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Top 10 worst players ever to play in a World Cup final – including Man Utd flops

There are not many bigger stages in football than the World Cup final.

Often an opportunity for players to write their names into the history books or pave the way for a transfer move, scoring a winning goal in this match can be career-defining.

Many great players have gone head-to-head in this showpiece event, but there have also been others who have defied the odds by featuring at the tournament.

Here, we have taken a look at ten of the worst players to win the World Cup.

Sergio Romero (Argentina, 2014)

Romero was Argentina’s goalkeeper in the World Cup final in 2014

The Manchester United goalkeeper was Argentina’s man between the sticks as Germany claimed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Despite not being first-choice shot-stopper while on loan at Monaco that year, he was still given the nod to feature for Argentina at the highest level.

Romero has served as United’s back-up keeper for the past six seasons and has enjoyed a relatively uninspiring career.

He spent time in Serie A with Sampdoria as well as a spell with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, failing to establish himself as the outright number one wherever he has been.

Marcos Rojo (Argentina, 2014)

Rojo's career has quickly fizzled out since his move to Manchester United
Rojo’s career has quickly fizzled out since his move to Manchester United

There can be no doubting what Argentina’s area of weakness was heading into another major tournament.

An impressive attacking force including the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuian was counteracted by a defence of Martin Demichelles, Pablo Zabaleta, Ezequiel Garay and Marcos Rojo.

Rojo hardly made an impression during his six-and-a-half years at United, with injury setbacks playing a significant part in this.

He has only completed 20 plus league matches four times in his entire career and now plays back in his native country for Boca Juniors.

Who’s the worst player you’ve ever seen play? Let us know in the comments section.

Shokdran Mustafi (Germany, 2014)

Mustafi completed only 132 minutes of action for Germany in their seven matches at the 2014 tournament.

His displays were enough for Valencia to take a punt on the central defender and later sell to Arsenal for a fee in the region of £35million.

Mustafi’s defensive vulnerability was laid bare during his underwhelming spell with the Gunners, during which he cost the team time and time again.

The 28-year-old was signed on a free transfer by Bundesliga side Schalke in February, and looks set to be heading down to the German second tier.

Kleberson (Brazil, 2002)

Kleberson signed for Manchester United in 2003
Kleberson signed for Manchester United in 2003

The midfielder earned a call up to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s World Cup squad after helping guide Atletico Paranaense to the Brazilian Serie A title and he rewarded his manager’s faith with some stellar performances.

After failing to start any of Brazil’s opening group games, Kleberson was thrown in to start against England in the knockout stages and impressed so much that he retained his starting place until the end of the tournament, even bagging an assist in the final.

He joined Manchester United the following summer, but was quickly shipped out of the club.

His career took a downturn turn from there, taking him to both Turkey and America.

Felix (Brazil, 1970)

The Brazilian goalkeeper was the man between the sticks in what many consider to be the best international team of all time and it was widely accepted that he was the weak link.

Former Arsenal shot-stopper Bob Wilson, who once remarked: “Without question he is the most incompetent goalkeeper to win a World Cup medal.

“He was born lucky to play in a side which, if he let in three goals, had the talent to go up the other end and score four.”

Junior (Brazil, 2002)

A name many may not be familiar with
A name many may not be familiar with

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Brazil’s World Cup-winning squad of 2002 had some bizarre selections alongside all-time greats like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Cafu.

An understudy to Roberto Carlos, Junior’s club career was less impressive than his inclusion in the 2002 Brazilian squad.

He spent four years with Italian outfit Parma before returning to his home country for spells with Sao Paulo, Atletico Minero and Goias.

Jesus Navas (Spain, 2010)

Navas was one of the players in the Spain squad in the 2010 World Cup final
Navas was one of the players in the Spain squad in the 2010 World Cup final

In a golden generation of Spanish players, there was also Jesus Navas.

The 35-year-old was introduced on the hour mark in the 2010 final, with Andres Iniesta scoring a winning goal deep into extra-time.

A player whose attacking output was lacking so significantly at Manchester City, he has since been reverted to a full-back at Sevilla.

Simone Barone (Italy, 2006)

Barone has gone into football coaching since retiring from the game
Barone has gone into football coaching since retiring from the game

A surprise inclusion in Italy’s 2006 winning World Cup squad.

Barone, a midfielder by trade, made two substitute appearances for the Italians at the tournament.

This proved to the highlight in his footballing career, having failed to win any major honours at club level.

Bernard Diomede (France, 1998)

The French winger started three matches at the 1998 World Cup on France’s way to glory.

He earned a move to Liverpool in 2000, having scored 30 goals in 175 matches for French side Auxerre.

Diomede managed just five appearances for the Reds and ended his career with spells in the second and third tier of French football.

Stephane Guivarc’h (France, 1998)

Stephane Guivarc'h won the World Cup with France but lasted just four months on Tyneside
Stephane Guivarc’h won the World Cup with France but lasted just four months on Tyneside

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Like Diomede, Guivarc’h was included in the France squad at the 1998 tournament on the back of performances at Auxerre.

The striker had earned back-to-back Golden Boots in Ligue 1 and was the top scorer in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup, but could not deliver for his country.

Operating alongside the likes of Thierry Henry and David Trezuguet, Guivarc’h did not score a single goal for Les Blues.

He earned a surprise £3.5m move to Newcastle United after the World Cup, making only four appearances for the club before being moved on.

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