As the teams of the World Cup are rattled out, now is as good a time as any to focus on the worst rated XI of the tournament. Here, we take a closer look at those who flattered to deceive using our unique rating system of those to make at least four appearances at the World Cup, with three of those coming as starts…
David De Gea - Spain
Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal on the eve of the World Cup hardly helped matters, but Spain were poor regardless. Fernando Hierro didn’t have the desired effect as La Roja looked ponderous. However, the personnel at Hierro’s disposal should’ve performed better, in what is one of the understatements of the summer. The worst of the worst was David De Gea, who after a stunning domestic season, was expected to perform to his brilliant best between the sticks. The Spain goalkeeper, though, saved just one of the seven shots on target he faced and made a cataclysmic error to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to score in the 3-3 draw with Portugal, while a rating of 4.13 in the stalemate was the lowest in a World Cup match, excluding subs. A WhoScored.com rating of 5.63 was also the worst of all players in Russia.
Worst rated individual match performances at the 2018 #WorldCup (excl. sub appearances)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 17, 2018
1. D. De Gea -- 4.13 vs Portugal
2. F. Armani -- 4.16 vs France
3. I. Smolnikov -- 4.34 vs Uruguay
4. F. Muslera -- 4.62 vs France
5. C. Sanchez -- 4.72 vs Japanhttps://t.co/BINmTx7nUa pic.twitter.com/CQXTrqspZN
Fedor Kudryashov - Russia
Fedor Kudryashov was a late sub in the 3-1 win over Egypt and he was rewarded with a first start in the final Group A game of the tournament. A 3-0 loss to Uruguay, though, was hardly ideal, yet head coach Stanislav Cherchesov persisted with the 31-year-old at the back. The Rubin Kazan man was far from impressive, however, as he earned a WhoScored.com rating of just 6.13 from his four appearances at the World Cup. The tournament hosts may have exceeded expectations, but Kudryashov was poor.
Nicolas Tagliafico - Argentina
Without attempting to beat around the bush, Argentina were hopeless at the World Cup. For a nation brimming with talent, to require a late Marcos Rojo goal to progress to the knockout stages was disappointing to say the least. Nicolas Tagliafico started all four Argentina matches at the World Cup yet looked like a deer caught in headlights whenever opponents attacked. He committed more fouls (6) than he made tackles (4) and lost seven of the 13 aerial duels he contested. It was a tournament to forget for the 25-year-old, who gained a WhoScored.com rating of just 6.31.
Victor Lindelof - Sweden
Victor Lindelof missed Sweden’s first match of the World Cup through illness, but returned in time to face Germany at the expense of Pontus Jansson and started four of five matches in total. However, while Andreas Granqvist stole the plaudits with a series of fine displays, his defensive partner stuttered somewhat. Sweden may have seen little possession during their stay in Russia, yet Lindelof struggled to implement his composed passing approach at the back, mustering a pass success rate of 79% from 26.3 passes per game. He struggled aerially, too, winning just four of 11 headed battles to return a so-so WhoScored.com rating of 6.62.
Edson Alvarez - Mexico
20-year-old Edson Alvarez started three of Mexico’s four World Cup matches and his inexperience shone through on occasion. The youngster had earned little international experience prior to the tournament and while he will only improve with time, he struggled at times. He was hooked after 55 minutes in the 2-0 defeat to Brazil as he faltered against the Selecao’s fluid attack and was dribbled past on six of the 13 tackles attempted. Having played just one key pass at the tournament, Alvarez returns to Club America having gained a WhoScored.com rating of just 6.53.
Yannick Carrasco - Belgium
The last we saw of Yannick Carrasco at the World Cup was a 10-minute cameo against France in the semi-finals after he’d lost his starting spot following a dismal performance in the 3-2 win over Japan at the last-16 stage. As you can only imagine, it wasn’t a late outing that significantly improved Belgium’s chances of landing a final spot. Playing as a left wing-back, Carrasco very much failed to leave a lasting impact at the World Cup as he mustered just three key passes in total. For a team of Belgium’s quality, that figure should have been higher. All in all, it was a tournament to forget for the 24-year-old, who gained a WhoScored.com rating of 6.62.
Makoto Hasebe - Japan
Makoto Hasebe’s final impact at the World Cup came as he failed to track Nacer Chadli in Japan’s 3-2 last-16 loss to Belgium. The Samurai Blue exceeded expectations to secure a spot in the knockout stages, but the Red Devils were too much for them. The experienced Hasebe struggled in the middle of the park as games largely passed the 34-year-old by. Indeed, he committed six fouls and was dribbled past on four of the eight occasions he attempted to make a tackle. It wasn’t the greatest outing from the midfielder, who earned a WhoScored.com rating of just 6.28.
Sebastian Larsson - Sweden
33-year-old midfielder Sebastian Larsson partners Hasebe in the middle of the park having gained a WhoScored.com rating of just 6.44. Larsson was the only player to be booked three times at Russia 2018 having been carded against Germany, Mexico and England. A return of 2.3 fouls committed per game was one of the higher returns of those to make four or more appearances at the World Cup to cap off what was a thoroughly underwhelming tournament for Larsson.
Bernardo Silva - Portugal
Portugal’s backline, particularly at the heart of the defence, comes under scrutiny from time to time, but in the final third, they have ample attacking talent. However, beyond Cristiano Ronaldo, A Selecao was lackadaisical going forward. Young Manchester City star Bernardo Silva was tipped to be one of the stars of the tournament, yet his performances were memorable for all the wrong reasons. Four key passes and one accurate cross was a poor return for a player of his calibre, while two shots in total simply wasn’t good enough for a player whose WhoScored.com rating was a lowly 6.57 in Russia.
Goncalo Guedes - Portugal
Silva wasn’t the only Portugal attacker to falter after being tipped to shine as Goncalo Guedes floundered in attack alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. The 21-year-old enjoyed a fine campaign for Valencia, where he scored five and assisted nine, yet he really struggled for the European champions in Russia. He had a direct hand in just one goal at the World Cup, that coming in the 3-3 draw with Spain where he provided the assist for Ronaldo’s second, that goal made possible by a terrible David De Gea error. All in all, it wasn’t a great tournament for Guedes, who gained a WhoScored.com rating of 6.53.
Raheem Sterling - England
Raheem Sterling divided opinion among the public at the World Cup and his off the ball movement and work rate was superb to say the least. Had England forged the necessary chances for the Manchester City man, it’s likely he’d have enjoyed a greater return than just the sole assist for Jesse Lingard's goal against Panama. That being said, it’s difficult to quantify good, darting runs off the ball that would open up an opposing side or put pressure on defenders and as such, his WhoScored.com rating at the World Cup was just a 6.53. He completed just eight of the 16 dribbles he did attempt in Russia and hit the target with just one of his 10 shots, but were it possible to measure his influence when out of possession, then his rating would’ve likely been higher.