As the final round of the group-stage matches commence, the World Cup has offered some scintillating matches, bags of goals, unbelievable moments and as ever, the player flops.
Here are 5 players who haven’t lived up to their reputation at the 2014 Brazil World Cup:
Cristiano Ronaldo – Ballon D’or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo is said to be the best footballer in the world at this current moment in time. However, his performances of late would beg to differ. A lacklustre start to the tournament from Portugal and the Real Madrid man has put Paulo Bento’s side all but out of the tournament. Ronaldo has been unable to re-create his formidable form for his club and transfer it to his national side. Frustrated with the lack of ability playing alongside him, the captain seems unable to change Portuguese fortunes. Ronaldo wanted to have a glistening World Cup to show the world he is as good as iconic legends, Maradona and Pele, instead it has turned sour and one to forget for the former Manchester United winger.
Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea man Romelu Lukaku has struggled to match his impressive performances whilst on loan at fellow Premier League side Everton last season. Lukaku was a force to be reckoned with as he powered through the Premier League, showing Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho exactly what he has been missing. However, the World Cup hasn’t quite lived up to the Belgians hopes as he is yet to get off the mark. Substituted and left frustrated, it seems Mourinho knew this would be the case for the young striker. A real learning curve.
Samuel Eto’o – Another Chelsea striker who has failed to impress, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o and his side have been brushed aside in their World Cup group. A lack of discipline and cutting edge, Cameroon have lost in all their 3 group-stage matches. Eto’o who has been an injury doubt throughout the tournament, decided to play on the injury and looked out of sorts as he seemed unable to make a difference to the African side. Looking a shadow of his former-self, Eto’o was ineffective and the closest he came to scoring was a shot that skimmed the post in Cameroon’s opening match. Getting older and rustier, it seems we have seen a sneak peak of what’s to come from the 33-year-old. Is it time to relieve him of his services at Chelsea?
Steven Gerrard – England captain Steven Gerrard has been a major disappointment at the World Cup. In the wake of the tournament, Gerrard was having a tremendous season but was not able to re-capture that spark as his new defensive role in the England set-up saw him out of sorts. It seems the pressure of the arm-band accompanied by the need to succeed was all to much for the Liverpool man as he was to blame for Uruguay’s winning goal in their crunch tie. Uninspiring from the man who all England fans thought could lead them on, will Gerrard re-think his position in the Three Lions set-up?
Iker Casillas – Ousted from the Real Madrid league campaign, Spanish fans questioned why? It would seem now they have their answer. A handful of howlers from the Spanish captain saw their capitulation at the World Cup and shock the world of football as they exited the tournament after only the second game. Casillas was on the receiving end of an embarrassing, 5-1 defeat against the Netherlands and a 2-0 whitewash from South-American side Chile. To rub salt in the wounds, Pepe Reina stood in for the final group-stage game against Australia and duly kept a clean-sheet after a 3-0 victory over the Socceroos. Is it time for a new number one in Spain?
By Oliver Baines | June 24th, 2014