34        CristianoRonaldo

The Ballond’Or winner for 2013 couldn’t shift the burden of his failing teammates at theWorld Cup. After scraping through in 2010 and reaching a European semi-final in2012, Portugal weren’t favoured heavily this time round. The warning signs wereimmediate—a 4-0 defeat to the Germans before keeping extremely slim hopes alivethanks to a late equaliser against America. Ronaldo did score in their winagainst Ghana, but it wasn’t enough to qualify.

33 Chileand the woodwork

Chile werethe dark horses in Group B and were expected to put up some sort of fight andknock Netherlands out of the group when they were passed down by Spain for thetaking.

However, after beating Australia 3-1 and Spain’s loss to the Netherlands,it seemed that Spain were beaten in a surprisingly easy 2-0 win. They continuedthat form into extra time of their second round contest against Brazil, asMauricio Pinilla came within inches of ending Brazil’s World Cup dream in the120th minute. However, Gonzalo Jara’s missed penalty against thepost eliminated Chile in the shootout and Brazil somehow escaped punishment.

32 Thebetter side of Thomas Muller

We’ve seenthe bizarre side of Thomas Muller with his free-kick antics, not to mention hisdancing, but the better side was on offer yet again at a World Cup for the24-year old. Muller took home the golden boot in South Africa, scoring hisfirst five goals for his country at the tournament and netted another five inBrazil, totalling his World Cup count to 10 in 13 games, with an added sixassists.

He also claimed a World Cup winners’ medal too, as if you didn’t know.

31 JamesRodriguez’s little friend

JamesRodriguez slotted home what proved to be a consolation against Brazil in a 2-1 quarterfinal defeat in Fortaleza but would take home the Golden Boot thanks to a sixthgoal in five games. However, joining on the run back to the centre-spot was amonumentally huge locust which clung on for dear life onto his arm wanting toget a slice of his new found fame.

Expect him to be Russia’s answer to Paul theOctopus in four years’ time.

30 Everybodyhates Adrian Chiles

Aside fromhis aforementioned tight shorts, his even worse puns and punditry, it seemsthat the Adrian Chiles’ hate train isn’t just reserved for British viewers onITV. The ITV studio in Rio de Janeiro was pelted with rocks, aimed towardsChiles as the BBC studio sat smugly on top of it physically and both in theratings for the final, its glass unharmed from rocks.

29 Thepressure penalty

In theirthird World Cup tournament each, Greece and Ivory Coast had previouslyfloundered at the group stage in all of their previous attempts. They weredrawn together in Group C alongside Colombia and Japan, facing each other in acrucial last group game match where Ivory Coast needed a point forqualification and Greece needed a win. A 93rd minute penalty fromGeorgios Samaras seemed apt to settle the fate of either team, which the Celticforward dispatched confidently as Greece headed into the second round.

28 Marcelo’sgoal v Croatia

Brazilianpatriotism was at an all-time high. After welcoming the world to their doorstepand providing a stirring and very memorable national anthem in Sao Paulo theywere ready to reclaim the World Cup.

11 minutes in, Brazil’s full-back Marceloscores but instead of the eruption of pleasure and celebration, sourness wasleft in the mouths of every Brazilian. It was the first World Cup to kick offwith an own goal.

27 Soccer’scoming home

JurgenKlinsmann had brought “soccer” home as the nation celebrated America’s passagethrough to the “sweet sixteen” with a win over Ghana and a point againstPortugal. America had finally embraced the sport fully and just 30 seconds intotheir campaign Clint Dempsey scored the fifth fastest goal in World Cuphistory. Cue over-the-top celebrations and Will Ferrell at an American peprally in Brazil.