World Cup black list – top 10 villains

by Charlie Coffey

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

10. Lucio

A surprise inclusion, but included because of his dirty tricks: pulling shirts, trying to punch Drogba’s broken arm and the rest. Strong as a brick shithouse in the tackle, but when the role are reversed he collapses like a shit brickhouse in a manner that would make Rivaldo blush.

9. Cristiano Ronaldo
You almost felt sorry for Ronaldo as he was starved of possession during the second half against Spain. Almost. However, Portugal progressed from the group stages despite Ronaldo, who scored just one fluky goal against a demoralised North Korea. Lacked his usual flair and end product.

8. Aaron Lennon
Much was expected of the pacy winger who impressed in qualifying. However the World Cup stage exposed the empty space in which his football brain is supposed to be. His erratic passing and crossing confused him as much as his team-mates and he was dropped after just one game.

7. Franck Ribery
Had an excellent season at Munich but was abject in South Africa. In his defence France were collectively awful, but if anyone could have provided a spark to reignite their tournament it was Ribery. A tournament to forget for the man Zidane once called the “jewel of French football”.

6. Claudio Marchisio
The ‘playmaker’ in Italy’s dysfunctional 4-3-3, Marchisio was largely anonymous in all three of their appalling displays. Admittedly he lacks international experience, but Italy only played well when he was subbed against Paraguay. Why he was reinstated is a mystery to everyone but Marcello Lippi.

5. Alberto Gilardino
Scored a goal every other game for Fiorentina last season – 34 in 68 – but it was the disappointing Gilardino of his Milan days that stepped off the plane in South Africa. Has all the attributes to be a great target man but again disappointed for Italy when it mattered after a poor Euro 2008.

4. Fernando Torres
Perhaps a little harsh as he is still recovering from injury, but he has looked a shadow of his former self so far as Villa hogs the spotlight. Withdrawn after another anonymous display last night, the player who won Euro 2008 for Spain will be lucky if he starts the quarter-final against Paraguay.

3. Wayne Rooney
After his best season to date at United Rooney arrived at the World Cup with the expectations of a nation on his shoulders, and it showed. The Rooney we know simply didn’t turn up. His control, passing and positioning were all way off. Only came close to scoring once in four games.

2. Sani Kaita
His inexplicable attack on Vasilas Torosidis is perhaps the most needless red card in the history of the World Cup. With Nigeria leading 1-0 the pair chased a ball off the pitch and Kaita unnecessarily kicked out at the Greek, who of course fell dramatically to the deck. Greece went on to win 2-1.

1. Robert Green
Oh dear Robert. He fought so hard for his place only to make a mistake so bad it would make a junior school goalkeeper wince; a comical error that will blight the rest of his career and probably his life. England may still be in South Africa if they had beaten the USA and won Group C.

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  • stevie

    Frank Ribery, the most over rated player in Europe, I’ve never seen him have a decent game.

    Where’s John Terry? In fact, the whole England team should be in that!

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