World Cup 2018: 8 players who disappointed in Russia
The World Cup is the biggest stage in world football and the chance for stars to prove they really are the best of the best and write their name in the pages of history. So many over the years have excelled for their club but failed to prove themselves on the international stage. It is the ultimate test of footballing quality and an opportunity to show that you can do it without a host of world-class support which is the case for many countries who have only a handful of established names.
For many, it is the chance to show that they are deserving of a bigger club, or maybe that it’s time to think about a new challenge in a smaller league. With so many big names at Russia 2018, there were going to be many whose tournament came to a bitter and premature end and who should have performed better given their chances.
The World Cup only comes around once every four years and it’s a long wait to prove yourself in that competition again and for many, like Lionel Messi, it was most likely their last chance at winning the coveted trophy.
Whether it was goals missed, goals conceded, lack of playing time or just poor overall displays against considerably weaker opposition, a number of star names failed to display their true lethality and cement their status as world class.
Here are the big names who didn't live up to expectation in Russia.
Jerome Boateng (CB: Germany/Bayern Munich)
Boateng has been a rock at the back for Bayern Munich in recent years but, like so many of the German players, he failed to impress in their World Cup campaign. There were just eight minutes between his first and second yellow cards in Germany’s game against Sweden and, in his absence, Germany managed to scrape a win with 10 men.
There is something to be said when your team does better without you and with fewer players. His price may plummet after his performance in Russia where he committed 2.5 fouls per game and, on average, lost the ball 1.5 times per game.