None of Manchester City’s Premier League champions were able to augment their seasonal medal haul with World Cup gold this summer.
In fact, were it not for the defensive heroics of a much-maligned Argentine, Citizen involvement in the Brazilian bonanza would’ve been especially underwhelming.
Here’s how representatives of the side ranked 21/10 to win the 2014/15 title fared in the land of samba:
Martin Demichelis/Pablo Zabaleta
The Albiceleste’s near-impenetrable rearguard was tasked to overcompensate for the severe shortcomings of their star-studded frontline and no stopper embodied defensive diligence quite like Demichelis.
With increased midfield protection his chronic lack of pace was negated and he was able to marshal a backline that didn’t concede a single knockout-stage goal in normal time.
Zabaleta was as marauding as ever in the South American heat also; he was one of the few Argentineans whose attacking play didn’t deviate this summer.
The Brazilian anchorman wasn’t first-choice for the Selecao, but when called upon, namely in their quarter-final with Colombia, he was reliable and carried out his tasks (booting James Rodriguez all over the pitch) to the letter.
Bosnia would’ve expected more from their goal-getter in-chief, especially given the bumper qualifying campaign he had, but a bizarre formation alteration from coach Safet Susic had a debilitating effect on his supply line.
England’s campaign was a disaster, but this was nothing to do with Milner, who spent the majority of the tournament bench-warming.
Commanded de Rode Duivels’ defence that conceded just two regulation-time goal all tournament, but the quality of opposition against whom clean sheets were recorded must detract from this to some extent.
Ivory Coast would’ve been relying on their talisman to replicate some of his club-level heroics, but the midfield titan was unable to deliver and the Elephants crashed out of a group they should’ve qualified from.
The England man made fewer saves than advert appearances this summer.
Returning to Manchester with neither a goal, nor assist to show for his World Cup exertions, Kun was undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of the silver-medallists all-star attack.
The Man City magician found himself constantly on the periphery of Spain’s attacks during La Roja’s monumental failure to retain their world title.