Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:54pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Flops of the tournament as selected by Reuters journalists (4-3-3):

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Spain)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

Midfielders: Eden Hazard (Belgium), Shinji Kagawa (Japan), Alex Song (Cameroon)

Forwards: Fred (Brazil), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Spain). Kept his place ahead of Pepe Reina and David de Gea despite no longer being automatic first choice at Real Madrid. He began with a nightmare performance in the 5-1 defeat by the Netherlands and produced another blunder in the 2-0 loss to Chile when he punched a free kick straight to Charles Aranguiz who scored the South Americans' second goal. Left Brazil with his reputation in ruins.

Right back: Dani Alves (Brazil). The Barcelona player left so much space down Brazil's right flank that it was dubbed "Dani Alves Avenue" by local media. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari eventually lost patience and brought in Maicon to try and plug the gaping hole in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, but with no success.   Continued...

Spain's goalkeeper  Iker Casillas reacts after a goal by Netherlands during their  2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador June 13,2014. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci