Football News

WORLD CUP 2018: Is This The 'Most Disappointing XI' Of The Tournament?

Written By Narayan R | Mumbai | Published:


  • While there have been some players who have lit the tournament up with their performances, there are others who have struggled to make a mark
  • The list is dominated by players from Argentina and Germany

World Cup 2018 in Russia has provided a lot of entertainment, with some exciting matches and moments. It has been termed as one of the best ever World Cup's to have ever held. 

While there have been some players who have lit the tournament up with their performances, there are others who have struggled to make a mark. Much was expected of them, but these players have flattered to deceive.

Let's take a look at the most disappointing XI of the tournament so far.

Goalkeeper: Willy Caballero (Argetina)

He was made the Argentina's No.1 after Sergio Romero suffered an injury prior to the tournament. But Willy Caballero was so poor, that he was replaced by Franco Armani in the third match. 

In the two matches he played, Caballero looked nervous every time in possession. He conceded four goals, including a horrendous mistake for the first goal in his team's 3-0 demolition against Croatia. 

Centre Back: Sergio Ramos (Spain)

He can be brilliant at times, but he also can be shocking. That's how Sergio Ramos' life has been, and even the World Cup 2018. Spain conceded an astonishing five goals in three matches, and Ramos is very to much at blame for it. Being the skipper, he should have been leading his team from the front. But instead, his poor form means Spain are struggling.

Centre Back: Jerome Boateng (Germany)

At times, the German defender is like Franz Beckenbauer, and the other times, he is like David Luiz. In this tournament, unfortunately Jerome Boateng was latter. The Bayern Munich player was all over the place defensively, and then received a red card against Sweden. He couldn't even play three matches, yet, he makes the list. It just proves how ordinary he was.

Right Back: Joshua Kimmich (Germany)

He wasn't poor or very bad, he just wasn't good enough. Much was expected of Joshua Kimmich heading into the tournament. His form with Bayern Munich earmarked him as one of the players to look out for. But just like his team, Kimmich struggled to make any kind of impact. The youngster couldn't do much in attack, and was very ordinary in defense.

Left back: Raphael Guerreiro (Portugal)

The left-back was one of the sensations in the Euro 2016 tournament, becoming one of the best players in the victorious Portugal side. But in World Cup 2018, he has been completely opposite. Guerreiro has been exposed defensively, and his attacking play has diminished very significantly. Not a promising tournament so far.

READ: WORLD CUP 2018: Have Ronaldo, Messi And Neymar Made The Team Of The Tournament So Far? Here's The Answer

Centre Midfield: Sergio Busquets (Spain)

He is indispensable to Barcelona, and was the key player for Spain in their 2010 World Cup success. But Sergio Busquets now looks a shadow of himself. The defensive midfielder has struggled in this tournament, and has been susceptible in losing the ball in dangerous areas on a number of occasion. 

Centre Midfield: Sami Khedira (Germany)

Another German in the list. Sami Khedira has not just been mediocre, but he was also dropped from the team in the second match after German fans voted against his inclusion in the starting XI. Khedira was never a game changer, but he had the tenacity in him. But now, he looks a shadow of himself, and was more of a liability in the side.

Right Midfield: Willian (Brazil)

Three matches started, and no goals and no assist for the Chelsa winger. Willian has it in him to make a difference, but at the World Cup 2018, he just hasn't shown up. The front four of Brazil was expected to light up the tournament, but barring Philippe Coutinho, the other three have been missing, especially Willian. 

Attacking Midfield: Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Controversial call, but yes, Lionel Messi hasn't even played 1 per cent of his potential in the tournament. No doubt he scored against Nigeria, and was impressive, but in the whole, he has been far from good. Just one goal from 14 shots, including a missed penalty has got him unfortunately in this list. Though, he has a chance to improve.

Left Midfield: Angel di Maria (Argentina)

Poor would be an understatement to sum up di Maria's performance this tournament. Argentina only have a few world class players in their ranks, and the winger is one of them. But his displays won't warrant him a place in a school team. He started the first match, but was abysmal, and dropped from the second game. And having been recalled for the final group match, he put in a shocking display. 

READ: WORLD CUP 2018: Revenge! Revenge! Brazil Fans Rejoice Germany's Elimination

Centre Forward: Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

Poland are not a strong team, but by no means are they bad. They had a couple of quality players like Krychowiak, Piszczek and Grosicki in thei ranks, and had a world class striker in Lewandowski. But they scored only two goals in the group stage, and finished bottom of their group due to their misfiring attack. And much of it was down to Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich man is a potent goal scorer in the club level. But for some reason, he went missing when his nation needed him the most. 

Manager: Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina)

Oh no one comes even close to Sampaoli when it's about the most disappointing manager. He has a very talented squad at his disposal, yet, his decisions have been baffling. The Argentina manager, for some reason, didn't start with Paulo Dybala in any match. Further, it took him two poor performance to realize Ever Banega needs to start. 

Sampaoli hasn't found a right formation for his team, nor his team selection has been correct. The worst followed when a video made rounds of him asking Messi whether he is bringing Aguero on! There could be nothing more demeaning for a manager than seeing his player making the decisions, and not him.

Notable Exclusions: Antoine Griezmann (France), Thomas Muller (Germany), Ahmed Fathy (Egypt), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia)