Tuesday July 1 2014
World Cup 2014 review - Group stage

The 2014 World Cup may still be in full swing, but some nations are already back home licking their wounds after group stage exits.

Italy, Spain and England were among the notable European teams to struggle with the Brazilian climate and fall at the first hurdle.

In the first part of our tournament review, we run through player ratings for every man in Cesare Prandelli’s squad, assess what went wrong for each of the 16 nations eliminated at the group stage and recall the action, group by group.  

Click here to read more, whilst for a complete review of the 2014 World Cup, check out the next issue of Soccer Italia, written by the team at Football Italia and available on worldwide subscription.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit:

Have your say...
A really big grey area is what it is. It bothers me that one day we could be like france! In 2010 marcel Desailly (apparently french) was commentating/presenting for itv- he was in ghana interviewing the coach this was his words; "what do you think OUR chances are of going through this group". Now I ask myself, this is a man who played for france, lived in france and is french so there is no 'OUR' chances. You wither 1 or the other! Its grey coz if you say something someone cries racism!
on the 4th July, 2014 at 5:19pm
I guess if you move to Italy when you're a child then you have to be considered italian.

You speak the language,follow the culture,have the characteristics.Italy to you is home because its all you know.

A national sides players should be a reflection of its ability to produce great players.If you have grown up in Italy and come through italian football then why should someone like Boetang then play for Ghana.

Like I say its a grey area which will always produce much argument.
on the 4th July, 2014 at 9:26am
mm I assume Boetang although he was born in Ghana he must have lived in Italy for a large part of his life so can play for italy and has done so at youth level.

Should he play for the senior team.Its a grey area.
Some would say no some would say yes.

I prefer for our players to have a blood connection so therefore at least one parent must be italian.

Balo def qualifies as he was born in Italy.

I'm totally against people like Osvaldo.Played in Italy a few years so he qualifies.All wrong.
on the 4th July, 2014 at 9:20am
Id rather we dont pick from anywhere. I mean kingsley boetang could effectively play for italy- now balotelli was born in italy and adopted so I guess we had no choice but kingsley was born in africa so I am slighlty baffled! Its a free for all. Club football has been ruined by the foreign invasion of all the top teams and now international football is/has gone down the same path. Jorgihno and romulo, whats the connection, They play in italy? I play in england and im not english!
on the 3rd July, 2014 at 6:58pm
From Wikipedia:

'Lionel Messi's paternal family originates from the Italian city of Ancona, from where his ancestor, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina in 1883'

We could probably pick from half of Argentina but would we want to go to the levels of other countries?
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 8:24pm
This world cup is anyone's because no one team has been outstanding.

It makes it even harder to take that Italy couldn't play to their potential because there was a real chance to win this world cup.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 8:04pm
The reality is alot of the smaller teams have done well because they push the boundaries of who can play for their national sides.

Many of Algeria's players for example grew up in France.
In their first game Croatia had one player who had been brought up there.

I wouldn't be surprised if a number of the other teams with small populations had a big percentage of their players who had never lived in that country.

On the other hand Italy must have millions to choose from abroad but they don't.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 8:01pm
@Ghost of 82
Absolutely right. We all have different views that need to be respected, whatever your stance. I assume that we are all hurting and left incredulous at how we failed to turn up leaving us questioning almost everything and everybody. I guess this is further compounded by the heart shown by all the last 16. Had we lost like USA, Switzerland or even Greece, we would have no doubt ranted but deep down we would still have empathy for the Azzurri. All we have now is anger and disillusion
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 3:12pm
@ Sanrella
Yes,there is no pleasure in getting to a final only to lose but its great eating at the top table and leaving heads held high. Can we say that now? We can also argue that94 was due to one man, the Divine Codino but I have no doubt that 2014 will be settled by individual brilliance of one man, Neymar, Messi, Robben, Muller, Hazard or Jack Rod. It is nothing to be ashamed of, infact, it shows that something is working to produce prodigious talent.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 3:00pm
@ Maldini Heir, your correct in your view. however as i stated in my last post all italian football has to change from the ground up. Im Italian l love Italy but unfortunately the people the atitude is poor. This is goverment led. Until italian society looks at itself and decides to make postive change we will be a 3rd world country in eveything including football, so get used to group stage knockouts.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 2:22pm
Clubs have to invest in our youth system.This means even those that are born elsewhere but of Italian blood line.After all we would have been very happy if Messi had chosen Italy!Journalists cannot criticise when they are the first to celebrate purchase of foreigners.Look at Inter and Napoli who only field 1 Italian.We can bounce back but we need to sort out from the roots otherwise we will be in the wilderness for a very long time just like England 48yrs not reaching ever a final in WC & EC.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 2:14pm
anyone here still watching the world cup,, ITS A EFFING CRACKER!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 12:59pm
The manager and ALL of the players who played must take responsibility for this debacle. As do the authorities who have presided over the decline of Serie A and youth development. But the fans also have to look at themselves. This was one of the most unpleasant World Cups I can remember from a fans perspective. Even after the England game fans came on here complaining and criticising players and manager. No wonder they choked in the last game and reverted to their old defensive style.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 10:23am
@ serieAstar Can I suggest that one of the features of teams like Algeria, US and Chile is they played without fear? They knew if they gave their all that their fans would always support them. Before the World Cup Prandelli spoke about the negativity and pressure surrounding Italy. Helpful posters on here said things like "a certain player must score or he's finished". Now certain players are being insulted. Not the most conducive environment for building a successful campaign.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 10:19am
@ Elm CP is one of the only people to have taken responsibility so far by tendering his resignation. Another high profile scapegoat has also taken personal responsibility. While certain senatori have been vocal they've yet to take personal responsibility. Maybe they can borrow some quotes from the Spanish players. I agree though that taking previous winners to the World Cup can backfire. This happened to France, Spain and Italy. Still you'd be a brave man to leave out that experience.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 10:15am
message to all, this is a site where everyone is entited to their opinion, right or wrong. Please can we not get personel & insult someone for there opinion. My view is Italian football needs to be ripped up and we need to start again from the ground up, stadiums,safety, atitude,remove all the 2nd rate non italians. This will probably never happen so i think decent italian players will have to go abroad to learn & improve like the french, Brazilans etc.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 9:59am
To Quote Elm.

'Mexico 70 USA 94 offered difficult conditions but we managed with less scientific approach than today'

In the 70 final we were slaughtered.Remember.
We also won the semi partly due to it being against another European side.

Ok so 1970 wasn't all about the heat.We were knackered from the semis plus had to travel 3000 miles to the final whereas Brazil played the semi and final in the same city.

We also lost 94 final and only got there because Baggio did a Maradona 1986.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 8:35am
Quote Maldini's Heir

'Buffon, Pirlo and De Rossi have already won the World Cup. As did most of the Spanish team. So how hungry are they to win it again? Add to this the heat and humidity, the "home" advantage for Costa Rica and Uruguay, some strange tactical decisions of Prandelli and a pinch of bad luck and we find ourselves out. Costa Rica, Algeria and Switzerland played as if their careers depended on it which it did'

I agree with this.A combination of the situations plus lack of desire.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 8:28am
mate you have actually done my head in,, i dont think you even watch serie a. highlights at most? how well did cassano play last season to earn his spot? really? apart that serie a isnt what it used to be, most of his best performances came against the lower half of the league. a very slow league. and the dudes overweight. other than that, move on!!!! and look forward to the bright future a very bright azzurri future.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 12:11am
@maldini's heir
Just to clarify how it works. Chiellini /Montolivo/Motta are all cancers also, but they do it differently than Balotelli. The level of play from these Prandelli specials are well below a championship calibre team. With Montolivo we would have lost to England also.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 12:06am
Nail on the head! Wanting to play for your manager and your manager getting the maximum out of you. However we look at it, it falls at CP's feet! I wanted to like him after the false dawn of Euro 2012, however, including Aquilani in his squad made me question his approach but moreover, his sanity.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 12:06am
Italy does lack passion. However, that is not surprising. They play negative football continually. For some reason they think playing for a tie or winning by a goal and doing the BARE MINIMUM will win you something. The Azzurri has lots of progress to make up as all the other nations have caught up and exceeded.
on the 2nd July, 2014 at 12:03am
"Oriundi" have always existed and has been part of our footballing history,therefore,we have been part of its proliferation albeit that it is now out of hand. It is a delicate subject but one has to draw the line especially where players have represented countries at different levels but fail to make the A team! By definition, we'll take the rejects!
on the 1st July, 2014 at 11:56pm
@maldini heir
I answered to a comment by someone who referred to 94. Just like a answer your comments. You talk about 2010 and 2012 as an achievement. We got hammered by spain in the final and all you care to go on about is balotelli goal against germany! I mean based on that stupidity we may aswel go over the best goals scored for italia and keep calling that striker- infact great idea! Baggio scored afew great goals for italy call him up, del piero had afew call him to!! Your a joke!
on the 1st July, 2014 at 11:52pm
Ok let's be clear, I've just watched the USA vs BEL game and that sums up what this Italy team lacked, passion! We went out with a wimper! We had no shots on goal hardly in three matches. Enough talk about tactics and personnel, we should have done ten times better even with the personnel we put on the field, even with the wrong tactics and even with the heat and sink holes! Enough excuses we put nil into the last two games and there is not one team left we would have beaten
on the 1st July, 2014 at 11:50pm
@Maldini's heir
I guess it all lies a CP's feet. The rule should be never to take members of a World Cup winning team! Mexico 70 USA 94 offered difficult conditions but we managed with less scientific approach than today. CP obviously got the whole balance and mix wrong. The rot set in soon after the early qualification culminating with the loss of our seeding. A lot of it is mental attitude and is a general reflection of Itallian society at the moment without wanting to get political.
on the 1st July, 2014 at 11:43pm
@ des if that's true I'd agree with you. But Buffon denied he said that. In buffon's own words "“I don’t understand this desire from the media to create controversy.” I don't understand this either....
on the 1st July, 2014 at 11:15pm
Yes mm we should forget about 2010 since there's no similarities to the present. It's not like 5 of the current squad played in that world cup and also went out at the group stage. No mm we should go back 94 instead. Much more relevant. Maybe we should bring back the 94 squad. That would solve all our problems. There's a post going for the Italy job. Do you fancy it?
on the 1st July, 2014 at 11:09pm
@ mm ,, Haha niiiice ;)
on the 1st July, 2014 at 10:36pm
Its not a case of producing better players- international football has become like club football, pick a player and change his nationality. Look at costa of spain- played for brazil at 21 but feels spainish? Look at this world cup- its full of players that changed nationalities. Its 1 thing having a parent(s) from a nation- but 20 years old switching nationality coz you cant get into your own national side is ridiculous! Look at the future of italy, jorginho? Kingsley boetang?
on the 1st July, 2014 at 10:31pm

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