MOSCOW - The 2018 FIFA World Cup is nearly here, but come kickoff, some international soccer superpowers will be watching the action from home. Here are four juggernauts that shockingly didn’t qualify for Russia:
- One year ago, Chile was ranked No. 4 in the world. Thanks to some untimely poor play, they couldn’t make the final field of 32.
- The Netherlands finished third in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and second in 2010, but they’ve been relying on aging players for a while, so in 2018 you won’t be seeing their trademark orange at all.
- Perhaps most shocking of all is Italy. The four-time World Cup champs haven’t missed the tournament in 60 years, but the team that won it all in 2006 won’t be winning anything this time.
- And of course, the United States might not have the same storied soccer history as some of these other nations -- but the team was still expected to make the tournament with ease. Instead, a loss to the Caribbean nation Trinidad & Tobago back in October eliminated them from contention.
The good news for all these teams? They can still catch every single minute of the action on TV with the rest of us. The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins June 14 on Fox.