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2018 FIFA World Cup | Neymar and others who flopped at the quarter-finals

Neymar and Suarez failed to inspire their sides as their World Cup comes to an end.

Karan Anand | New Delhi | Updated :

This World Cup has sprung many surprises so far and the quarter-finals were no different as Brazil was knocked out by Belgium. Two-time champion Uruguay also succumbed to a 0-2 defeat at the hands of France.

With teams like Brazil and Uruguay bowing out, there were many players including Brazil’s captain Neymar who flopped dearly as they failed to inspire  their teams.

ALSO READ: 2018 FIFA World Cup | England vs Sweden: Three Lions march into semis 

We have a look at the five biggest flops from the quarter-final stage.

Neymar, Brazil 

At 26, the stage was all set for Neymar to take the 2018 World Cup by storm. Instead he flopped and it cost the team dear. He could only score two goals, both of them tap-ins from two yards out.

Just like the rest of the tournament, Neymar’s performance in the quarter-final was underwhelming to say the least. He tried to do everything on his own, dribbling past 3-4 players, and as a result he was dispossessed five times.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Brazil, Neymar
Brazil’s forward Neymar reacts during quarter-final match between Brazil and Belgium (Photo: AFP)

 

Not only for his underwhelming performance, he was also criticised for his antics off the ball as he was often found play-acting. He spent around 14 minutes lying on the ground during four matches, for which he was severely trolled and made fun of.

Fernando Muslera, Uruguay 

Uruguay’s World Cup dreams were shattered once again as they lost 0-2 to France. Unlike Neymar, Muslera had been exceptional for Uruguay before the quarter-final. He had conceded just one goal in four matches and made many crucial saves and clearances.

France took the lead towards the end of first half courtesy a header by Raphael Varane. With Uruguay trailing by one goal, they had a chance to equalise and comeback at any moment.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Uruguay, Muslera
The error that cost Uruguay the game (Photo: AFP)

 

Just then, in the 61st minute, Muslera deflected an Antoine Griezmann shot towards his own goal and it was all over Uruguay. Although Griezmann’s shot had plenty of pwer, Muslera should have easily saved it. Instead, he let it go through his hands, ending Uruguay’s World Cup dreams.

Fernandinho, Brazil 

With his performance against Belgium, Fernandinho justified Tite’s decision of not giving him a single minute throughout the World Cup. Fernandinho opened the scoring for Belgium as he scored an own goal in the 13th minute and Brazil were off to a disastrous start.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Brazil, Fernandinho
Brazil’s midfielder Fernandinho (2L) looks at the ball after scoring an own-goal against Belgium (Photo: AFP)

 

He had been brought in to replace the suspended Casemiro but he was hardly up to the task as he struggled throughout the match. He lost nine duels and failed to play the Casemiro role. He gave an easy passage to both Lukaku and De Bryune for Belgium’s second goal, something Casemiro never would have allowed.

Emil Forsberg, Sweden  

Forsberg was the star for Sweden in their last match and was expected to repeat his performance against England, but he barely managed to do that. Forsberg flopped dearly as Sweden lost 0-2 to England and bowed out of the World Cup.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Sweden, Forsberg
Sweden’s midfielder Emil Forsberg falls during quarter-final match between Sweden and England (Photo: AFP)

 

He had zero shots and 12 passes in the entire match, which is surprising for a player of his caliber. After his disappointing first half performance, he was subbed off at the 65 minute mark as an uninspired Sweden failed to score even a single goal.

Luis Suarez, Uruguay

As Uruguay lost 0-2 to France, it is safe to say that Luis Suarez missed his partner in crime, Edinson Cavani, dearly. Cavani missed the match due to injury, and Suarez couldn’t make up for his absence.

2018 FIFA World Cup, Uruguay, Suarez
Uruguay’s forward Luis Suarez reacts after Uruguay’s exit from the World Cup (Photo: AFP)

 

Suarez could not manage a single shot on goal throughout the match, which is surprising for a player like him. For the first time in a World Cup match, Suarez did not have a single touch in the opposition box, which shows how bad he was against France.