Compared to their Premier League bedfellows, Liverpool’s World Cup review is one littered with underachievement, ignominy and inertia, but there’s one Anfielder returning from Brazil as a beacon of an exemplary international tournament performer.
French centre-half Sakho is the only one of the 13 Reds involved in the South American festivities to return having augmented his stock.
Far from averse to hazard, the French stopper managed to keep Laurent Koscielny out of the team for every match he wasn’t injured, playing four of Les Bleus’ five matches and was present for two of their three clean sheets.
Spain usually select the limbo-dwelling net-minder as chief cheerleader, but he actually got to play a game at this tournament, which must make it a success from his point of view, though probably not anyone else’s.
Glen Johnson/Jordan Henderson/Rickie Lambert/Adam Lallana/Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling
The former Southampton twosome of the England sextet were not given sufficient time to fall either side of the line of languor.
Henderson failed make the impression he did at club level when deployed in a two-man midfield and, although Sturridge may not have been as big a threat to international defences as he was Fulham’s, he did net 50 per cent of the Three Lions’ goals.
Johnson skips out of the failures’ pen on account of recording the joint-15th highest key passes per game average in Brazil, which no countryman can best.
A glittering first-half against Italy wasn’t enough to book Sterling a spot in the winners’ enclosure either and he will be cursing his humdrum efforts from half-time onwards against the Azzurri.
Thibaut Courtois’ understudy wasn’t required for anything other than ensuring his Chelsea counterpart was fully warmed up pre-match.
The Uruguayan’s World Cup remit went something along the lines of: ‘Don’t injure anybody in training. That is all.’
The Reds’ skipper’s holding-midfield shortcomings were exposed with only Henderson by his side.
He failed to influence any game in a positive way and inadvertently assisted Luis Suarez’s winner in defeat against Uruguay.
After notching a brace against England, there was a brief moment where it looked like Suarez was going to dominate the World Cup as he did the Premier League, but then his overriding urge to commit a despicable act kicked in and that was that.
Another underwhelming World Cup showing from a nation who conceded in every outing doesn’t reflect well on their senior centre-back.