With the 2010 FIFA World Cup now at the semifinal stage with four sides left in the tournament, teams and countries are able to take a look back and evaluate their performance. Some notable teams did not make it past the group stages, while others were unceremoniously ousted from the round of sixteen. Of course, some nations expect to win the Word Cup on every try and inevitably leave disappointed. There is a reason the World Cup may be the hardest trophy to win in team sports. Take a solid and complete effort from all members of the squad, sprinkle in little pieces of luck, and then maybe you make it to the semifinals. While some teams should have had a much better experience like the United States, Ivory Coast, and perhaps even Japan they were not the most disappointed performances in South Africa. Here is a look at the three most disappointing team performances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, oddly all of them hail from Europe:
When the groups were drawn back in December, it looked like Italy would advance easily. But taking two points from group play got Italy eliminated from the 2010 World Cup. Perhaps the lack of any new faces took a toll on the squad, or maybe the team just was not playing well. Still, the biggest tournament is the grandest stage and if the players could not get excited for this one, it is likely time for some changes. A team that is defending a World Cup Championship should show more grit and determination, just plain and simple Italy never really looked that good.
The 2010 World Cup was not kind to England. Yes, this group of supremely talented millionaires made it out of the group stage. Yes, they were the victims of an unfortunate “no goal” call. But the team never really seemed to mesh. Complete with some of the most dynamic players in the entire world, expectations were high for England in South Africa. Wayne Rooney never found the back of the net and never really seemed to get on track and perhaps the absences of Rio Ferdinand hurt the back line, but a team this loaded with superstars should have played better. It is now time for coach Fabio Capello and company to start second guessing everything.
There is a word to describe what happened to France at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, self-destruction. It was one thing after another for France, and none of it good. It showed on the pitch with the French only taking one point from group play and being eliminated. After a stellar showing in 2006 reaching the Final, everyone expected more from France. The French did not just fail to reach the knockout stage of the tournament; they went crashing out in grand style complete with the bad press that goes with such failures. This is a team that needs to get things together, because the pressure of International football means another tournament is on the horizon, namely Euro 2012.