The 2018 World Cup has seen some giant teams like Germany, Argentina, Portugal and Spain deposed in the early stages of the competition. With some of the best players on the planet playing in these sides, they will have to wait another four years for a chance at glory.
A number of talented players have missed out on a chance at representing their nations at a World Cup and another bunch of elite players who have missed out on claiming the trophy. Here we take a look at the 5 of the greatest players in the history of the tournament who have not lifted the famous trophy.
So often the man to save Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t work his magic on Saturday against Uruguay, as they bowed out of the tournament.
This means four World Cups without triumph for the player who seemed to be upbeat about his country’s’ performance. The Euro 2016 victory may just be the saving grace, but he will be 37 by the time Qatar comes along.
The Champions League all-time leading goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo has been in sublime form all season again and is arguably one of the greatest of all time.
On the cards to make another run at the Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo set numerous records for club and country. The Portuguese player put on a good showing at the World Cup this summer as well but Portugal lost 2-1 to Uruguay.
Arguably the greatest player of the 21st century, Messi failed to score in 756 minutes of knockout football at the World Cup, tasting bitter defeat in the final in 2014 following knockout stage exits in 2006, 2010 and now 2018. Argentina was knocked out by France in an enthralling contest in a game that ended 4-3, squashing the hopes of their nation.
Messi will be 35 by the time of the next World Cup and one begins to question whether he will ever claim the most coveted trophy during his career.
The player will return to Barce- lona and will need to keep game fit to be in contention four years down the line for another shot at the World Cup.
Though his swagger as a player and ideas as a coach had such an influence on the world game, Dutch legend Cruyff also fell just short on the grandest stage of them all. Cruyff won player of the tournament in 1974, but his Netherlands side lost 2-1 against hosts West Germany in the final of the World Cup.
Cruyff never played a World Cup game again although impacted the game of football for generations to come.
A flamboyant footballer and personality, Cruyff was adored by thousands around the world and helped a number of people around the world through the Johan Cruyff Foundation.
He won numerous titles as a player and as a coach, most fa- mously with Ajax and Barcelona.
One of Germany’s greatest goalkeepers, Oliver Kahn won 86 caps for his nation during an 11-year stint as No 1 between the sticks. The closest Kahn came to lifting the trophy was in 2002 World Cup final, where his mistake led to Ronaldo grabbing one of two goals in a 2-0, as Brazil won the trophy in Yokohama.
Kahn enjoyed an illustrious club career with numerous Bundesliga titles and Cups as well as European honours in the Champions League.
However, Kahn was not as successful for the country during his career but will still go down as one of the game’s finest keepers.
Italian legend Maldini won Serie A seven times and the Champions League five times with AC Milan, but his international trophy cabinet is empty. Maldini was part of the 2002 side embarrassed in South Korea, going out at the group stage, and he was also part of the Italy side who lost on penalties against Brazil in 1994
The one club legend, Maldini enjoyed a fruitful 20-year career in the game and is a great ambassador for the sport apart from being one of the all-time great defenders.
The penalty shoot-out defeat in America against Brazil in the final was the closest he ever got to lift the trophy.
One of the cleanest, tightest defenders during his time, Maldini is still revered around the world for his performances.