Argentina’s friendly international with Israel has been cancelled following international pressure due to the ongoing tensions in the region, with a number of alternatives being proposed – including an interesting proposition from Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas.
The cancellation means they will not have a final warm-up before their first game of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which will take place against Iceland on June 16. To some Argentinian fans, this will be very concerning.
As a result of the situation, Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas jokingly proposed that Lionel Messi’s charges should take on a World Cup Absent XI in a friendly.
Nosotros estamos disponibles pic.twitter.com/yupjkVxKZB
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) June 6, 2018
Although Fabregas was part of the Spain squads that won Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, he was left out of the Spain 2018 World Cup squad as there are now six or seven central midfielders ahead of him in Julen Loptegui’s pecking order.
The 31-year-old is not the only world-class talent who will miss out on the World Cup – Russia 2018 arguably has the most number of high-profile absentees in the modern generation. The likes of the United States, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Italy, the Netherlands and Chile all missed out on qualification for the tournament in Russia.
For Italy, this marked the first time that they have failed to qualify for the showpiece in 60 years, while for the US, it was the first time in 32 years that they have failed to reach the World Cup finals.
Some other notable absent players include Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexis Sanchez, Christian Pulisic, Gianluigi Buffon, Gareth Bale, Arjen Robben, Virgil Van Dijk, Kingsley Coman, Radja Nainggolan, Anthony Martial and Mauro Icardi among others.