1- Mark Lawrenson
Like his contemporary Liam Brady, 1980s Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson was at the declining stage of his career when the Republic of Ireland qualified for its first World Cup in 1990 under the stewardship of Jackie Charlton. He had earned his last cap in 1987.
Photo From: Onze, Issue 111, March 1985(Mark Lawrenson at Liverpool, 1984/85)
2- Andreas Thom
German Striker Andreas Thom was one of the first few players from the former East Germany that was selected for the full German Team after Re-Unification.
His best opportunity would have been the 1994 World Cup but he missed out.
Photo From: Onze, Issue 117, September 1985
(Andreas Thom, May 18, 1985, World Cup Qualifier, East Germany 3-Luxembourg 1)
3- Ben Wijnestekers
Dutch and Feyenoord defender Ben Wijnestekers was part of the post-1970s glory era Generation and before the 1988 Gullit/van Basten era.
These were the years when the Dutch were in decline and as a result he missed out on all the World Cups (1982 and 1986) of that era.
Photo From: France Football, Issue 2063, October 22, 1985(Ben Wijnestekers, October 16, 1985, World Cup Qualifier, Belgium 1-Holland 0)
4- Dudu Georgescu
Romania and Dinamo Bucharest striker Dudu Georgescu was one of Romania’s greatest goalscorers in the 70s and early 80s.
He was in fact Europe’s top goalscorer (winner of Golden Shoe) in 1975 and 1977.
However, during his career Romania failed to qualify to any World Cups
Photo From: Mondial, Old Series, Issue 7, August 1977
(Dudu Georgescu at Dinamo Bucharest)
5- Anthony Yeboah
80s and 90s Ghanaian striker Anthony Yeboah had a successful club career especially with German clubs.
However, like his teammate Abedi Pele he was part of the Ghana Generation that found it difficult to qualify for World Cups.
Photo From: World Soccer, March 1999
(Anthony Yeboah at SV Hamburg)