2010 FIFA World Cup: Chelsea's Players All Eliminated After Second Round
While David Villa's goal for Spain ended Portugal's participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it also signalled an end to Chelsea's representation in the tournament.
It would have been a disappointing tournament for many. It didn't even start for some.
Spare a thought for Petr Cech and Yuri Zhirkov, whose countries didn't even qualify (Czech Republic and Russia, respectively). Henrique Hilario and Alex were omitted from their final squads (Portugal and Brazil). Michael Ballack (Germany), Jose Bosingwa (Portugal), Michael Essien (Ghana), and Jon Obi Mikel (Nigeria) were all ruled out of the tournament through injury.
For those that made it to South Africa, here's how they got on:
Florent Malouda & Nikolas Anelka (France):
France's World Cup was little short of a disaster, and the Chelsea players were very much in the thick of it. Florent Malouda was a substitute for the opening game against Uruguay, following an argument with manager Raymond Domenech.
Anelka was sent home after the second game, a defeat to Mexico, after a heated row with Domenech. The French camp was split, with all the players seemingly on Anelka's side.
There was one moment of good cheer, however, as Malouda scored what was to be France's only goal of the tournament in their final game against South Africa.
John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, & Joe Cole (England):
John Terry, Ashley Cole, and Frank Lampard played every minute of England's disappointing campaign. Cole made just two substitute appearances despite public pressure for his inclusion.
Following disappointing draws with USA and Algeria, Terry was once again thrust into the spotlight when he revealed details of a meeting to take place between the players and England manager Fabio Capello.
A victory over Slovenia secured England's place in the second round, where they played Germany. England were comprehensively beaten 4-1 and Frank Lampard was denied his first (and likely only) World Cup goal, despite his shot being a good yard over the goal line before bouncing out.
Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia):
Serbian hopes of progression were strongly based around their solid defence and quality attack.
Ivanovic was expected to be ever present in this ultimately underperforming side.
Serbia opened with a disappointing defeat to Ghana but bounced back to claim a 1-0 victory over Germany. Qualification was within their grasp with a winnable game against Australia their final group match.
Serbia lost 2-1 and exited the tournament finishing at the bottom of their group.
Miroslav Stoch (Slovakia):
He won't be a Chelsea player for much longer, but young Miroslav Stoch was to play a part in the Slovakian side that would cause an upset by progressing to the second round at the expense of World Champions Italy.
Stoch only made two late substitute appearances in Slovakia's first two group games (a 1-1 draw against New Zealand and 2-0 defeat to Paraguay) before making his first start against the Italians.
Italy lost 3-2 as Slovakia progressed to the second round for the first time as an independent nation (having previously competed as part of Czechoslovakia) while Italy became the first defending champions to exit at the group stage.
Stoch played the full 90 minutes in Slovakia's second round tie against the Netherlands, but they were ultimately outdone by the Dutch power and finesse.
Deco, Ricardo Carvahlo, Paolo Ferraira (Portugal):
Ricardo Carvahlo was ever present ion the Portugal team that made it to the second round before being eliminated by European champions Spain. Paolo Ferraira made one appearance while Deco's World Cup ended in the first game because of a hip injury.
After a 0-0 draw in their first game against Ivory Coast, Portugal than gave a highly impressive performance in a 7-0 rout of North Korea (in which former Chelsea midfielder Tiago scored twice). A 0-0 draw against Brazil was enough to see them into the second round, where they were beaten 1-0 by neighbours Spain.
Didier Drogba, Solomon Kalou (Ivory Coast):
It was doubtful going into the tournament whether Ivory Coast talisman Didier Drogba would even be able to play in the World Cup, due to an injury suffered in a friendly match against Japan. Drogba was eventually given permission to play and he wore a special cast over his arm.
The highly fancied Ivorians started their World Cup with a tough match against Portugal that finished 0-0. This was followed by a 3-1 defeat to Brazil, in which Drogba scored a consolation goal for the Ivory Coast. To qualify for the next round, Ivory Coast needed to beat North Korea 9-0 and hope Brazil could defeat Portugal.
Despite a bright start which saw the Africans up 2-0 in the first 20 minutes, with another effort from Drogba mysteriously disallowed, the Ivory Coast only added a Solomon Kalou effort to their tally as they won 3-0.
All in all, a disappointing World Cup for Chelsea's players with none making it past the second round.
There are, however, a couple of ex-Chelsea players still in the tournament. Arjen Robben and Khalid Boulharouz of the Netherlands, as well as Juan Sebastian Veron of Argentina, are still competing.
And who knows, perhaps a few for the future.
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