While only 23 of the 32 qualifiers for next year’s World Cup have been determined, there’s already a long list of high-profile players who have missed the cut.
Here’s a 3-4-3 lineup of some of the biggest names who will be watching the action in Russia from the sidelines:
Jan Oblak, Slovenia: The most expensive goalkeeper in the Spanish league at Atletico Madrid, the 24-year-old Oblak was included in the last two Champions League squads of the season.
Antonio Valencia, Ecuador: A reliable, hard-to-pass, attacking right back and captain for Manchester United, Valencia plays in midfield for Ecuador.
Virgil Van Dijk, Netherlands: An imposing center back for Southampton, Van Dijk has been targeted for a transfer by Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea.
David Alaba, Austria: This versatile left back has been a regular for Bayern Munich for the past six years.
Arturo Vidal, Chile: Part of Chile’s golden generation that helped the team to the 2015 and 2016 Copa America titles, the 30-year-old Vidal retired from his national team after a 3-0 loss to Brazil left Chile out on goal difference.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Armenia: A top assist man at Manchester United, Mkhitaryan is one of the most creative players in the Premier League.
Arjen Robben, Netherlands: Another Bayern Munich veteran who announced his international retirement after a failed qualification campaign, Robben won the bronze ball award when he helped the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final.
Christian Pulisic, United States: A player with the potential to become the U.S. team’s first real international standout, the 19-year-old Pulisic has already broken a series of “youngest” records with Borussia Dortmund and the United States.
Alexis Sanchez, Chile: Another member of Chile’s golden generation, Sanchez has been an able scorer wherever he’s gone, from Udinese in Serie A to Barcelona in Spain and now in his fourth season at Arsenal in the Premier League.
Edin Dzeko, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Last season’s Serie A scoring leader at Roma, this old-fashioned center forward is a lethal finisher.
Gareth Bale, Wales: A multi-talented threat for Real Madrid, Bale led Wales to the semifinals of last year’s European Championship – which remains his only major international tournament.
AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas in Manchester, England contributed.
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