Di Stefano, Giggs, Cantona: 15 all-time football greats to never play at a World Cup

As the 2022 tournament fast approaches, a look at some legends who never graced international football's largest stage

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Erling Haaland might be well on his way to greatness, without yet having featured in a World Cup.

Manchester City’s goalscoring sensation has plenty of time on his side to make good on that with Norway, but plenty of history’s most celebrated players did pass through their careers without appearing on international football’s biggest stage.

Some were unlucky with injury. A few were exiled by unsympathetic managers. Others were lone legends in underperforming sides. And some fell foul of arcane regulations.

Check out the photo gallery above for a list of the greatest players that remained conspicuous by their absence from the World Cup. To move on to the next image, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: November 10, 2022, 8:03 AM