Most notable absentees from 2018 World Cup rosters
Leroy Sane was left off the Germany squad for this summer’s World Cup, an omission that makes Landon Donovan circa 2014 look like forgetting the baby formula at the store.
(Sorry, LegenD. You’re still a big, big, big deal to us, and you understand the baby nourishment point these days).
[ MORE: Karius was concussed ]
But good, even great players get left off great teams, and Germany is stacked for another run at glory. And Sane’s not alone, with World Cup hero Mario Gotze not getting a call from his nation alone.
Honorable mention to Spain’s Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas, as well as Sergi Roberto. Wow. Spain is deep.
10. Adrien Rabiot, France -- A substandard club season may’ve claimed Rabiot, but he’s also struggled to get regular call-ups. The surprise is a bit less than the others, though his status on the nation’s best domestic club suggests it should be higher.
9. Jack Wilshere, Arsenal -- Beyond Ruben Loftus-Cheek, I simply don’t see a ball mover of Wilshere’s caliber on the Three Lions roster.
8. Mario Gotze, Germany -- Sentimental, yes, but I think there’s something to be said for Germany and its support knowing a World Cup winner is sitting on the bench or at least waiting in the wings.
7. Anthony Martial, France -- Incredible talents are always left out of the French side, but this one is not based solely on one club manager’s squad selection in Jose Mourinho. Martial has scored once in 18 caps for his country.
6. Mauro Icardi, Argentina -- He’s only this low for two reasons. 1) Argentina is stacked in attack and someone has to miss out. 2) He’s just not a terrific dude.
5. Alexandre Lacazette, France -- Scored 14 goals for Arsenal in limited time, and bagged two against Germany in November. Yet it seems the knee injury that cost him part of Arsenal’s season and a pair of March friendlies ultimately dropped him off the cliff.
4. Alvaro Morata, Spain -- His form dipped massively outside of the FA Cup run, but Morata had five goals in his last four Spanish outings before surprisingly being dropped in March and beyond.
3. Alex Sandro, Brazil -- To say that the Juventus wide man was one of the top players in Serie A is a given, but given his potential to do just about anything on the left side, it’s surprising to see Filipe Luis getting the nod ahead of him. Maybe it’s that Sandro is too close to Marcelo in style, and Tite wanted another style of left back?
2. Radja Nainngolan, Belgium -- This is a massive risk from Roberto Martinez for a golden generation of Red Devils, and it’s an addition by subtraction move. And Belgium has fellas who can do his job, but at his best there are few that do it as well as this mad man.
- Leroy Sane, Germany -- The Julians, Draxler and Brandt, got spots ahead of Sane, and here’s the only thing I can really produce about the omission: Sane’s success at Man City is built around the fact that Pep Guardiola would prefer the player to have the ball about 20 yards out from the end line, probably more so than even Kevin De Bruyne in the center-right. Perhaps Joachim Loew thinks Sane won’t work as well when the focus is not on him?