20 Greatest Footballers Never Played for their National Teams

by Berekt Kiflu

1. Name: Mikel Arteta

Nationality: Spain
Club: Arsenal
Out because of: Xabi Alonso & Sergio Busquets

Skillful midfielder and hardworking he is a player any national team love to have. But in a national team like Spain where there are a number of contenders he is yet to play for them. Having earned most of his club success in England not in his home land might be the reason for his continued absence.

2. Name: Maxwell
Nationality: Brazil
Club: PSG
Out because of: Marcelo & Filipe Luis

Like many Brazilian fullbacks he is blessed by technical ability. Having played for big teams like Ajax, Inter, Barcelona and now PSG it is surprising to see him without a single international cup.

3. Name: Mauro Zarate
Nationality: Argentina
Club: Lazio
Out because of: Sergio Agüero & Ezequiel Lavezzi

Even if it very difficult to get in to Argentinean team as a striker, Zarate possess the speed, technique and an eye for goal that should be enough to earn him a senior cap. Instead his international debut may come for his adopted county, Italy.

4. Name: Michu
Nationality: Spain
Club: Swansea
Out because of: David Villa & Fernando Torres

Considering his current form he should have earned his first cap. Unfortunate for him he is Spaniard. But the current poor form of Spain’s others strikers may bring him to Vicente del Bosque’s attention.

5. Name: Jermaine pennant
Nationality: England
Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Out because of: Ashley Young & Aaron Lennon

He cost Arsene Wenger £2 million at the of fifteen and fifteen year letter he is no way near to representing England. He may opt to use his other options Jamaica or Ireland.

6. Name: maxi Lopez
Nationality: Argentina
Club: Sampdoria
Out because of: Gonzalo Higuaín & Carlos Tévez

No one denies his ability but his erratic form is letting him down. He should be more consistent if he is to represent his country.

7. Name: José Enrique
Nationality: pain
Club: Liverpool
Out because of: Jordi Alba & Nacho Monreal

Although Spain has a descent left backs down the years José Enrique should have earned a senior cap. An attacking defender with blistering speed his chance may come soon.

8. Name: Paolo Cannavaro
Nationality: Italy
Club: Napoli
Out because of: Leonardo Bonucci & Andrea Barzagli

Despite captaining a big team like Napoli, unlike his illustrious brother Fabio, who earned 136 Italy caps, he is yet to win his first cap. At the age of 31, time is running out for him.

9. Name: Abdoulay Konko
Nationality: France
Club: Lazio
Out because of: Bacary Sagna & Mathieu Debuchy

Despite being eligible to represent three nations at international level he never played for any of them. His preferred nation France is ignoring him, and he is not keen to represent Morocco or Senegal for whom he is qualified to play through ancestry.

10. Name: Douglas
Nationality: Brazil/Netherlands
Club: FC Twente
Out because of: Stefan de Vrij & Joris Mathijsen

After getting it difficult to force himself in to the Brazilian team he might get the chance to play international football through his adopted country, Holland. But he has to compete with many of the Dutch youngsters.

11. Name: Steven Taylor
Nationality: England
Club: Newcastle
Out because of: John Terry & Gary Cahill

The form of defenders like John Terry and Rio Ferdinand together with his injury problems conspired against him. If he can get himself fit his debut for his country may come sooner rather than letter.

12. Name: Sergio pinto
Nationality: Portugal/Germany
Club: Hannover
Out because of: João Moutinho & Raul Meireles

Delightful to watch and skillful midfielder it is surprising to see him not playing for his country. He holds the ball well. His distribution is excellent. Leaving Portugal at the age of 12 might make the Portuguese to forget about him.

13. Name: steed Malbranque
Nationality: France
Club: Lyon
Out because of: Mathieu Valbuena & Yoann Gourcuff

Having witnessed his successful career both in France and England one can be amused that malbranque has never played for his country. An intelligent midfielder with blistering pace he may get his chance at the twig light of his career if he continuous the early season form he showed for his current team Lyon.

14. Name: Roman Weidenfeller
Nationality: Germany
Club: Dortmund
Out because of: Manuel Neuer & René Adler

Recently voiced his disappointment at German national team coach Joachim Low for continuously ignoring him. To no bodies surprise many agree with his feeling. Captain of bundesliga champions Dortmund his charismatic presence is a gain for any team.

15. Name: Nene
Nationality: Brazil
Club: Al-Gharafa
Out because of: Neymar & Lucas Moura

When he left PSG for Al-Gharafa he effectively killed if there was a remote chance of representing Brazil. But everybody agrees he has the ability to play international football.

16. Name: Rodrigo Taddei
Nationality: Brazil/Italy
Club: Roma
Out because of: Neymar & Lucas Moura

The mainstream of the Roma said coached by Luciano Spalletti, Taddei contributed significantly for the team. On top of his attacking contribution he is a hard working winger who should have earned a senior cap.

17. Name: Julien Feret
Nationality: France
Club: Rennes
Out because of: Mathieu Valbuena & Franck Ribéry

Immensely talented yet sluggish Feret is one of those enigmatic footballers everybody says he could have a better career. Some of his movements and goals are out of the ordinary. If he can add more stamina to his entertaining ball skills he may grab a spot in France national team.

18. Name: Sylvain Distin
Nationality: France
Club: Everton
Out because of: Adil Rami & Laurent Koscielny

A successful career in one of the best leagues of the world couldn’t bring international football for Distin.

19. Name: Miguel Angel Britos
Nationality: Uruguay
Club: Napoli
Out because of: Diego Lugano & Diego Godín

Two facts combined together to deny this talented defender a chance to play international football. The Uruguay coach Tabárez doesn’t change his team often and Britos left Uruguay at a young age. Experiencing a torrid world cup qualification campaign it may be the time to introduce some new faces, and Britos is first in line.

20. Name: Florent Balmont
Nationality: France
Club: Lille
Out because of: Mathieu Valbuena & Yoann Gourcuff

The driving force behind the title winning Lille side Balmont is the unsung hero. With his excellent distribution and hardworking performance he is useful in any team he plays. Failing with so many indiscipline and young players France might do well with the matured Balmont.

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