FIFA World Cup 2010: Big Players Who Failed on the Big Stage
The FIFA World Cup was always about the big names delivering on the biggest stage of them all. This Cup, many superstars came in with high expectations, only to disappoint themselves, their fans and their country.
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
Didier Drogba—captain of Ivory Coast, the icon of African football, was expected to do big things in the World Cup, especially after scoring goals for fun while playing for Chelsea in the EPL.
Ivory Coast were considered to be the strongest African team in the tournament, and Drogba was the chosen one to lead them to glory.
However, things did not start of well, as he broke his arm in a pre-tournament friendly against Japan. He did manage to get fit thanks to a successful surgery, and came on as a substitute in the 0-0 opening game with Portugal.
He did score a great header when his side were down 3-0 to Brazil. But when Les Elephantes needed his prowess to rack up a huge score against North Korea, all he did was fire duds.
Wayne Rooney (England)
The British Bulldog played on an over-hyped England side that, despite boasting some of the best players in the world, barely escaped out of one of the easier groups in the tournament.
Coming second to the United States in the group proved fatal, as they were to meet Germany in the second round.
Wayne Rooney terrorized defences across Europe with his persistence, poise, and power. He's been so terrible, that Harry Redknapp, a manager known for his wheel-and-deal philosophy, said that he wouldn't spend even 1.5 million pounds to buy Rooney on his current form.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Let's face it, the Portuguese captain is the biggest name in the world of football. He is a fashion icon, ball trickster, and goal scorer. Not to mention the world's most expensive player in the history of football, as 80 million pounds were paid for him by Real Madrid to get his services.
But, it has been a World Cup to forget for CR. His only goal was through pure luck rather than skill, coming in Portugal's 7-0 rout of North Korea. When Ronaldo lost sight of the ball, it landed on the back of his head and bounced into his path for an opportunity he couldn't miss.
Fernando Torres (Spain)
Fernando Torres, who came off a very disappointing season at Liverpool, was expected to lead from the front for fauvorites Spain, but he has missed a lot of chances and has looked like a forlorn figure up front in every game.
He too has failed to find the net and his only contribution to the team so far is getting Chilean defender Marco Estrada sent off after a foul on him. But, he still has time to change all that, and the form of David Villa has somewhat subdued the criticism he is supposed to get.
Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
After frustrating Zinedine Zidane and France and leading Italy to the 2006 World Cup Championship, Cannavaro was expected to anchor Italy's title defense. The anchor was a little too weak and rusty, as it prevented Italy from moving forward.
The center back's legs couldn't keep up with anyone in Italy's group, and he and his teammates conceded three goals to Slovakia to fall out of the tournament after three matches.
Nicolas Anelka (France)
French history is highlighted by the French Revolution. The French always love a man leading them to glory, and Anelka did lead a revolt, but by the French team against themselves.
He played only 118 minutes and didn't score. The French striker blasted coach Raymond Domenech, didn't apologize, inspired a player training snub, and has made way for a government investigation that could lead FIFA to throw France out of any international tournaments. Revolutionary? Oui Oui!
Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Nigeria)
You might wonder why Yak, who is not in the same wavelength as some of the earlier players in the list, is present. But, search the internet for "Worst Miss World Cup 2010" and you'll know why.
He missed an open net from point blank range against South Korea. The miss kept the game even, ended in a draw, and resulted in Nigeria being knocked out in the group stage.
John Terry (England)
John Terry's on and off-the-field problems had somewhat made it a season to forget for the former England skipper.
JT was responsible for two of Germany's goals and no longer looked like the world beater that had seen him awarded the European Defender of the Year on numerous occasions.
Terry's public expression of unhappiness at a press conference during the campaign was reported to have angered Gerrard and his Liverpool teammate Jamie Carragher, with rumours of a wider split between Liverpool and Chelsea players also appearing.