5 Players Who Ripped Up The World Cup Then Faded Into Oblivion

Sometimes the World Cup is a harbinger of up-and-coming talent. Sometimes it, uh, isn't.

The World Cup has created many a legend, and many of those legends have gone on to legendary status outside of the World Cup. Some players, though, get 15 minutes of fame during the World Cup and that's all they get ever. Like these five.

1
Tim Howard (Sorry!)

Tim Howard's heroic effort against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup round of 16 was almost enough for the USA to advance past Balgium to the quarterfinals. Even though the USA lost, Howard obliterated the record for saves in one World Cup game with 16 (the previous record was six).

After the World Cup, Howard slogged through two mediocre seasons at Everton before joining the Colorado Rapids, where he has been plagued by injuries and old age. Also, with the USMNT he [redacted].

2
Hong Myung-bo
Hong Myung-bo
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One of the best Asian footballers ever, Myung-bo led South Korea to an astonishing fourth-place finish at the 2002 World Cup. Myung-bo was named to the tournament's all-star team and finished third in the voting for the Golden Ball. However, after the 2002 World Cup Myung-bo played just two more seasons of professional soccer, with the Pohang Steelers and the LA Galaxy.

3
Preben Elkjaer

Danish striker Preben Elkjaer Larsen finished third in the voting for the 1986 Golden Ball (won by Diego Maradona). However, his widely-reported smoking habit got the best of him and he played his last game fot Denmark at the 1988 Euros, which saw Denmark eliminated in the group stage after loseing every game.

4
Salvatore Schillaci

Schillaci only scored seven goals in 16 appearances during his brief Italy career, but six of those were scored during the 1990 World Cup (which happened to be in Italy), good enough for the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot. His only other goal for his country came in a Euro qualifier.

5
Mario Gotze (Pending)

Mostly due to circumstances beyone his control, everything has not gone as planned for Mario Gotze since scoring the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. He struggled for playing time at Bayern Munich, moved back to Borussia Dortmund and has battled health issues. Hopefully he can turn everything around and rediscover the form that caused Bayern to buy him from Dortmund in the first place, and caused Jogi Lowe to send him on in the World Cup final, because Gotze really is a joy to watch.

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