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Soccer World Cup

10 Most Disappointing Players of the 2014 World Cup

10 Most Disappointing Players of the 2014 World Cup

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Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

With the World Cup over, it's time to put on the retrospective glasses and analyze what we saw. While we saw a number of overachieving players and teams, we also saw a huge number of disappointments. Find out which players disappointed their nations during the 2014 World Cup.

10. Iker Casillas

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10. Iker Casillas

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With Iker Casillas losing his starting job at Real Madrid, many expected his World Cup performances to drop off from four years ago. But no one expected the Spanish captain to be as bad as he was. He was directly responsible for at least three goals as he conceded an astonishing seven goals in two games against Netherlands and Chile.

9. Yaya Toure

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9. Yaya Toure

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While his performances weren't exactly terrible, Yaya Toure was the leader of an entirely disappointing Ivory Coast squad. He never dominated the midfield against (at least on paper) weaker sides as he's known to do at Manchester City. He lacked the conviction and courage to lead the Africans from behind.

8. Eden Hazard

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8. Eden Hazard

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Belgium were able to reach the quarterfinals stage in spite of the fact that their star player, Eden Hazard, wasn't having the best of performances. He never called for the ball to go on his usual runs and seemed to respect defenders too much as he almost never tried to dribble past them. Perhaps his youth got the best of him and his inexperience showed.

7. Mario Balotelli

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7. Mario Balotelli

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After starting off his World Cup on the right foot with a goal against England, Mario Balotelli went on to disappoint for Italy in the next two games. He missed two extremely easy chances against Costa Rica and showed his usual foolish behavior against Uruguay that led to him being taken out during halftime. A star like Balotelli needs to mature already.

6. Antonio Valencia

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6. Antonio Valencia

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Ecuador's World Cup campaign ended prematurely, and many could blame it on their captain and star, Antonio Valencia. The Manchester United winger clearly wasn't comfortable with the spotlight, as he hardly made a difference and deferred the leadership to other players like Enner Valencia. He ended his World Cup with a red card against France.

5. Diego Costa

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5. Diego Costa

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After scoring 27 goals for Atletico Madrid, many saw Diego Costa as Spain's clinical finisher. But the only thing Diego Costa finished were Spain's World Cup hopes, as he was never able to understand the system. He often seemed lost within the plays and missed the couple of chances he had to score.

4. Oscar

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4. Oscar

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After Oscar's first World Cup game against Croatia, where he was arguably the best player, many had high hopes for the Brazilian. But what followed were six straight games of mediocrity. Oscar failed to create chances for others, failed to defend the full-backs and failed to carry Brazil without Neymar. After such brilliant performances for Chelsea, he was a major disappointment for Brazil.

3. Wayne Rooney

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3. Wayne Rooney

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After two disappointing World Cups for Wayne Rooney, one would hope that the third time was the charm. But Rooney only cemented his legacy as a player who doesn't show up for World Cups. He failed to lead his team past the group stage, where he missed a number of opportunities and barely got his first World Cup goal in 11 appearances.

2. Michael Bradley

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2. Michael Bradley

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Michael Bradley came in to the World Cup as the USMNT's best player, but his performances on the field would indicate him being one of the worst. He lost a number of key balls in the middle, hardly provided the forwards with his usual pinpoint passing and had spells of lazy coverages all tournament long. It only makes one wonder how the U.S. would have done if Bradley didn't disappoint.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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The biggest disappointment goes to Cristiano Ronaldo. After coming off an historic season with Real Madrid where he won the Champions League, Copa del Rey and the Ballon D'or, his Portuguese side were considered favorites to escape the Group of Death. But what we saw from Ronaldo was a shadow of his real self. He only showed up in the last game, where it was far too late then.