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World Cup’s lacking males: What stars like Salah, Haaland, Benzema are as much as



The 2022 World Cup has given us likelihood to observe a number of the sport’s greatest stars carry out on the grandest stage that worldwide soccer has to supply.

However, with many countries lacking out on the prospect to compete and certain players suffering injuries in the run-up to the tournament, there are additionally a raft of big-name players who sadly won’t be gracing the pitch in Qatar.

And all these elite membership managers and coaches have been given a novel midseason break at a time when their home and European campaigns would normally be in full swing.

Fortunately a lot of them have discovered other ways of passing the time till their colleagues return to affix them later this month, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Erling Haaland and Karim Benzema all providing a glimpse into their World Cup-less winter itineraries through social media.

– World Cup 2022: News and features | Schedule | Squads


Stars who did not qualify/get chosen for the World Cup

Mohamed Salah

Salah performed 88 minutes for Egypt in a pre-World Cup pleasant towards Belgium earlier than jetting off together with his household for a midseason break within the solar.

The 30-year-old ahead additionally discovered time to meet up with nationwide teammate Tarek Hamed for a chat on the couch. The journey was value it only for the Zamalek midfielder calling him “the best of the best” within the replies.

Salah then travelled on to the United Arab Emirates, the place he kicked issues off by selecting up the distinguished TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year award on the Dubai Globe Soccer ceremony. He’ll quickly be again within the UAE for Liverpool‘s warm-weather coaching tour to Dubai, a 12-day journey that can embody matches towards Lyon (Dec. 11) and AC Milan (Dec. 16).

Erling Haaland

Manchester City supervisor Pep Guardiola has given all of his gamers a three-week break earlier than they reconvene in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5, and he mentioned final month he hoped his star striker could be staying in form whereas visiting his vacation dwelling in Spain.

“He will be in Marbella, for sure, and Norway,” Guardiola mentioned. “How perfect he’ll be in the second half of the season depends on how he behaves in Marbella. He will play golf, hopefully not eat and drink too much and come back in great shape for the second half of the league.

Haaland has kept things very low-key and professional on social media, which a bad sign for fans of Premier League leaders Arsenal, who will be hoping that the goal-hungry Norwegian lets himself go during his hiatus.

David Alaba

With Austria failing to make the World Cup grade, Real Madrid defender David Alaba took himself off to the Maldives for some rest and recuperation — looking every inch the pro footballer on vacation as he posed on the beach in his sharpest threads.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Along with Salah, Sweden‘s Ibrahimovic was additionally current on stage on the Dubai Globe Soccer awards the place the 41-year-old was bestowed with recognition for his excellent contribution to the sport (572 objectives in 983 appearances for membership and nation, and counting).

And, whereas desperately attempting to clear somewhat extra space in his trophy cupboard, the veteran striker additionally discovered time to plug his new Netflix film.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

It’s not instantly clear exactly how the Chelsea ahead “assisted” Cameroonian boxer Stephane Fondjo during his recent win by unanimous decision over Robert Talarek, but the pair seem to have had a lot of fun larking about together in Dubai regardless.

Franck Kessie

Barcelona midfielder Kessie made the most of his time off with a trip to visit his eponymous charitable foundation in his native Ivory Coast.

Miguel Almiron

After his blistering begin to the season culminated in him profitable the Premier League’s most up-to-date participant and aim of the month awards, Newcastle United‘s in-form forward has had his run put on hold by the World Cup. Paraguay did not qualify, but he returned home for a break with his partner and went out for a nice dinner on the night before the tournament kicked off.

Wilfried Zaha

With temperatures in South London dipping ever decrease as winter attracts in, Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast winger Wilfried Zaha seized the chance to fly out to Dubai in search of some midseason sunshine to celebrate his son’s second birthday.

Thiago Alcantara

After lacking the lower for Spain, Liverpool’s midfield metronome additionally determined a vacation was so as and ventured off on a fast tour of the US, first taking in a Lakers sport on the Staples Center.

Thiago and his associate, Julia, then went on to Las Vegas for a number of days, the place they posed for a rooftop selfie above the Strip.

James Rodriguez

With Colombia falling short of World Cup qualification, James Rodriguez was denied the chance to reproduce his 2014 Golden Boot-winning heroics and instead went on a family vacation.

Jan Oblak

Atletico Madrid

goalkeeper Jan Oblak was also granted leave in order to jet off to Florida for a little midseason sun, with the Slovenia international enjoying a sun-soaked stint on Miami Beach.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Napoli‘s breakout star has enjoyed a meteoric rise this season, with the 21-year-old scoring eight goals in 17 games so far. However, the Georgian winger obviously isn’t above getting ribbed by his teammates after a photo of him reclining on a bench in a town square led to defender Juan Jesus wryly enquiring in the comments: “You sleeping there?”


Stars who missed the World Cup through injury

Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane was robbed of the prospect to play on the World Cup by an damage sustained whereas taking part in for Bayern Munich in the buildup. Still, despite having just undergone surgery, the forward found time to wish his comrades well at the tournament with a sweet “good luck” message posted on social media, and watched them from dwelling as they certified for the knockout part.

Karim Benzema

Benzema stays a registered participant in France‘s World Cup squad, but injury has prevented him competing in Qatar. The 34-year-old striker could technically be called upon by Didier Deschamps, though the France coach has said a shock return from injury for Benzema is “not one thing that is in my thoughts.” Instead, Benzema has spent the previous few weeks in restoration, pedalling away on his train bike within the health club.

That mentioned, the Ballon d’Or winner lately flew into the Indian Ocean island of Reunion to start a trip, so the possibilities of him returning for Les Bleus earlier than the tip of the match appear pretty distant.

Paul Pogba

With damage denying Paul Pogba each his second Juventus debut up to now this season and a spot in France’s World Cup squad, the midfielder has needed to make do with throwing a kitsch Barbie-themed birthday celebration for his associate as a substitute.

The 29-year-old additionally spent a while hanging out with French photographer and artist JR, who managed to take a number of portrait pictures of the 2018 World Cup winner amid the hijinks.

Reece James

The Chelsea right-back had appeared nailed-on to begin for England at the World Cup, only for a knee injury to quash those dreams. Instead, he has had to console himself by taking part in fashion shoots on the streets on New York.

Diogo Jota

The Liverpool ahead was faraway from the Portugal squad shortly before the World Cup due to a troublesome calf injury suffered during a Premier League game against Manchester City in late October.

Rather than wallowing in self-pity, the Liverpool forward has decided to use his recovery period to help promote a Portuguese charity fitness drive.

Timo Werner

After tearing an ankle ligament whereas taking part in for RB Leipzig in the Champions League just weeks before the start of the World Cup, Werner’s hopes of playing at a World Cup for Germany have been cruelly shattered.

Thankfully, the previous Chelsea ahead has been in a position to make use of his downtime productively by gaming from the consolation of his sofa.


Managers having fun with a World Cup break

Pep Guardiola

The Manchester City boss celebrated extending his contract on the Etihad earlier than returning dwelling to Spain so as to obtain a particular Trainer of the Year award on the annual Gala of the Stars occasion held by the Catalan Football Federation in Barcelona.

Jose Mourinho

Not to be outdone, Pep’s nice rival added one more award to his personal assortment as he picked up the Best Career Coach gong on the Liga Portugal awards ceremony.

The 59-year-old then flew out to Japan as his Roma aspect started their mini-tour with a goalless draw with Nagoya Grampus earlier than coming from two objectives all the way down to salvage an entertaining 3-3 draw towards Yokohama F. Marinos on the National Stadium.

Antonio Conte

The Tottenham Hotspur boss formed part of a Juventus reunion in Turin where he met up with 1995-96 Champions League winners like former Bianconeri manager Marcelo Lippi and ex-teammates Fabrizio Ravanelli, Ciro Ferrara, Moreno Torricelli, Angelo Peruzzi and Angelo Di Livio.

Jesse Marsch

Leeds United coach Marsch took his household on a visit to Machu Picchu, the place he was capable of obtain his ambition of marvelling on the historic Peruvian metropolis together with his personal eyes.



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