The FIFA World Cup is the biggest event a footballer can play in, but here are nine star forwards will miss the competition in Russia next year.
This recent international break excited football watchers around the world with its entertainment, heartbreak and sheer delight.
The likes of Syria, Chile, the Netherlands and USA were among the nations that experienced disappointment, while Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Tim Cahill’s Australia were among those who made their fans proud.
Unfortunately, many top attackers around the world will be missing the tournament in Russia next year, including Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, who failed to qualify with Chile.
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale will also be absent in Russia after Wales’ 1-0 loss to Ireland on Monday ensured they would be missing the World Cup – a major disappointment given their brilliant 2016 European Championship campaign.
Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who represents Gabon, will also miss out, as will the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben and USAs Christian Pulisic, who also plays for BVB.
Leicester City attacker Riyad Mahrez is another big absentee as Algeria failed to do enough in their qualifying campaign, along with fellow African forwards Asamoah Gyan and Vincent Aboubakar, who represent Ghana and Cameroon respectively.
Edin Dzeko is also set to miss the 2018 World Cup as Bosnia and Herzegovina finished third in their qualifying group, one place below a playoff spot.
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