Best XI of stars NOT going to World Cup 2022 as Mo Salah is heartbreakingly KO'd on pens and Italy's shock loss

WITH the World Cup less than EIGHT months away, the line-up for the biggest tournament in football is almost complete.

The latest round of qualifying has seen plenty of big names have their World Cup dream ended, including Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah.

And here SunSport have formulated a best XI of players who will be watching this year's World Cup finals from home… or the beach.

Leading the line for the best XI not at the World Cup is Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland.

He might be one of the most prolific strikers on the planet, but Haaland's Norway could only finish third in their qualifying group.

Captained by Arsenal man Martin Odegaard, another to make the XI of stars not going to the World Cup, Norway finished behind both the Netherlands and Turkey.

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In an attack heavy team, Salah joins Haaland up front.

The Egypt forward blazed a penalty over the bar in Tuesday's shootout defeat to Senegal, meaning the Premier League top scorer will NOT be in Qatar.

Salah's Liverpool team-mate Luis Diaz starts on the left after Colombia were beaten to South America's final play-off spot by Peru.

Riyad Mahrez is another big name who won't be on the plane to Qatar – with Algeria knocked out by Cameroon in dramatic circumstances.

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A Karl Toko Ekambi goal four minutes into extra time stoppage time saw Cameroon qualify for the tournament on away goals.

Anchoring the midfield is Premier League pair Yves Bissouma and Jorginho.

Mali's defeat at the hands of Tunisia means Brighton's Bissouma will be staying at home when the tournament kicks off in November.

And after finishing third in the 2021 Ballon d'Or rankings, Chelsea star Jorginho is another big name absentee.

Euro 2020 winners Italy were beaten last week in a play-off against minnows North Macedonia.

The embarrassing defeat sees Jorginho joined by national team colleagues Leonardo Spinazzola and Giorgio Chellini in the best XI of players not going to the World Cup.

Sweden skipper and Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof rounds off the back three after his side were knocked out by Poland in Tuesday's play-off.

Alexander Isak and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are other notable World Cup absentees from Sweden.

And finally, Atletico Madrid stopper Jan Oblak completes the team after Slovenia finished nowhere near contention in their qualifying group.

Both Wales and Scotland are not yet confirmed for a place at the World Cup.

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But if both nations do fail to progress, the likes of Gareth Bale, Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney are all potential candidates for a best XI to not go to the World Cup.

The World Cup gets underway on November 21, with the final scheduled for December 18, in an early Christmas present for football fans.

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