Alexis Sanchez and Gareth Bale feature in Missing World Cup XI
Last Updated: 11/10/17 3:14pm
Alexis Sanchez and Gareth Bale will miss out on the 2018 World Cup, but who else will not be in Russia? We look at the absent XI...
After months of qualifiers, the latest international break confirmed 23 of the 32 teams that will compete for the World Cup - but there are some big names who will not feature in next summer's showpiece.
Here, we put together an XI of players who will miss out on Russia...
Jan Oblak (Slovenia)
Voted the best goalkeeper in La Liga for the past two years, Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Oblak's hopes of appearing at a maiden World Cup were dashed after Slovenia were unable to progress from their qualifying group, which won by England.
They eventually finished fourth in Group F, and ultimately ended Scotland's hopes of clinching a play-off place with their 2-2 draw on Sunday 8 October.
Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)
A string of consistent performances at right-back led to Valencia being named players' player of the year at Old Trafford last season, but he could not inspire Ecuador to what would have been his third World Cup.
They lost 3-1 to Argentina - thanks to a Lionel Messi hat-trick - and eventually finished eighth in the 10-team South America qualifying group.
Virgil van Dijk (The Netherlands)
Van Dijk has made no secret of his desire to leave Southampton but, if he is still there next June, he will miss the opportunity to showcase his talents on the biggest stage following the Netherlands' third-placed finish in Group A.
They finished behind France and Sweden but despite their 2-0 win against the Swedes on Tuesday - in which Van Dijk played the full 90 minutes - the Netherlands missed out on goal difference.
David Alaba (Austria)
A winner of six Bundesliga titles and the Champions League with Bayern Munich, Alaba's international career has been less illustrious and Austria missed out on the World Cup after finishing fourth in Group D.
Alaba was not called up for the last round of qualifiers after picking up an ankle injury during the previous international break, with Austria's lacklustre Euro 2016 campaign his only experience of a major tournament.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia)
The Manchester United midfielder will not be travelling to Russia this summer after Armenia finished fifth in Group E with just seven points from 10 games.
Mkhitaryan is the top goalscorer and has the most assists for Armenia, but their wait for an appearance at a major international tournament continues.
Arturo Vidal (Chile)
The midfielder, who starred in the last two World Cups, was suspended for Chile's final qualifier against Brazil and watched on powerless from Munich as his team were eliminated.
They missed out on the four automatic places and were edged out of the play-off spot by Peru - by two goals on goal difference.
Arjen Robben (The Netherlands)
A veteran of three World Cups, Robben announced his retirement from international football shortly after scoring twice against Sweden in the final match of the Netherlands' unsuccessful qualification campaign.
He left on a high though with six goals scored in seven international appearances in 2017, and ends with 96 caps overall for the Netherlands over 14 years.
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
Although there is one game to go in the qualifying rounds in Africa, Algeria will not qualifying for the World Cup and will finish bottom of Group B with just one point from five games so far.
Mahrez did play for his country at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where Algeria made it through to the round of 16, but they could not make it three appearances in a row at the tournament with a spot in Russia next summer.
Gareth Bale (Wales)
It has been a positive few years for Wales but the Euro 2016 semi-finalists were pipped to a play-off spot by the Republic of Ireland, who beat them 1-0 on Sunday.
Bale had to watch on from the sidelines at the Cardiff City Stadium after picking up yet another injury and his wait for a first World Cup goes on.
Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
As already mentioned, Sanchez' side suffered last-minute heartbreak as they were pushed out of a play-off place when Peru equalised against Colombia, meaning the Arsenal forward will not be sprinting up the flanks for Chile in Russia.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
Gabon have never qualified for the World Cup and their shortage of top-class players means Borussia Dortmund forward Aubameyang may never have the opportunity to play at one.
He is currently the leading scorer in the Bundesliga with eight goals - level with qualifying top scorer Robert Lewandowski - but will not be displaying his talent at the World Cup in the summer.