World Cup 2018: 5 Flops of the group stage
With the group stage of the World Cup concluded and the fans being treated to an absolute spectacle of the game, Russia seems to be a surprise (pun intended) for the most of us. With some mouth-watering draws to look forward to in the round of 16, it's time to take a look back at some of the players who could have done so much more to help their nation's cause, but as Messi himself said "You have to show up in the World Cup, and in the World Cup anything can happen."
With Germany's departure the major upset of the group stages and the likes of Argentina struggling to go through, it really comes down to tactics that didn't work, players that underperformed and hard luck. Following are 5 players who could have helped their teams have a better outcome and even get past the group stage.
#1 Gylfi Sigurðsson - Iceland
Iceland was geographically and demographically the smallest nation at this year's World Cup. However, with their Euro 2016 exploits, many hoped that the Strákarnir Okkar would bring their thunderous flare to the global event. Leading them on the big stage was their talisman Gylfi Sigurðsson.
The Everton man kept his nerve around 14 minutes from the end of Iceland's final group game against Croatia to level proceedings although his side would succumb to a last-minute strike from Ivan Perisic which led to a 1-2 defeat. However, the figure would have been double if Sigurdsson hadn't blazed an 83-minute penalty well over the bar in Iceland's previous match, a 0-2 defeat to Nigeria.
Iceland remarkably held Argentina to a draw but having lost their other two games, eventually finished bottom of Group B, going out along with Nigeria. Sigurdsson, who seemed pivotal to Iceland, showed moments of magic, but without an experienced squad couldn't really make the difference.