As the first World Cup round of 16 matches come to an end and some of the world’s best footballers thrill us, and the world’s worst referees astound us, we can’t help but spare a moment to consider those who angered us with their mediocrity during the group stages – whether through their own fault or not.
Plenty of players were supposed to set the tournament alight but many failed to deliver. Zidane’s return to international football hasn’t inspired the French, Zlatan Ibrahimovic failed to produce any magic and struggled with injury, the Ivory Coast couldn’t make it out of the group of death and the entire England squad still can not overcome their Sventosis.
The list of disappointments goes on depending on how high your expectations are, Nedved, Henry, Adriano, Frank Ribery, Luca Toni and Lampard are just a few of the players who did alright to varying degrees but nothing near what was expected of them.
So who were the most disappointing players of the group stage?