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2018 FIFA World Cup | Lionel Messi and other flops from first week

Can Messi perform against Croatia?

Karan Anand | New Delhi |

It has been six days since the World Cup started and the first round of matches have been played. Here are the players who have been the biggest flops of the first week.

Lionel Messi

This was supposed to be Messi’s World Cup but the Barcelona star had a nightmare start to the tournament. He missed a penalty in Argentina’s first match against Iceland as Argentina failed to win a supposedly easy match.

All eyes will be on Messi as Argentina play Croatia in their next match. Messi still has a chance for redemption but can the little man carry the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders?

Robert Lewandowski

Poland’s captain and star Robert Lewandowski failed to inspire them as they lost 1-2 to Senegal in their opening match. Poland is ranked 8th in FIFA rankings and were expected to win the match.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Lewandowski, Poland, flop
Poland’s forward Robert Lewandowski reacts during the Group H l match between Poland and Senegal (Photo: AFP)


With Colombia and Japan left to play, Lewandowski will be hoping that he is able to turn around Poland’s fortunes and take them through to the next round.

Thomas Muller 

Thomas Muller has scored 10 goals at the World Cup and can easily become World Cup’s all-time top scorer but he failed to inspire Germany against Mexico.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Muller, Germany, flop
Thomas reacts after losing against Mexico (Photo: AFP)


The defending champions lost 0-1 to Mexico and Muller had 0 shots with a pass percentage of 70. That is very average for a player of Muller’s capability.


Just like Argentina, Brazil drew their opening match 1-1 to Switzerland. Neymar was fouled 10 times during the match as he failed to lead Brazil to an expected victory.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Neymar, Brazil, flop
Neymar was fouled 10 times against Switzerland (Photo: AFP)


Neymar spent too much time on the ball and tried to do everything all by himself. He gave away the ball on multiple occasions as he was caught napping. He will be looking to redeem himself against Costa Rica in the next match.

Luis Suarez 

Suarez joins his South American compatriots Messi and Neymar in the list. Though Uruguay won their match against Egypt, Suarez was very poor throughout the match.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Suarez, Uruguay, flop Uruguay’s forward Luis Suarez reacts after missing a chance against Egypt (Photo: AFP)


He missed three one-on-one chances with the Egyptian goalkeeper and looked slow and lethargic on the pitch. With a decent World Cup record behind him, Uruguay will be hoping that Suarez finds his touch and take Uruguay through to the next round.