Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, and now after a throbbing at the hands of Germany, Lionel Messi. Expectations for these players were great, but execution was few and far in between. Was it the ball? Were they tired from a long season? Whatever the case, these players (three of them FIFA Player of the Year winners) failed to lift their teams to greatness and explanation will be sought.
The four superstars combined for a grand total of 1 goal, on 72 shots. That is a 0.01 completion percentage. This a stat coming from players who scored a total of 94 goals this season in league play alone. Again I ask how they could only muster up only measly goal in 17 games played?
Assists were somewhat better. Kaka lead the pack with 3 assists, Messi and Ronaldo each had 1, and Wayne Rooney had who failed to score any goals also failed to make any assists.
How can Kaka, and Messi and Wayne and Ronaldo, who were such good players during league play, suddenly clam up become reduced to second tier players in the World Cup? Looking purely at the stats, it seems that these guys couldn’t handle the pressure of the biggest stage in the world.
Don’t tell me Ronaldo was stuck on a team that wouldn’t (or couldn’t) get him the ball. Great players rise above that, great players demand the ball, great players take over a game. Don’t tell me Rooney was tired after a long EPL season (or that he lost all his skill after shaving his chest), all you’re doing is making excuses. I’m tired of excuses, I want answers. When you’re at the World Cup, either you step up or you don’t. For some reason, Wayne did not step up.
Messi and Kaka weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either. Messi had a huge impact on Argentina just by being on the field. Same goes for Kaka, who had three assists. But should we be satisfied with decent performances by great players? Messi is the reigning FIFA player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo won the award in 2008, and Kaka in 2007. These are the best players in the world we are talking about. Why couldn’t they deliver?