The Biggest Disappointments Of The 2018 World Cup

We’re not letting them get away with their shambolic performances.

We’ve taken a look at our best lineup from the World Cup, but now we turn our attention to the players that let their country down the most. That’s right people, even during what many consider the greatest World Cup of all-time, there were players and nations that fell flat. Here are our five biggest disappointments of the World Cup.

The Biggest Disappointments Of The 2018 World Cup

Gabriel Jesus

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Coming off a fantastic season at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, expectations were high for Gabriel Jesus as he was set to lead the attack for Brazil. To put it nicely, his performances sucked. He didn’t score a single goal and really didn’t do much in terms of defending from the front.

Brazil always looked lively as soon as he got subbed off for Roberto Firmino. Granted, the lad is only 21 and to lead the line for his nation at a World Cup isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but Kylian Mbappe is only 19 and look how he played.

Fans of the Selecao must wonder what might have been if Jesus performed for his national team like he does for his club side.

Poland National Team

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Yep, even an entire nation can be a disappointment at the World Cup. Before the World Cup had even kicked off, Poland were ranked eighth in the world, and the nation was many fans’ dark horse going into the tournament.

Instead, they finished last in their group. Robert Lewandowski did literally nothing at all. So much promise in the side, but Poland was one of the worst teams at the World Cup, without a doubt. A victory over Japan papered over the cracks of this side, and they will no doubt look to restore some national pride at the European Championship in 2020.

Germany National Team

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The curse of the previous World Cup winner continues as Germany crashed out at the group stage. They finished with losses to Mexico and South Korea, and their only win came via a Toni Kroos wonder goal in the dying seconds of their match against Sweden.

No one can really put a finger on what went wrong for Joachim Low’s side. Maybe it might have been playing Manuel Neuer as a midfielder against South Korea, or maybe it was the fact that the team played better with 10-men after Jerome Boateng got sent off against Sweden? Maybe it was because Timo Werner and Mario Gomez were the only striking options?

At least they can take solace from the fact that France is now dead certain to be dumped in the group stages at the 2022 World Cup.

Lionel Messi and Jorge Sampaoli

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The look on his face during the national anthem against Croatia said it all. Messi couldn’t score against minnows Iceland in Argentina’s opening match, including a penalty that was saved by Iceland’s Hannes Halldorsson, and things went from bad to worse against Croatia. This was all before Messi scored one of the best goals of the World Cup against Nigeria.

Funny how it happens like that for La Albiceleste: when you think they're on the verge of defeat, up pops Messi and normality is restored, if only for a brief moment in time. He failed to make much of an impact in their Round of 16 clash against France, and Argentina was sent packing.

Messi just could not deliver for his national side, and when he doesn’t play well, then Argentina should probably just give up.

Sampaoli made a fool of himself. His tattoos just look ridiculous to begin with. His constant pacing up and down his technical area (and often outside of it) would not have given any confidence to his players. If he was as nervous as that, then the players wouldn’t feel any confidence on the field. His quick dashes to the dressing room at full-time didn’t help his case either. 

Spain National Team

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You know things are going to go to shit when you sack your manager two days before your first game at a World Cup. Well, apparently that thought never crossed the mind of Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales. He gave the boot to Julen Lopetegui after Real Madrid announced he was to be the successor to Zinedine Zidane in the Real Madrid hotseat.

Fernando Hierro was appointed the interim coach, a man with no other managerial experience besides a stint with Real Oviedo in the Segunda Division. They lurched from one crisis to another, surrendering a lead to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, scraping by Iran by the skin of their teeth and then almost losing to Morocco.

It all came to a boiling point as they lost on penalties to host nation Russia, and Spain were sent packing in the Round of 16. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy than Sergio Ramos either. 

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