World Cup 2018: 5 of the tournament's most disappointing stars so far
And we are down to the final two!!!! After a month of enthralling action played in a vibrant and festive atmosphere, the Vatreni of Croatia will play in its first ever World Cup final against Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus of French team.
The tournament has been one characterized by lots of upsets and astonishing under-performance by a lot of the more favoured nations (Spain, Portugal, defending champions Germany, Argentina among others).
It has been one that has seen the lesser lights push hard and earn the right to play and it has seen a number of top-level performances from both established and previously unheralded stars.
However, quite a number of previously heralded stars were disappointing and failed to put in the kinds of performances that had been expected of them before the Mundial started.
Here is a list of 5 of Russia 2018's most disappointing stars.
#5 Thomas Muller (Germany)
The arch-Raumdeuter (interpreter of space) - Müller has had a brilliant international career for Germany; 10 goals in World Cup games. However, he was a mess at Russia 2018. It became obvious very early that he made the squad based on past antecedents rather than present form.
Müller's position and role in the German team is one that took away the need for an extra winger in the team and helped to disrupt the pacy, zesty footballing style that the modern Die Mannschaft has become known for.
He was terrible in the opening match against Mexico as he failed to provide support for the team's striker Timo Werner. He kept drifting into the roles that were supposed to have been occupied by the other attacking players - Mesut Ozil and Julian Draxler.
With him in the side, Joachim Low's men were unable to take the game to the very energetic El Tri and had the Mexicans been more clinical, the scoreline would have been embarrassing for the defending champions
He was dropped for Germany's only win in the tournament against Sweden, a game where the team's attacking play improved significantly. He was brought in for the last game when the team was chasing the goal they needed for qualification.
His presence kept out players like Julian Brandt who could have offered the much-needed zing while also creating a problem for the team's more creative outlets.