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Euro 2012 - Most Disappointing Players

Most Disappointing Players


A look at the most disappointing players of Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland

Above all, it is the players themselves who really light up major international tournaments and in particular, the ones with already lamentable reputations and genuine star quality.

But which footballers ultimately failed to live up to their hype at Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland this summer?

Well, for a start, it is rather difficult to look anywhere else other than Arsenal hitman Robin Van Persie who should have been the spearhead for a strong Dutch challenge at the championship.

Van Persie had enjoyed a remarkable domestic season for the Gunners, lifting the club up almost single hand idly into the Champions League places with a plethora of goals and influential captain’s performances.

But right from the first whistle at Euro 2012, Van Persie proved to be a huge let down and appeared to be devoid of his usual confidence and swagger.

Perhaps fatigued from his Arsenal exploits, Van Persie failed to make any real impact for Holland and consistently misfired in front of goal.

Bert Van Warwijk’s team hardly relied on Van Persie in the way Arsenal have done in recent times, nevertheless his abject performances clearly had a negative effect on the Orange Army who looked aimless with no prolific, dominant figure in attack.

And further to Van Persie virtually going missing throughout a disastrous group phase, top European figures Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder also performed woefully below par.

Holland’s disappointment in the group phase was matched by Russia who exited the tournament despite crushing the Czech Republic 4-1 on the opening night.

Striker Aleksandr Kerzakhov was expected to be a key player for Dick Advocaat’s dark horses; however the Zenit St Petersburg man, who struck 25 goals last season, didn’t even come close to hitting the net at the championship despite over a dozen chances falling at his mercy.

Kerzakhov’s dismal displays crucially meant that the Russian’s had to find goals elsewhere, but when push came to shove against the Greeks, they were unable to do so and were consequently sent packing – and on the immediate look-out for a new centre-forward.

France also find themselves browsing the same market after Karim Benzema’s complete no show at the tournament.

Benzema has often looked deadly in attack for Real Madrid and has experienced little trouble scoring goals regularly in La Liga.

But on the national stage, Benzema has largely disappointed and Euro 2012 was no exception after he drew a blank in all four games played by Les Bleus.

The best, quite literally, could well have been saved for last, as actually, Cristiano Ronaldo had a fairly positive tournament for Portugal.

But Ron’s decision to take the final penalty against Iberian rivals Spain in the semi-final meant that the best was not saved for last at all, as Portugal had already lost the shoot-out 4-2 before their star turn even stepped up to the spot.

Ronaldo’s apparent longing to grab the glory effectively damaged Portugal’s chances at the death, leaving thousands of natives, and the media, wondering exactly why he didn’t step up to the plate first.