From 1958 to 2018: The great teams that stayed without playing a World Cup


Italy has starred in several World Cup disappointments in recent years by being eliminated in the group stages of South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 and absent in Russia 2018in addition, with the elimination against North Macedoniaone of the world champions will not be in Qatar 2022.

Big absentees for Sweden 1958

In 1958, the Italian team was left out of the Sweden World Cupaccompanied by the Spain from Alfredo DiStefano. Italy and Spain were next to Germany and Brazilone of the best teams in the world in that decade of the 50s, however, could not be present in the tournament, being questioned at that time for having two of the best European leagues at the time.

Alfredo Di Stéfano in the uniform of the Spanish National Team in the 1950s. (Photo: Archive)

Mexico 1970: Argentina and Portugal did not participate

One of the biggest failures was the absence of Argentina on Mexico 1970, being a dominant country in South America with one of the strongest leagues on the continent, they were eliminated by the Peruvian National Team that marked an era throughout the decade.

Portugal It was also one of the teams that were absent from that World Cup in Mexico 70, after being one of the semifinalists of the edition England 1966 and had its greatest figure, Eusebius.

The Argentine National Team was eliminated by Peru for Mexico 1970. (Photo: File)

Germany 1974: England, France, Portugal and Mexico

The World Cup in Germany 1974 represented one of the most particular of the decade with the absences of three European powers for the time, in addition, Mexico was already one of the most important teams in Concacaf.

England, who had been crowned world champions in 1966, accompanied the teams from France and Portugal in his failure. The three of them had enough templates to compete and qualify, but the selections of Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Poland they became regional references during the time.

The 1974 World Cup in Germany left several important absences, although the Netherlands emerged and consolidated as a power.

Argentina 1978: England, Portugal and Uruguay

The controversy Argentina World Cup 1978left several important absences such as those of England and Portugal, although in the 70’s they became secondary selections due to lack of renewal and talent to compete. However, one of the great absences was that of Uruguay, who had a disappointing South American Qualifying process and were left out of the World Cup held in their southern neighbor.

Argentina 1978 was a controversial World Cup, after the country was governed by a Military Junta. (Getty Images)

Spain 1982: Mexico and the Netherlands the great absentees

One of the biggest surprises in the World Cup in Spain 82was the absence of Netherlands who came from being finalists in the Argentina World Cup 1982. Despite this, the absence of Mexico After being left out of the classification of the selections of El Salvador and Honduras.

To a lesser extent, Portugal and Uruguay They were also absent in this edition, although they were in a very important football and generational crisis.

Diego Armando Maradona and Falcao fight for a ball in the match between Argentina and Brazil in Spain 1982 (Photo: Getty Images)

Italy 1990: France, Portugal and Mexico

the remembered Italy World Cup 1990, had as great absentees France and Portugal. In the case of the French, their absence marked a very negative time in national team football, just like the Portuguese. However, the most important case was Mexico due to a sanction imposed by FIFA for forging the dates of birth of several players for the 1988 U20 World Cup.

United States 1994: Yugoslavia, France, England and Uruguay

The United States World Cup had the absences of France for the second consecutive edition and the England, that surprised everyone by being semi-finalists in the last edition of 1990.

In the case of Yugoslaviahis absence was due to the suspension by the UN at the beginning of the Balkan War, leaving one of the best teams in recent years in Europe without participation.

Uruguay was left out of the World Cup for being one point below the surprising Bolivian national team.

France 1998: Portugal

The Portuguese national team had been growing by leaps and bounds thanks to a group of highly technical and important players such as Luis Figo and Rui Costa, In addition, the Portuguese would not be absent from a World Cup event after the next World Cup.

Korea & Japan 2002: Netherlands

One of the best selections France World Cup 1998was that of Netherlands that amazed everyone with its football display and the quality of its players, where players of the stature of Edgar Davids, Dennis Berkgamp, Patrick Kluivert and the De Boer brothers.

Ireland was the executioner in that tie against the Netherlands. (Photo: Getty Images)

Russia 2018: Chile, United States, Italy and the Netherlands

Although the 2006 and 2010 World Cups had the absence of good football teams, it was not until the edition of Russia 2018in which several important selections were absent.

Chile It was one of the most dramatic cases for having been a two-time champion of America and one of the best Conmebol teams, leaving one of the best generations of Chilean soccer players in history without a chance.

United States ended one of the best consecutive World Cup qualifying streaks by a Concacaf team. Due to several draws, those who took their place were the selected Panamanians and participated for the first time in a World Cup.

Italy He cut a streak of consecutive participation in a World Cup since 1958, adding to a major football crisis and that, until then, it seemed unthinkable that the four-time world champion would stay without participating.

Netherlands added a crisis of results in the Qualifiers that left them out of participation after three consecutive World Cups reaching the final stages.

Alexis Sánchez lamenting the elimination of Chile against Brazil in the Qualifiers for Russia 2018. (Photo: Getty Images)

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