Stars of Nike's 2014 World Cup Advert Had a Pretty Tough Tournament

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterJuly 9, 2014

Brazil's David Luiz reacts after the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Germany has routed host Brazil 7-1 and advanced to the final of the World Cup. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)

Nike's World Cup campaign involved some bold (and excellent) adverts, including a cartoon of their A-List footballers battling clones of themselves in Brazil.

But, truth be told, despite the "Risk Everything" slogan, the results for Nike's big names in Brazil have been pretty ordinary.

Before the tournament even started, there were warning signs: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden failed to qualify (hence he appears in a Paris Saint-Germain shirt), while Franck Ribery suffered an injury which ruled him out of the tournament at short notice.

Thereafter things got worse: Wayne Rooney's tournament ending in the group stage might not have been a total surprise, but Andres Iniesta's Spain doing the same was certainly a shock. 

And leading light Cristiano Ronaldo had a quiet tournament with Portugal bowing out before the knockout rounds.

Still, there was always Brazil—until Neymar's promising run was halted by injury, and David Luiz's semi-final tears reflected the emotions of a nation.

By our account, the most successful, heartbreak-free tournament for any of the players was none other than Tim Howard.

And not many would have expected that before the summer started.