The World Cup ended on Sunday with France defeating Croatia in the Final. After a wonderful record breaking season, the Blues had a record breaking amount of players make their country’s squads. Unfortunately some didn’t perform well but many people have called all of City’s players flops at the World Cup when in reality, many performed well.
DISCLAIMER: Must have made at least 1 appearance
Raheem Sterling: 7/10
The most criticized City player this World Cup was Raheem Sterling. The English press is notoriously bad when it comes to Sterling and the World Cup was no exception. Unfortunately Sterling will be remembered for the fact that he started five games up front but never scored. He did do a lot for the team though; running dangerously in behind, creating space for Harry Kane, running with the ball to commit defenders, working in tight spaces. But without goals, Sterling’s tournament won’t be looked back upon very fondly.
Benjamin Mendy: 10/10
Obviously this is a joke as Mendy didn’t even play 60 minutes this World Cup but he’s made a nice life for him at Manchester City and France, winning 2 trophies by being injured and doing very little.
Danilo only played in one game due to an ankle injury he picked up in training but played ok in his 90 minutes against Switzerland. He had very little to do defensively in that game and unfortunately didn’t get a chance the rest of the World Cup because of the injury.
Gabriel Jesus: 5.8/10
Another harshly criticized player was Gabriel Jesus. Jesus started ahead of Firmino in every game and of course there were people who disagreed. Jesus had good off the ball movement, runs, and passes but couldn’t do the one thing people wanted him to do: score. There weren’t many chances for him to score but overall he still had a poor World Cup.
Fernandinho didn’t have a great World Cup. He’s never really played well for Brazil previously but certainly wasn’t the reason for Brazil going home. He had decent defensive positioning and had a few good tackles but really didn’t do much else.
Fabian Delph: 6.5/10
Fabian Delph made 4 appearances for England. A lot of his minutes came at the end of the games, adding energy and drive to England’s midfield whenever he played. Was also an important part of the team ‘leadership group’, and even flew back to Russia right after the birth of his daughter!
John Stones: 8/10
John Stones had a great World Cup. On top of scoring 2 goals, Stones was very good defensively. Building up the play from the back, organising his team-mates around him, stepping into midfield or breaking the lines with a forward pass, this was the Stones that England had been hoping for for years. Stones performance speaks to his ability to mature as a player but also to Pep’s ability to progress his players. Stones attacking prowess as a defender is owed mainly to Pep.
David Silva: 7.25/10
Spain went out in the round of 16 but Silva played very well. In his 4 appearances, he played in some great passes that helped improve Spain’s build-up play, linked well with Iniesta and Isco, created space, passed the ball accurately, and was a constant danger for opposing defences.
Nicolás Otamendi: 5.5/10
In Otamendi’s 4 appearances for Argentina, he was a strong presence defensively. He dealt well with most strikers but looked vulnerable with some wingers. The reason for such a low rating is his decision making. He made many rash tackles and showed his “chaotic” nature when he got in the face of multiple players and risked red cards.
Kyle Walker: 6/10
Walker didn’t play his typical role but did well to adjust. Although he had some defensive problems, his speed was always helpful in defending against the counter-attack, which he did very well, and he got forward to attack when he could.
Vincent Kompany: 6.75/10
Returning from injury, Vincent Kompany look assured as he faced pressure. He repeatedly threw his body on the line and looked composed at the back throughout the tournament.
Bernardo Silva: 6.25/10
Bernardo Silva didn’t play much this World Cup but he had lots of possession and had over 100 successful passes in only 238 minutes. He also covered top of distance and had plenty of stamina every game. He gets a pretty low rating though because he struggled to really find a final ball for the strikers.
Sergio Agüero: 7.7/10
Sergio Agüero made 4 appearances but only played 178 minutes for Argentina in Russia. In those 178 minutes, Agüero covered a lot of ground, had great positioning, and even scored 2 goals. Although Agüero had 2 wonderful starts, he was put on the bench behind Higuain for his comments about Jorge Sampaoli. I think Argentina’s tournament might have gone differently had Agüero played instead.
Kevin De Bruyne: 9/10
Many people criticized De Bruyne because they looked at stats and didn’t really watch the games. De Bruyne had an absolutely wonderful World Cup. The biggest moment of KDB’s tournament came against Brazil when he took the ball to the outside edge of the box, struck the ball beautifully with his right foot, and tucked it into the side netting.
Kevin De Bruyne is near the top of almost every major statistical category at the World Cup. He created the most chances this World Cup out of all players beating out the person in second by 4. He also was 1st in his rating by WhoScored.com, assists, accurate crosses, and key passes. If Lukaku hadn’t missed 2 major chances in the England game as well as many others, De Bruyne might’ve won golden ball as he was one of the best players at this tournament.
I think what makes his tournament even more impressive is his position (I talked about this in an earlier article). Roberto Martinez insisted on playing KDB as a DM and even having to play in a pivot with Witsel, KDB put up wonderful numbers.