World Cup 2014: The biggest disappointment at the tournament in Brazil

Our football writers make their picks for the biggest let-downs at the World Cup

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The Independent Football


SAM WALLACE - Chief football correspondent

Do I really need to say? England were out before many teams had played their second game. There was some promise in the first game against Italy but there is only so long that you can parlay potential. Against Uruguay they failed to get the job done and it was over. All those months of qualification and planning gone.

IAN HERBERT - Football correspondent

Luis Suarez

Those teeth, of course. They returned us to a baser level of football, restored us to the tedious narrative of the Premier League season and taught me I’d been deluded by months of rank propaganda about Luis Suarez’s “rehabilitation”. Not a mention of Liverpool from him in the nonsense he then spouted after the Italy game. Dismal.

GLENN MOORE - Football editor


 It was a pity Cristiano Ronaldo was unfit, and the refereeing too lax, but worse was the way Brazil played. They have not lived up to their reputation for some time, but to see them set out to kick Rodriguez off the park was deeply saddening. That Neymar was ultimately the victim was a cruel irony.

JACK PITT-BROOKE - Football writer

France’s fading

France produced the performance of the group stage, a 5-2 routing of Switzerland, which they should have won by more. But the heat and the pressure got to them, and when they faced Germany in the Maracana in the quarter-final they had nothing left in the tank, and walked through a dull defeat.

TIM RICH - Football writer


If losing the final match of the 1950 tournament was “our Hiroshima” in the words of playwright Nelson Rodrigues, then the 7-1 humbling by Germany was their Nagasaki. An honourable mention for England’s six-day campaign, the worst in their history, for which nobody will pay with their job.

SIMON HART - Football writer

I lost count of the times I read or heard that real Brazilian football fans had been priced out of attending matches at their home World Cup. Also, am I the only one bored with the TV producers’ trick of picking out attractive women or “crazy” fans in the crowd?

MIGUEL DELANEY - Football writer

Brazil’s hysterical reaction to the Neymar injury

On one level, the emotions were completely understandable, given that Neymar was so important to the team and the nature of his injury was so unfortunate. That still does not excuse the extent of the reaction, the witch-hunt, and the utter lack of acknowledgement that Brazilian physicality may have conditioned the situation.