With the European Championship in the quarter-finals stages, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD list the top five top stars who failed to light up the tournament despite arriving with much hype and promise…
Zlatan IBRAHIMOVIC (Sweden)
After scoring 50 goals for Paris Saint-Germain in his last season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was tipped to terrorise opposition defences at the Euros.
But that was never to be as the former Barcelona and Juventus forward failed in his quest to score a goal in his fourth European Championship appearance in France.
Though he forced the own goal which brought Sweden’s equaliser in their opening draw with Ireland Ibrahimovic did not manage a single shot on target in that match or in the 1-0 defeat to Italy that followed.
It was an inauspicious end to his international career, with Ibrahimovic now retiring from Sweden duty after their final group game loss to Belgium, where he finally got a shot on target.
Harry KANE (England)
One of the reasons England were tipped to do well in France was the array of attackers in the Three Lions squad and the presence of Tottenham striker Harry Kane leading the attack.
Kane, on the back of the 25 goals he scored for Spurs in the Premier League last season, played in all four of England’s Euro 2016 games (two starts and two as substitute) for Roy Hodgson side and did not force a save from any of the goalkeepers he faced in the 239 minutes he played.
The 22-year-old other than not scoring, took six corners in his first game and did not have a single touch in the opposition box against Russia.
Cesc FABREGAS (Spain)
The Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas just as Andreas Iniesta and David Silva failed to live up to his status as an icon in his home country Spain as the La Furia Roja fans largely pinned their hopes on them to land another European title.
Despite having a torrid campaign with Chelsea, the 29-year-old was handed a starting role in all four games as the dethroned champions fell to an Italian side which exploited their weaknesses in the round of 16.
The team’s exit has since been described as “an end of a glorious era”. Fabregas toiled at the Euros and struggled to influence games from his central midfield role.
Dele ALLI (England)
Dele Alli was one of the high-profile flops at the tournament in France. The English Premier League Young Player of the Year was far from his best at the Euros as England suffered a shovk exit to minnows Iceland.
Alli showed none of his usual incisive passing and was a peripheral figure throughout the tournament.
Aleksandar Dragovic (Austria)
Austria had an awful campaign at the European Championships and they have Aleksandar Dragovic to blame for their early exit.
The Dynamo Kiev player was meant to be a leading figure in the team alongside David Alaba but he was a disaster. He was sent off in the opening game against Hungary, leaving 10-man Austria to succumb to a crucial 2-0 defeat.
In his absence Austria held Portugal to a goalless draw. On his return for their final Group F match against Iceland they crashed out from the tournament after losing 2-1 to Iceland.