Stuart Dye is a reporter and editor for the Herald on Sunday

Stuart Dye: Biggest World Cup flops


Football stars who have failed to shine so far in South Africa.

1. Wayne Rooney
OK, so you could put the entire England team in here; sluggish, frustrated, off the pace and in technical terms all round useless. The stars have to shoulder the blame - and that includes Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. But Rooney is the truly world class player who can take a game by the scruff of the neck and single-handedly decide the outcome. Instead, he lumbered around like a pregnant yak before moping off the pitch swearing at the fans who had booed.

2. Didier Drogba
Bit harsh on the big Ivory Coast striker who is barely recovered from a broken arm and only got on the pitch for 20 minutes or so in his first game, but he has a very high opinion of himself so will be subject to a harsh spotlight. Should have stayed on the bench. Scored against Brazil but still lost 3-1 and Ivory Coast are going home (probably).

3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Bangs in goals for fun for his club and likes to turn defenders until they pirouette three times then collapse.

Scoring one in a 7-0 rout of North Korea does not make your star shine. One goal in 16 months for his country. ONE GOAL.

4. Fernando Torres
Like Rooney, Torres takes the fall for the performance of England's fellow perpetual chokers, Spain after the first game.

After the second, he wins it alone. A good team performance but Torres was criminally wasteful in front of goal. Missed at least one one-on-one. Would have missed a one-on-none. Subbed with 20 minutes left, he wandered off with is head hanging in shame. Well, it should have been.

5. Kaka
Did the magical Brazilian play in the first game? Apparently he did but it's difficult to remember a less meaningful contribution from him. At least there was more chance of the sky falling down than him having a second bad game. Nope. Sent off for two bookable offences. Brazil will progress so please try harder Kaka.

6. Harry Kewell
Perhaps not strictly speaking a "star", but Australia's big hope returned from injury to face Ghana and right the wrongs of the Socceroos' first performance against Germany. A red card after 24 minutes ended his World Cup. In Harry's defence, it's a pretty decent effort as it's one minute longer than he lasted before limping off in the 2005 Champions League Final.

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Stuart Dye is a reporter and editor for the Herald on Sunday

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