from AC Milan, AS Roma, Inter Milan, Juventus and Napoli were excluded from the world’s most glorious football tournament.

Two AS Roma players arguably deserved a call-up for England, including former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham. Since joining Jose Mourinho’s squad in 2021, the 25-year-old London native has made a tremendous impact in the Italian league, scoring 17 goals in his debut season in Serie A.

Whilst his scoring record has not been exceptional this season, he could have brought some variety to manager Gareth Southgate’s offense and served as a valuable substitute for captain Harry Kane in the centre-forward role.

The other Giallorosso England’s 26-man squad was missing centre-back Chris Smalling, who has become a regular in Mourinho’s line-up at AS Roma.

Aside from improving significantly on his defense, Smalling has an undeniable knack for scoring goals, which may have been a deciding factor in one-legged knockout games at the World Cup. Smalling, who stands at 6-foot-4, has three goals in 15 Serie A games this season, averaging one goal every five games, an excellent stat for a centre-back.

AC Milan’s Mike Maignan, who won the 2021/22 Serie A Best Goalkeeper award, will sadly miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup with France after suffering a calf injury at the end of October.

While Maignan can blame the bad luck, the exclusion of England centre-back Fikayo Tomori, perhaps the best-performing defender in the AC Milan squad that won the 2021/22 Scudetto, is hard to explain.

Pace, timing and physicality make Tomori an incredible marker, among the best in Italy when it comes to one-on-one duels. It is not by accident that he is the English central defender highest rate of successful duels in Europe’s top 5 leagues since the start of last season.

Some football pundits even argue that Tomori should have been a starter in England’s line-up as his form would have made him a more natural choice than Harry Maguire, who has recorded just three games at Manchester United this season.

Another high-profile Serie A centre-back who will be absent from the 2022 FIFA World Cup is Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar, who captained Slovakia’s side who failed to qualify.

Germany full-back Robin Gosens, who had incredible statistics at Atalanta, was not called up by his national team after a tough few years at Inter Milan. His short playing time and his questionable form may have been the reason why national coach Hansi Flick decided on other outside players.

Serie A fans should keep an eye out in Qatar Nerazzurri Striker Lautaro Martinez, who is expected to play a key role for Argentina in Lionel Messi’s last chance to lift the trophy. Lautaro’s compatriot and Inter Milan team-mate Joacquin Correa has been forced to fly back from Qatar after picking up an injury just days before the Albiceleste’s debut at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Five Napoli players have landed in Qatar, with Serie A top scorer Victor Osimhen being probably the most notable absentee as the Nigeria national team did not take part in the tournament.

Portugal left-back Mario Rui could have made the 26-man squad after his brilliant form at Napoli in La Liga, where he finished third in assists. Rui’s passing accuracy could have benefited the scoring instincts of Cristiano Ronaldo who, like Messi at the last FIFA World Cup, will give his all in his incredibly successful career.

Juventus, in turn, have sent 11 players to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the most of any Italian team. Considering the physical and nervous exertion required to compete in such a prestigious competition, it will be interesting to see if the tournament will weigh on the Juventus squad when it comes time to return to Serie A in January record.

French midfielder Paul Pogba, who has yet to play a game for FC Bianconeri will not be able to help his team-mates defend their title in Qatar this season due to a nagging knee injury.

Those players who did not start for Qatar will be back in action on January 3, 2023 when Serie A resumes its fixture schedule after the seven-week hiatus forced by the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Napoli are rightly in the lead thanks to an impressive 13-2-0 record that still leaves them unbeaten. That Partenopei have created an eight-point lead over second-placed AC Milan, while Juventus, Lazio, Inter Milan, Atalanta and AS Roma are all chasing.


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