The 10 Best Footballers Who Have Never Won a World Cup
The FIFA World Cup has been considered the most prestigious event in football since the 1930s. Even the best players of the age have a dream, to win the World Cup once for the country, to win the World Cup, even if the bag of personal achievements is full to the brim. But football is a team sport, so naturally, for many players, that dream remains unfulfilled. Messi and Ronaldo may also find it comforting to think that many more famous players like them have had to return empty-handed from the World Cup. They are remembered for their personal skills in world football.
1. Lionel Messi
Although his hat-trick in the last match of this year's World Cup qualifiers went awry, Messi and his team have been seen to be very lackluster in the final round. So, despite being able to cut the gap in the first round, they had to say goodbye after losing 4-3 to France in the last 16.
Defensive Argentina reached the final of the 2014 World Cup under the able leadership of Messi. But a goal from Germany in extra time kept the World Cup title elusive. Now he is 31 years old. Before this, he had announced his retirement in the show of losing for the second time in the Copa America final in 2016. In the end, his international career may come to an end with a record of 756 minutes goalless in the knockout stages of the World Cup. He is one of the 10 best footballers.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo also one of the 10 best footballers. As he scored a great bicycle kick goal in the last Champions League, he seems to have brought that great form to this World Cup. He scored four goals, including a hat-trick, to take the team from the group stage to the second round. But stuck in Uruguay's tough defense, the 34-year-old Portuguese captain's World Cup journey ended in the last 16 after failing to keep the rest of the team afloat.
His team reached the semi-finals in 2006 and reached the quarter-finals in 2010, but Ronaldo, who was injured in the 2014 World Cup, had to leave the group stage. He will turn 36 during the next World Cup in Qatar. So maybe Cristiano Ronaldo will leave international football with the sweet memories of winning the Euro title in 2016.
3. Oliver Kane
Was a goalkeeper and one of the best goalkeepers of all time, he has been at the German goal post for eleven years. But for his little mistake in the 2002 World Cup final, Ronaldo had to digest a pair of goals (Kane did not blame his own ligament injury for the mistake), and Brazil won the World Cup 2-0. For his undisputed performance, he was awarded the FIFA Golden Ball as the first goalkeeper in that World Cup, but the regret of not winning the World Cup remained with Oliver Kane.
4. Paolo Maldini
The Italian legend has won seven Serie A titles and five Champions League titles for AC Milan in his 25-year club career but has not won a trophy for the country. He was part of Italy's embarrassing exit from the group stage in South Korea in 2002 and was part of the Italian team when they lost on penalties to Brazil in the 1994 World Cup final.
5. Johan Cruyff
Another one of the 10 best footballers. Cruyff, who has won the Ballon d'Or three times, has not lost a match in which he has scored a goal, has been named one of UEFA's top ten coaches for his impeccable success as a coach. Cruyff, who played Total Football in the 1974 World Cup, advanced at full speed throughout the tournament but lost 2-1 to West Germany in the final. So along with Holland, Cruyff, the best player in the World Cup, also has to return home with the title in hand.
6. Michel Platini
In 1984, France won the European Championship at home thanks to his leadership and best performances (nine goals in five matches, including two hat-tricks). But his success at the World Cup has not been translated. France failed to reach the group stage in 1978, losing twice in the semi-finals to then-West Germany in 1982 and 1986, leaving Platini and his team to settle for a fourth and third place respectively.
Nearly two decades before the birth of Cristiano Ronaldo, this Portuguese legend, nicknamed the Black Cheetah, brought Portugal to the forefront of world football. In the 1966 World Cup, he won the Golden Boot with a record nine goals, but lost 2-1 to England in the semi-finals, leaving Eusébio in tears. He also played in World Cup qualifiers for the country in 1962 and 1970 but did not reach the final until 1986.
8. Ferenc Puskás
The Hungarian all-time great footballer has scored 83 goals in 84 appearances for the Hungarian national team in addition to his colorful club career. Hungary also had a golden age in football, with the undefeated team winning 32 consecutive gold medals at the 1952 Olympics and the European Championships the following year. But in the final of the 1954 World Cup, the unstoppable Hungarian team took an incredible, eight-goal lead in the first eight minutes of the match, but lost 3-2 to weaker West Germany in the playoffs. He then took part in the 1962 World Cup with Spanish nationality due to various political complications but left the Spain group stage of the service.
9. Wayne Rooney
The footballer, who has scored the most goals for Manchester United and England, has played in three World Cups as part of England's golden generation. But England's exit from the quarter-finals, which began with a penalty shootout against Portugal in 2006, was followed by a series of relegations from the last 16 in 2010 and the group stage in 2014. The 32-year-old left international football last year.
10. Raúl González
Although one of the best players in Spanish history, he played in the 1998, 2002, and 2006 World Cups, La Rosa never made it to the last eight. Raúl was finally dropped from Spain's Euro-winning squad by a controversial decision by the coach in 2008, so he could not be part of the team that won the World Cup two years later. He is one of the 10 best footballers.