Leroy Sane: Manchester City star one of the notable players not going to the World Cup

There are 736 players going to the World Cup, but it's the absentees that are grabbing all the headlines in the run-u...

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 11:56 AM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 11:56 AM

There are 736 players going to the World Cup, but it's the absentees that are grabbing all the headlines in the run-up to Russia 2018.

Notably Germany's Leroy Sane, who given the season he's had with English Premier League winners Manchester City, must be wondering why he will sweating on a beach rather than on the pitches of Russia during the competition.

On Monday, the 22-year-old Sane, who tormented defenders both in the Premier League and the Champions League in Pep Guardiola's free-scoring team last season, was omitted by Germany coach Joachim Loew.

"Leroy has a huge amount of talent and he will be back in again because from September we will redouble our work with him," Loew told reporters. "But in his games with the national team he hasn't quite done the business."

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Along with goalkeeper Bernd Leno, forward Nils Petersen and defender Jonathan Tah, Sane was one of four players that was culled Loew's provisional list, despite the Manchester City being part of Germany's Euro 2016 squad.

"It was a very tight decision between him and Julian Brandt which went in favour of Brandt," Loew said, referring to the Bayer Leverkusen winger, who is viewed as a player likely to provide more defensive cover for the Germany team.

"There are better days in the life of a national team coach, when you have to send four amazing players, who deserve to be at the World Cup, home," added Loew.

"It's like being at the airport check-in counter en route to Moscow and you are not allowed to board the plane."

'Being yourself can be bothering'

Other notable players mulling plane bookings to go on holiday rather than Russia include Spain's Alvaro Morata, Marcus Alonso and Cesc Fabrega, who all play for Chelsea.

Mauro Icardi, who scored 29 goals for Inter Milan in 38 Serie A games, failed to make the cut for Argentina as did Roma's Radja Nainggolan for Belgium squad.

Nainggolan immediately announced his international retirement.

"Very reluctantly my international career comes to an end," the 29-year-old Nainggolan said on Instagram.

Belgium's coach Roberto Martinez explained his decision was tactical, but Nainggolan said personality had played a part in his omission.

"I've always done everything I could to represent my country. Being yourself can be bothering," he said.

"Unfortunately, being REAL is not enough for SOME PEOPLE", adding that the decision to quit international soccer gave him "much pain in my heart."

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