The 2014 World Cup in Brazil as come to a fitting end with Germany emerging as champions after edging out Argentina in the final at the Maracana.
The best players of the 2014 World Cup have deservedly gone
home with the prestigious honours and worldwide acclaim.
Manuel Neuer claimed the Golden Glove. James Rodriguez made away with the Golden Ball. And Lionel Messi won the Golden Boot.
Yet justice is due on the stars who failed to shine in Brazil.
Much was expected of them, little was delivered. When their countries needed them to step forward and be counted among the greats, they chickened out and lost footing, their national teams the worst for it.
Unsurprisingly, there are no Germans in this team. They had already done the much easier part of winning the World Cup.
Dethroned champions, Spain made an impressive showing here with four players. Brazil should have had more than their three representatives. Africa’s flag is proudly hoisted by a Nigerian and a Cameroonian and there’s room still for an Asian hawk. A Portuguese completes the line-up even if his nation’s display demanded for more.
Iker Casillas’ vast experience and gallantry ensures he also skippers the flop team. In only two games, the Madrid shot stopper conceded seven goals. Although, Brazil’s Julio Cesar would later push Iker for the Gaffe Glove, it’s the Spaniard who would claim it.
Daniel Alves was the world’s finest full back for a long while but his stock took a sharp downturn after he carried his poor Barcelona form home.
Pepe on the back of a Champions League winning campaign with Madrid made Portugal’s defence appear impenetrable going to the World Cup. But his foolishness got the better of him as always, as he picked up a silly red card in the crucial game against Germany. Portugal would go on to lose that match by four unreplied goals. Cristiano Ronaldo and his mates exited the competition unceremoniously despite having the World’s Best Player in their ranks.
David Luiz may not have fallen to the same nadir as Pepe but he was a constant figure in a Brazilian defence line that shipped ten goals in two games. To his credit, PSG’s new £50million acquisition contributed energy and two goals to Brazil’s cause, yet his indiscipline and pathetic positioning ensured his country’s semi-final outing was a mere walk in the park for the Germans.
At left-back, Asou Ekotto came top after a close fight with Brazil’s Marcelo. The Spurs’ castaway was the perfect symbol of a Cameroonian side that could not muster a single point all tournament. The images of him head-butting his teammate would certainly not be a pretty relic to show his son.
In GoalDig’s classic three-man midfield, Chelsea’s Mikel Obi appears as the anchor-man.
Obi’s debut at the World Cup did not go so well. His more laid back approach was overshadowed by the dynamism of Ogenyi Onazi. Mikel was expected to be Nigeria’s main creative channel in midfield but his lean return of 0 goal and 0 assist is not something he’d be proud of.
Xavi in his prime was the best. However, in Brazil his blood still carried the tikitaka DNA but age would not let his legs respond just as well to the brilliance of his brain. Spain won the only game he didn’t start after losing the first two he appeared in.
Japan relied on only one magician- Keisuke Honda. Honda was the country’s hope, their playmaker and the central figure in coach Alberto Zaccheroni’s attacking plans. Honda, MVP when Japan claimed a record 4th Asian Cup only 3 years ago, was a shadow of such dreamy heights as Japan could not manage a single win in a Group that had Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece.
Further forward, Hulk was once the darling of many European sides. Even Chelsea reportedly had a £40million bid for him rejected. But at the World Cup finals, he played like one no longer worth £4. Overshadowed by Neymar and even outscored by Fred, Hulk disappeared when Brazil needed him the most to step up after Neymar got injured.
Diego Costa should have been wearing Brazil’s gold and blue colours at the World Cup but La Liga’s top marksman decided for Spain on the eve of the tournament. Injuries would hamper his preparations for the finals, still he made La Roja’s final cut and even won the penalty that led to Spain’s first World Cup goal.
But it went all downhill there forth. Costa didn’t score once and never managed two efforts on target. While Brazil were dancing the Samba in the group stages, Spain were booking their flights back home after losing scandalously to Holland and Chile.
These three fine forwards complete GoalDig’s Flop Team of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Julio Cesar could have easily displaced Casillas in goal had he not made to the semi-final with a few decent saves.
Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique deserve slaps to the face for their displays while Dante will never forget his role in Brazil’s trashing in the hands of Germany. There’s plenty to be ashamed of for Alex Song following his dumb red card for Cameroon against Brazil.
Yaya Toure looked exhausted, mournful and unconcerned most of the time he was on the pitch. England missed many of their veterans and Steven Gerrard could not provide the inspiration as the Three Lions failed to even muster a win. Even by their own average standards, that showing was poor.
Aguero’s injury may be suggested as the reason why the man tipped to be the tournament’s highest goalscorer did not even get on the scoresheet. His countryman Higuain however has no such excuse. Gonzalo’s return of a paltry one goal and a bunch of missed chances is partly at fault for Argentina’s failure at the final hurdle.
Do not let us bother too much about Brazilian Fred and it’s not bad to spare a moment of remembrance for Cristiano Ronaldo whose tournament ended before he could even start to enjoy it.
Legendary Luis Felipe Scolari has been unanimously chosen to coach GoalDig’s Flop Team of the 2014 World Cup. It takes a genius to take the greatest side in World Cup history to their worst defeat at their most spiritual home- the Maracana.