THE LIST: The best footballers to have never played in the World Cup - 20-11

03 December 2009 08:43
        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Who is the greatest player to never play at the World Cup? The World Cup draw takes place on Friday when the world's top stars will discover who they go head-to-head with in South Africa. It is the pinnacle of any player's career but there are plenty of leading figures who have missed out over the years. Who do you think is the greatest player to never walk out at the World Cup? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK With the 2010 World Cup draw just days away in Cape Town, spare athought for the nations that won't be pulled out of the hat for nextsummer's finals in South Africa.

And then consider the host ofworld class stars who won't be there either next June. Keane, Arshavin,Adebayor and Cech immediately spring to mind.

But who are the best ever players to have never played in what is the pinnacle of any footballer's career?

Read Nos 50-41Read Nos 40-31Read Nos 30-21Sportsmail'sexperts have cast their deciding votes and we'll guide you through theall-star list of 50 everyday, counting down to Friday's draw when we'llreveal our top 10.

And, as ever, make sure you have your say.

  20 Jesaia SwartSome players have been unfortunate to miss out on playing at the WorldCup but some have been VERY unlucky.

Swart made 596appearances for Ajax, scored 217 goals, won eight league titles, four Dutch Cups and three European Cups - but his talents willremain a mystery to many as the closest he came to a World Cupappearance was three games in qualifiers.

19 Ray Clemence The former Tottenham and Liverpool goalkeeper is regarded as one of thebest stoppers to have never featured at a World Cup.

Clemence won fiveleague titles, three European Cups, three UEFA Cups and two FA Cups.

ButEngland's failure to qualify in 1974 and 1978 plus the dominance ofPeter Shilton made sure Clemence missed out on the big one.

Kept out: Clemence never got to wear the gloves on the biggest stage of all

18 David GinolaFrance needed only to draw with Bulgaria to qualify for the 1994 WorldCup and with the game poised at 1-1, things were looking good - until Ginola's over-hit cross fell to the Bulgarians who scoredand sent Les Bleus out.

Ginola was vilified by manager Gerard Houllierand the French media. He beat a retreat to England and played no part in the successful international campaigns of 1998 and 2000 as his country were crowned world and then European champions.

17 John ToshackToshack won it all with Liverpool in the 1970s but Wales' only appearance at the World Cup was in 1958.

No go: Ginola (left) and Toshack didn't get the chance to be world beaters

16 Nicolas AnelkaLe Sulk has much to sulk about - one of the finest forwards France hasever produced just missed out on appearing in the victorious campaignof 1998 and was overlooked for subsequent tournaments.

The Chelsea striker has won thePremier League with Arsenal and the Champions League with Real Madrid and is only now considered a regular for the national side.

15 Johnny GilesStarted his career with Manchester United but made his name with Leeds,the formidable Irishman, with Billy Bremner, formed one of the best midfield partnershipsthe top flight is ever likely to see.

Ireland had a chance to go through in 1978 but came bottom in a group of threenations, topped by France. 

Still a chance: Anelka

Missed opportunity: Giles

14 Neville SouthallAnother Welshman (see Toshack above). An integral part of the successful Evertonside of the 1980s which won two league titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup, Southall made 92 appearances for his country.

Born too late: It's over 50 years since Southall's countrymen qualified

13 Mark HughesAnother Welshman (see Southall and Toshack above). A prolific scorer for his club and country, Sparky is one of thegreatest forwards to have graced the game.

Hughes collected plenty of trophies during his playing days with Manchester United, Chelsea and Blackburn, won 72 caps for Wales and also managed his country from 1999-2004.

12 Dixie DeanWilliam Ralph Dean or Dixie Dean to you and I, was the most prolific scorer in English football history, famed for his exploitsat Everton where he scored 383 in 433 appearances including 60goals in one season and 37 hat-tricks.

Unfortunately forDean, his international career ended before England entered the World Cup.

Bad miss: Dean (left) Hughes and Spencer (right) could have lit up the World Cup

11 Alberto SpencerSome people will go to great lengths to appear at the World Cup - just ask Thierry Henry - but Spencer was the first, and last, player to play and score for two different countries (Uruguay and Ecuador).

He also scored a hat-trick in his club Penarol's 5-0 hammering of Pele's Santos in 1963 - but he still never went to the World Cup.

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 Explore more:People:Nicolas Anelka, MARK HUGHES, Thierry Henry, Neville Southall, David GinolaPlaces:Liverpool, Leeds, Cape Town, Wales, Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, France, Ecuador

Source: Daily_Mail