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World Cup

World Cup 2014: The missing faces

Which of the world's best footballers will not be at the World Cup in Brazil this summer? Here is our 23-man squad of players who will sadly not be able to showcase their footballing talents in South America this summer.

Unfortunately, there are several players we will not see at the 2014 World Cup, including some of the best performers in European football this season.

Sweden's talismanic forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was upstaged by Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in Europe's World Cup qualifying play-off, ridding the summer's screens of the sight of the Swede in all his footballing splendor.

There are many - including several of those in Germany - who have missed out because of injury or due to the excessive quality in their respective national teams. Here are some of those who'll have to be content with sticking their feet up for six weeks rather than being a part of the party in Brazil.

Starting XI:

GK - Petr Cech (Czech Republic) - The reliable Chelsea keeper has made 107 appearances for his country, but his experience didn't stop the Czechs from falling short in their qualifying campaign.

David Alaba

David Alaba's lack of World Cup participation is hardly music to his ears

LB - David Alaba (Austria) - Despite being part of a promising Austria squad that pushed Sweden and Germany in Group C, Alaba, perhaps the best left back in the world, won't be in Brazil this summer.

RB - Lukasz Piszczek (Poland) - The powerful right back has won two championships with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, but missed out on a World Cup place.

CB - Mehdi Benatia (Morocco) - An outstanding defender from AS Roma who has been linked with Bayern, but couldn't lead Morocco to the big stage.

CB - Neven Subotic (Serbia) - A stalwart of Jürgen Klopp's success with more than 150 club appearances at the age of 25, but injury has hampered him this year and Serbia were beaten to second place by Croatia.

CM - Thiago Alcantara (Spain) - Proved to be a top signing by Bayern Munich this season and perhaps their best player before his knee injury - a relapse left him unavailable for the defending champions this summer.

CM - Aaron Ramsey (Wales) - The Welshman has undergone an amazing resurgence at Arsenal this season as he turned from confidence-shattered to an inspiring part of the team. Nevertheless, Wales were always faced with a tough task in terms of qualifying.

AM - Gareth Bale (Wales) - A European and domestic cup-winner in his first season at Real Madrid, Bale is currently one of the top players on the planet, but sadly won't be plying his trade in Brazil.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has been fantastic this season, but won't be able to show that form for his country this summer

AM - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia) - A season of adjustment for the Dortmund man, but his quality is never in question for club and country.

CF - Robert Lewandowski (Poland) - 22 goals for Lewandowski was a fine send-off for the Polish striker season as he prepares for a switch to champions Bayern, but his striking talents will have to wait until after June before they're unleashed.

CF - Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) - Zlatan is special, he's even said it himself. He averages almost a goal a game for Paris Saint-Germain in France, but in the match-up with Ronaldo, it was Portugal who claimed the ticket to Brazil.

Full 23-man squad (including starters):

GK: Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Wojciech Szczęsny (Poland),

DF: David Alaba (Austria), Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandr Kolarov, Neven Subotic (all Serbia), Lukasz Piszczek (Poland), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco)

MF: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia), Nuri Sahin and Arda Turan (Turkey), Juan Arango (Venezuela), Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey (Wales), Christian Eriksen (Denmark), Marek Hamsik (Slovakia), Thiago Alcantara (Spain)

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Theo Walcott (England), Claudio Pizarro (Peru), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Christian Benteke (Belgium)