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Four Greatest Footballers That Have Never Won a World Cup

The footballing world has seen many greats in the past, some achieved prestigious individual honours with their distinctive skills while others won team awards in competitive clubs that demanded teamwork. Regardless of one’s goal in their football endeavour, we can all agree that adding a world cup title to their career would be the ultimate dream of every professional footballer.

Here are some of the world’s greatest footballers, past and present, that have excelled in club football and individual brilliance, but have never got to experience the unparalleled ecstasy of winning the world cup.

1.  Cristiano Ronaldo

Mr. Champions League has accomplished almost every prize, both individual and team the football world could offer. Having won league titles in three different countries, five Champions League titles, five Ballon D’or, a European Championship, etc., the furthest that the Portuguese captain has achieved was a third place in his debut world cup in 2006. With retirement fast approaching for the 37-year-old, one can only imagine CR7 is desperate to end his career with a world cup title, an honour that would truly propel him above his arch nemesis, Lionel Messi.

2.  Lionel Messi

Like Ronaldo, Messi has never gotten the taste of winning the world cup. The la Albiceleste led by him, however, came close to doing so and was a win away from attaining the honour in 2014, only to be denied by the then wonderkid Mario Götze from Germany in the final minutes of the final. Since then, Messi has empowered Argentina to win the Copa America, after failing thrice in the finals of 2007, 2015 and 2016. A strong start to the season is being observed from the Argentinian in his club matches, but will 2022 finally see the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner achieve the unachievable?

3.  Johan Cruyff

The late Dutch sensation was a star in his own right. Having scored more than 400 goals in his flourishing career, El Salvador had what it takes to win a world cup and has even captained the Netherlands to a second-place finish in 1974. Nonetheless, a kidnapping attempt on his family member in the 1976 European Championship saw him refused to play in the 11th edition of the FIFA World Cup. This makes one wonder what would have happened had Cruyff featured in the world cup of 1978.

4.  Michel Platini

The former UEFA president was awarded the Ballon d’Or three times and has scored the second-most final tournament goals in UEFA European Championships. Being featured in the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team in 1994 also solidified his position as one of the best players to ever grace the game of football, but his bid of accomplishing the highest country team honour in football fell short miserably, with only a third-place finish highlighted in his football resume.

It is clear that those who are rated highly in individual excellence as well as club performance may not be blessed with the world cup trophy. But the likes of CR7 and LM10 may still have their final bid in this year’s edition, unless the god of football has other plans again otherwise. Check out on where you can catch the world cup live here.

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