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E. Haaland

Why is Erling Haaland not at the World Cup?

9:56 PM SGT 11/10/22
Erling Haaland Norway Greece 2021
The Man City ace is one of the best players in the world, but won't be featuring at the World Cup

Erling Haaland has been making plenty of headlines over the last couple of months with his phenomenal goalscoring form, but it will be quiet around the Norway star during the World Cup.

While team-mates such as Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Ederson will be dreaming of lifting the coveted trophy in Qatar, Haaland will be sat at home wondering what could have been as Norway failed to qualify for the tournament.

Of course, Norway are not among the traditional European heavyweights and qualification for the World Cup was always going to be an uphill battle, but the Norwegians will likely feel they could have done more to become one of the 31 teams joining hosts Qatar.

Netherlands were by no means in great shape at the start of the qualification campaign and seemed there for the taking, while Turkey don't possess the same sort of individual quality that Norway have in their ranks.

Third place in Group G was the best Norway could muster, though, as they did not even get a second chance to qualify by winning a berth via the play-offs.

Which other stars are not at the World Cup?

Haaland is by no means the only superstar to be missing out at the World Cup as there is a rather impressive list of high-profile names who won't be there.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is probably the other standout name as Egypt failed to see off Senegal in their decisive qualification play-off, but players such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Alaba and Victor Osimhen all failed to qualify as well.

And then there's obviously Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard, who suffers the same fate as Haaland as his team-mate at international level.

Will Haaland ever make it to the World Cup?

Norway did qualify for the tournament in 1994 and 1998 and the presence of players of Haaland and Odegaard's calibre could very well spark another participation in the near future, particularly with the ongoing World Cup expansion plans.

The 2026 edition of the World Cup will have 48 teams there, including 16 European teams. That means there are three additional spots to play for during the qualification process.

Norway will still have their work cut out for them as they are currently the 22nd-ranked team on Fifa's World Ranking, but they will be optimistic they can improve in the years to come.