The Fifa World Cup starts on Thursday afternoon, and it’s not just Bafana Bafana and South African fans who are stuck at home watching the action on TV.

A few of the best players in the world will be doing the same thing. Some because they just weren’t picked, and some because their countries failed to qualify.

Pierre Emerick Aboumayang may have only himself to blame, because he refused a call-up during Gabon’s qualifiers. Gareth Bale’s Wales side failed to live up to the hype they created in the last Euro’s, and Alexis Sanchez won’t be there after Chile failed.

There are a host of great Italian and Dutch players missing out, as well as rising stars like teenage American Christian Pulisic. Germany surprisingly didn’t pick Leroy Sane, and France left out Antony Martial and Alex Lacazette.

Belgians were surprised when Radja Nainggolan’s name was missing from their team sheet. Spain believe they’re good enough, even without Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas.