Football Players Who Never Won the World Cup

Leo Messi

Football Players Who Never Won the World Cup

The World Cup is an iconic and the biggest competition that happens in Football.  The competition is believed to be at the highest peak of football, as people from all backgrounds watch football at least once every four years, while they cheer on their adopted nation towards victory.

Where the world cup is the biggest event, it has some of the greatest players in the history of the sport and has shone brighter than ever. Pele, Maradona, Ronaldo, Franz Beckenbauer, Zinedine Zidane, etc. For all the greats that have won it, there are some legendary talented players to have never won it. Below is the list of 5 such players that have never won the World Cup.

#1 Lionel Messi

A player who needs no introduction. The best player football has ever got. A legendary and six-time Ballon d’Or winner stands at a very prestigious position internationally. While he has been a part of 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018, he has always been a firecracker for Argentina, his team has never won anything substantial. He has a total of 65 goals for the country but has never received the right support required for international glory.

In 2014, Lionel Messi had almost had the Cup, but a Mario Gotze goal ended the hopes of being a World Cup champion. Despite they lost the 2014 cup, they still played against one of the greatest World Cup team of all time. Though there were losses, Messi still emerged out to be one of the greatest and even has a World Cup golden ball lining his trophy case, making him one of the greatest men to never won the world cup even stronger.


#2 Cristiano Ronaldo

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One of the greatest players of the current generation and possibly ever, Cristiano Ronaldo is a serial winner. Winning the UEFA Championship 5 times, and the UEFA Euro in 2016, it is an obvious sign that Ronaldo has all that it takes to be a match-winner. Despite this, he has never found success at the World Cup.

Standing far and ahead of everyone as Portugal’s leader in 2014, they scraped past Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s Sweden to make it into the World Cup, where they were eliminated in the group stage by champions Germany and the USA.

Despite putting on a master class in the 2018 World Cup, Ronaldo’s Portugal fell short again, as an Edinson Cavani class performance sent them packing in the RO16. Ronaldo has scored in every World Cup he has played and has been one of the best for as long as he played.


#3 Johan Cruyff

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An iconic player who has had an opportunity to get the cup once but failed to be victorious is Johan Cruyff. Cruyff and the Netherlands team transformed football but failed to defeat the Germans in the 1974 World Cup. The three-time Ballon d’Or winner was the biggest star at the cup and was one of the finest players of his generation, but can never claim to have lifted the World Cup.

Cruyff’s Netherlands team eliminated 1970 World Cup champions, Brazil in the second round to make it to the finals, while quietly winning over the world with their amazing brand of football. Cruyff was in gifted form, debuting the world-famous Cruyff Turn in this tournament, but Franz Beckenbauer’s Germany was too much for his team to handle. An ace footballer and manager, it is a misfortune Cruyff could never win a World Cup, as it is one of the only achievement missing from his portfolio.

#4 Eusebio

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Before Cristiano Ronaldo, it was Eusebio who the world was raving about. It was a conclusion back then that no Portuguese player will ever be considered better than Eusebio. One of the most legendary players that football has ever got, Eusebio is a former Ballon d’Or winner. He played in just one World Cup but left a mark as he ended the cup as top scorer with 9 goals.

Eusebio was a part of the Portuguese team that wasn’t even expected to get out of the group stage, as they had to play against the Brazil team that had won the cups twice.

The team won every match in their group and eliminated teams like Brazil to move at the further stages. They rode their momentum until the semi-finals, where eventual winners, England eliminated them. It’s a shocker that a player of his quality could never win the world cup.


#5 Zico

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The Brazilian star who has been the part of the World Cup thrice is one of the best players in the history of football. His era came after the prestigious days of Pele, who had called time on his international career after the 1970 World Cup, in which the team was victorious.

In 1970 the team was considered one of the greatest teams ever, up until the team that came in 1982 who challenged for that title. Zico had Socrates, Eder, Falcao, etc. In his three attempts, Zico failed to win the World Cup despite everyone considering him and his team to be the favorites.