The World Cup in Brazil this summer is expected to be one of the best tournaments in recent memory, as it will be held in one of the most football-mad nations on Earth with many of the best players in the world competing for the coveted Jules Rimet trophy. However, for some top players, serious injuries while playing for their club teams mean that if their World Cup dream hasn’t already died, it’s in serious jeopardy.
A number of these players were expected to be among the top players for their respective national teams but have since been forced to pull out, while several other players on this list are currently in a race to be fit in time for the world’s biggest footballing tournament. Some are supporting players for their national teams, while others are among the best their country has to offer. Either way, it’s a big loss for their national side that now has to figure out who will need to replace them come June.
No matter what happens for these 10 men, any sign of them not being able to represent their country at the tournament every footballer dreams of playing in will be a massive blow both for their teammates and for their country’s people. These injuries are also a cruel reminder that pre-tournament injuries are a fact of life with regards to the World Cup in general, and the countries suffering injury blows ahead of the tournament will now have to find ways to cope with their losses – namely through entrusting their faith in less-heralded replacement players.
Whether the players on the road to recovery will be fit enough in time for Brazil remains to be seen, but their countries are certainly hoping for the best case scenario. With that said, let’s take a look at the 10 footballers whose World Cup dreams may or may not have died before they could even start.
10 Robbie Kruse - Australia
9 Makoto Hasebe - Japan
8 Bruma - Portugal
7 Holger Badstuber - Germany
6 Sami Khedira - Germany
5 Kevin Strootman - Netherlands
4 Giuseppe Rossi - Italy
3 Theo Walcott - England
2 Victor Valdes - Spain
1 Radamel Falcao - Colombia
Despite not having a spectacular season for new club Monaco, Radamel Falcao suffered a torn ACL while playing against a non-professional team. Such an injury initially ruled Falcao out of the World Cup entirely – which would have been a gigantic blow to Colombia’s chances at the tournament – but his recovery has been faster than expected thus far, and was rated with a “55 per cent chance” of making it to Brazil by his doctor not long after he sustained the injury. According to his surgeon, it’s possible that Falcao could be back on the pitch come May. If so, his recovery will have been nothing short of miraculous.
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