The 2022 World Cup is rapidly approaching and the field of 32 team is set. Several World Cup regulars will be missing the big tournament this year. Here are some of the best teams not in World Cup 2022 that will be missed.
This list will go by region and is based on if the team has had previous World Cup appearances. The list also includes the country's FIFA ranking as of June 23 in the parentheses.
Best Teams Not In World Cup 2022 List
- Italy (7)
- Sweden (20)
- Russia (35)
- Colombia (17)
- Peru (21)
- Chile (29)
- Nigeria (31)
- Egypt (40)
- Algeria (41)
- Ivory Coast (52)
- Honduras (80)
Here is a short blurb for each team on how they failed to qualify.
Italy — The defending European champions will miss a second World Cup in a row for the first time in history. After being beaten out by Switzerland in its qualifying group, Italy had to play in the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs where the European giants were handed a shock loss by North Macedonia.
Sweden — The Swedes made it to the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup but will be watching the 2022 edition from the couch. Sweden finished behind Spain in its qualifying group and went to the UEFA playoffs, where Poland defeated the Swedes and grabbed the World Cup spot.
Russia — The previous host and 2014 participant was barred from the 2022 World Cup by FIFA after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia was scheduled to play Poland in the UEFA playoff, but the ban was given before they played that game.
Colombia — After making it to the knockout stages of the past two World Cups, Colombia won’t make the trip to Qatar. In South America, the top four teams qualify with the fifth-place team going to the inter-confederation playoff. Colombia finished sixth, with its biggest issue being inability to win games. Colombia led every South American team in draws, tying eight of 18 games.
Chile — Chile misses back-to-back World Cups once again. Chile saw a collapse at the end of World Cup qualifying that included losing four of its last five games. The four losses came against all four teams that qualified automatically (Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay) and some of Chile's biggest stars won't see another World Cup.
Peru — Peru's World Cup ambitions ended in the host country of Qatar. The Peruvians went to their first World Cup in 36 years after qualifying for the 2018 World Cup via the inter-confederation playoff. Peru finished fifth in South America during 2022 World Cup qualifying and advanced to an inter-confederation playoff vs. Australia in Qatar. Peru lost in a heartbreaking penalty shootout where a dancing Aussie giant denied the South American from the World Cup.
THE PK THAT SENDS AUSTRALIA TO THE FIFA WORLD CUP!Australia: ❌ ✅ ✅ ✅✅ ✅
Peru: ✅ ✅ ❌ ✅ ✅❌
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 13, 2022
Nigeria — Nigeria had only missed one World Cup since 1994 before failing to qualify for the 2022 edition. West African rival Ghana snatched the World Cup ticket from Nigeria with a victory on away goals.
Algeria — Algeria will miss a second World Cup in a row. The 2019 AFCON champions missed out in heartbreaking fashion when Cameroon scored a last-minute goal to defeat Algeria on away goals.
Egypt — One of the world’s best players, Mohamed Salah, won’t be at the 2022 World Cup after falling to Senegal in a penalty shootout in a winner goes to the World Cup game. Salah missed his penalty (the 100s of laser pointers certainly didn’t help) and Senegal advanced.
Ivory Coast — The three aforementioned African teams missed the World Cup in the final stage of African World Cup qualifying. Despite all its star power, Ivory Coast didn’t even make it to the final stage. Ivory Coast was beaten out by Cameroon in its World Cup qualifying group.
Honduras — Los Catrachos qualified for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and just missed out on a trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup after losing to Australia in the inter-confederation playoff. Honduras wasn’t even close this time around, finishing bottom of the Concacaf qualifying table and failing to win a single game. What on Earth happened to Honduras?