Best XI of stars going to World Cup 2022 with NO Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi as new generation takes over

THE best footballers on the planet will congregate in Qatar this winter for the greatest show on Earth.

Fans of the 32 teams involved will be able to start plotting their paths to glory tomorrow, when Fifa conduct the draw for the tournament.

A number of top class players will miss out after their countries failed to qualify – including the likes of Erling Haaland and Mo Salah.

But let's celebrate those that have made it, and will be vying for glory this December.

Three spots remain up for grabs, with not all play-offs having quite yet been completed.

From the 29 that have already punched their tickets, however, SunSport guides you through the best players that will grace Qatar's brand new arenas later this year.

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Despite Argentina and Portugal qualifying, we have not included Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – with this winter's tournament set to cement the dawn of a new era of football superstars.

In goal we've selected Chelsea stopper Edouard Mendy.

The Senegalese ace was arguably robbed of last year's Yashin Trophy – recognising the best goalkeeper in the world – by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

And even if Italy had managed to qualify, we'd still be going for Mendy.

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In our alternate XI, Liverpool's Brazilian star Alisson makes the cut.

England are blessed with a stunning array of right-backs, with Reece James, Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold all competing for a starting spot.

The latter gets the nod for us, although he's pipped to our first XI by Moroccan superstar Achraf Hakimi.

At centre-back it's hard to look past Premier League superstars Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Silva – although Antonio Rudiger and Kalidou Koulibaly deserve honourable mentions.

Canada, led by Englishman John Herdman, have qualified for their first World Cup since 1986 – so fans can look forward to watching Bayern Munich superstar Alphonso Davies on the biggest international stage.

He could be joined at the tournament by Scotland's brilliant left-backs Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney, but for now Joao Cancelo is the other stand-out that can play the position.

Declan Rice, N'Golo Kante and Luka Modric would make up a mouthwatering midfield trio – with Pedri and Thomas Partey also set to make their marks on the tournament.

Sadio Mane has guided Senegal to the finals at the expense of Salah's Egypt, while Kylian Mbappe will hope to shine just as much as he did on the way to winning the 2018 World Cup as a teenager.

Son Heung-min will be pivotal to South Korea's chances of making a splash, and Bernardo Silva will be dangerous if his sensational club form translates.

Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane and Karim Benzema will surely begin the tournament as Golden Boot favourites, as the world class strikers of their generation.

But in our best XI, it's Bayern Munich's Poland hitman who gets the nod.

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