Whether it is AS Monaco’s Columbian striker Radamel Falcao or Bayern Munich’s French midfielder Frank Ribery or AS Roma’s Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, all these top-notch players have been shorn of a chance to participate in the biggest football competition of the world and an opportunity to don their national jerseys. Fate cannot be crueler for these top class players.

Colombia are also sweating on a fitness report for injured midfielder Aldo Leao Ramirez.

The seasoned 33-year-old, who played a significant role in Colombia's successful qualifying campaign for the Brazil finals, injured his knee during training at the team camp outside Buenos Aires and is a doubt for the tournament starting June 12.

Ramirez would become the fourth Colombian to miss the tournament though injury after the withdrawals of striker Falcao, midfielder Edwin Valencia and defender Luis Amaranto Perea.

And the list does not culminate here as Russia captain Roman Shirokov, Italy's Riccardo Montolivo and El Shaarawy, Spain's Thiago Alcantara, Holland’s Rafael van der Vaart, Germany's Ilkay Gundogan and Holger Badstuber, England's Theo Walcott and Kyle Walker, Costa Rica's Bryan Oviedo and Alvaro Saborio, Belgium’s Christian Benteke and Mexico's Luis Montes have all been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup due to injuries and fitness issues.

It isn’t that only injuries are the party poopers in the World Cup as fitness problems for several marquee players  has also given a major headache to the tournament organizers, who now fear that such a long list of injured and ailing players can trim down the carnival atmosphere in the most prestigious soccer tournament.

Uruguay’s talismanic striker Luis Suarez, who was the top scorer in English Premier League last season, had surgery on his left knee on 22 May in Montevideo after feeling twinge during training with the national team.

It is not certain yet whether Suarez will be involved in Uruguay’s first match in the World Cup on 14 June against Costa Rica, but reports however suggest that his recovery in on track.

Football fans around the world got a major scare when Borussia Dortmund’s talented German midfielder Marco Reus, who was Germany's Footballer of the Year in 2012 and a member of UEFA's 2013 team of the year, exited his national team’s friendly match against Armenia on Friday night after turning his ankle.

“We do not have good news,” is the start of the message that the German federation posted on their Facebook page after the match, sparking rumours  that he might not be able to recover on time before the World Cup, and this shocker has given another major heart in the mouth moment for the football fans around the world.

The list of players that are struggling to achieve full fitness before the World Cup on time includes some heavyweight names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe of Portugal, Germany's Manuel Neuer, Diego Costa from Spain and England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Cristiano Ronaldo, suffering from tendinosis and a thigh injury, has already miss Portugal's friendly against Mexico and coach Paulo Bento gave no clues as to when the World Player of the Year would be fully fit.

Ronaldo has yet to take part in a full training session with his teammates since joining the Portugal camp one week ago and also missed last Saturday's friendly with Greece.

Portugal's opening World Cup match is against Germany in Salvador on June 16 and they also face United States and Ghana in their group.

With only few days left, it is a bloodcurdling scenario even to imagine so many top players missing the World Cup.

However, if we look at the other side of the coin and try to shun away the skepticism, injuries to so many key players might dampen the spirits of the football fans but it could also pave way for new heroes to emerge out of the most dramatic situations. Heroes, who can guide their nation on the path of World Cup glory!

It is a surety that all these top footballers would be terribly missed in the World Cup but one thing is for sure that the football mad Brazilian fans are not going to leave any stones unturned in ensuring there is no dearth of scintillating ambiance during football matches in the biggest soccer showpiece in this world.

After all, World Cup glory has long inspired nations and the people around the globe.

(Harshdeep Singh/JPN)

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