… And here is Part 2:
The standout Belgian defender alongside City legend Daniel van Buyten. What else did we expect from him? It was textbook Kompany: Brilliant performances mixed in with an injury scare. The one time he got truly caught out was by a Messi through ball which ranks as one of the best I have ever seen. It is hard to blame him for that.
Belgium were a let down in the end. They weren’t the team we all needed, but they might have been the team the world deserved as a reward for the, frankly undignified, months and months of rabid over-excitement.
There was a wonderful, must-read piece in the Observer before the World Cup kicked off which illustrated how Dzeko’s most important work for the Bosnian national team is, in many ways, already done. He is a symbol of battling hope and international success for a country stained by tragedy, hatred, and death.
If he killed a live animal with a screwdriver in the centre circle the Bosnians would still herald him as a hero at this point. It’s easy to see why.
He went into the tournament in fine, title winning form but didn’t show more than glimpses of it in Brazil as he was often under-supported by team mates and crowded out by opposition defenders as the most obvious and lethal threat Bosnia possessed. Dzeko still got his richly deserved goal and, even though they crashed out in the group stages, Bosnia can be extremely proud of their effort. I hope to see them back in the future.
He created his fair share of chances but I can’t remember any of them properly. Crashed and burned with his compatriots and it wouldn’t be a surprise if that was his last World Cup. Silva has never truly hit the heights of his monumental club form at international level and nothing happened in Brazil to change that.
Have a long rest and come back to us whole, happy, and healthy, David.
This can only have been a frustrating World Cup for Fernandinho. Benched twice in favour of Paulinho, of all people, then had an exceptional half to catapult himself into the first XI, then spent a few games fouling anyone and everyone whilst not exactly distinguishing himself in a horrorshow of a Brazil team.
He fought long and very hard all year for his chance, but when it came along it went again almost as quickly. Along with David Silva that will be Fernandinho’s last World Cup and it will not be remembered as his finest time.
Much like James Milner I really can’t remember much of what Toure did. Cote d’Ivoire as a whole were a massive disappointment as they always seem to be at World Cups.
The Toure brothers had a fair excuse for being perhaps a bit distracted this year. Rest in Peace, Ibrahim.
From the high hopes we all had for almost an entire team’s worth of City players heading across the Atlantic the reality turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Maybe better luck next time. And congratulations again to the Germans. Future City legend Marco Reus will be great in Russia.
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter