A summer in Russia has flown by as we head towards the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup. We should all be revering in the astonishing upsets; wonderful goals and the fact England have outlasted the majority of the world.
But that isn’t the point we’re making here. Here are SEVEN flops that have let themselves down this year (we couldn’t make room for the entire Germany team).
THOMAS MULLER (Germany)
A man with 10 World Cup goals to his record, didn’t come close to one strike this year, bewildering.
Thomas Muller is fourth on Germany’s all-time World Cup scoring charts and the easy protégé to the retired Miroslav Klose’s crown, as veteran poacher. Perched on the inside right channel as per for his country, the tenacious drive wasn’t there.
Muller’s performances summed up Germany pretty well; lethargic, lacklustre and ‘nicht gut’.
DAVID DE GEA (Spain)
Can you blame the sacking of your manager two days before your opening game at the World Cup, for letting in more goals than made saves? As it turned out, you probably can’t David.
Easily Manchester United’s best player, De Gea is normally a cool customer but looked a bag of nerves on the world’s stage, typified by that howler against Ronaldo.
Seven shots, six goals, one save.
GABRIEL JESUS (Brazil)
If you’ve watched a Brazil game this World Cup, you’ll be familiar with the repetitive glorifying of Gabriel Jesus’ unbeaten run or phenomenal scoring record for his country.
But not only is that run over with Brazil’s exit to Belgium, but he was scoreless in Russia whilst rival for forward role Roberto Firmino, had a goal and assist.
Hype and stats only get you so far, Jesus didn’t perform any miracles.
WILLY CABALLERO (Argentina)
It’s hard to look past Argentina for most entertaining side at the World Cup. However, this isn’t an entirely positive claim, they were so good and bad in equal measure, it was a fascinating watch.
The peak of their failings was against Croatia and Willy Caballero unfortunately making himself look-like, well his own name.
A hap-hazard pass gifted Croatia the lead, on the way to a 3-0 loss, he didn’t play again.
JEROME BOATENG (Germany)
There is the balance of being relaxed in football like you’re in the park, to being ridiculously lazy like you don’t care, Boateng was the latter.
Never has a German team look so dis-functional, unorganised and actually like an aged unit.
Whether it was Hirving Lozano, Chicarito or Marcus Berg, they all dismantled the Bayern Munich ace, so much so he was sent off against Sweden. At least he had an even earlier exit than his team-mates.
JORGE SAMPAOLI (Argentina)
When the coach of a national side is on a ‘flops’ list, that means things really have gone full Brexit.
All things considered, it’s amazing that Sampaoli is still in his job. First, he doesn’t have the tactical skills to utilise Lionel Messi in a dangerous role.
Second, he didn’t once start Paulo Dybala, okay he’s apparently bad for Argentina, so then why not call up Mauro Icardi? Third, in their desperate need for goals against France, he brings on Maximilliano Mesa over Gonzalo Higuain and Dybala.
GERARD PIQUE (Spain)
Probably the most surprising on the list, but if you had Spain in a World Cup sweepstake so persisted to watch every bit of their tournament, you’ll understand why Pique is at fault.
Apart from an opening helter-skelter affair with Portugal where only Ronaldo hurt the Spanish backline, it went very far downhill.
It was incredible how they didn’t lose to Iran and Morocco, with lots of last-ditch defending and careless errors, many from established leader Pique.
To compound any misery, his flailing ridiculous arm conceded a penalty against Russia, they scored and exited on penalties.
If you did indeed have them on a sweepstake, you can see why now.