9 World Cup meltdowns that united the football world in laughter

While we all watch World Cup matches with the hope of witnessing great matches and great goals, there is no denying that the rich entertainment breakdowns have added significantly to the rich tournament texture.

From individual tantrums to an entire team losing collectively their marbles, millions around the world reached for popcorn and laughed away while some of the game’s biggest names defected to their legacy.

We’ve looked at nine World Cup meltdowns that would have embarrassed a screaming little boy.

France 2010

After cheating their way to the finals – by way of Thierry Henry’s hand against Ireland – France broke up at South Africa 2010 to the delight of fans around the world.

Two negative matches against Uruguay and Mexico were a prelude to sending Nicolas Anelka home, as the entire team went on strike and coach Raymond Domenech was forced to read the reasons for the confusion of the media.

Driven by their enthusiasm to the finish, they did enough to prevent South Africa from reaching the knockout rounds in their final match. The France campaign was the subject of a government investigation upon their return to Paris.

Roy King

โ€œMick, you are a liarโ€ฆ you are arrogant,โ€ Roy Keane spat with poison at a training ground in Saipan.

“I don’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager, I don’t rate you as a person. You’re a playboy and you can hold the World Cup in your ass.

โ€œThe only reason Iโ€™m dealing with you is because you are somehow my principal. You can hold her by your necks.โ€

With that, Kane was sent home from a training camp in Ireland. Despite McCarthy’s side reaching the second round, losing to Spain on penalties, many Irish fans believe they could have made it to the final with Kane patrolling midfield.

Brazil 2014

Brazil tearfully made its way to the semi-finals of its tournament eight years ago until Germany were certain they would become notorious.

At least 1950 no longer haunt Brazilian football; It was replaced by something much worse…

Try a test: Can you name Brazil after losing 7-1 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup?

Cameroon 2002

Cameroon were really talented to match their exploits with the Italy 90 in the 2002 edition but the tournament slipped into petty squabbles over rewards.

“We had a big meltdown in Paris before the World Cup and spent six days in a hotel without training properly,” Remembers striker Patrick Sofu From the moment he marked his World Cup experience.

While the rewards were eventually paid, Cameroon arrived in Japan two days before the opening match and were knocked out in the first round having finished behind Germany and Ireland without Kane.

“We had one of the best Cameroonian teams ever and we didn’t get the result we should have with this team,” Sofu said. โ€œWe regret ourselves because we have the players, the coach, the mentality and everything, but there is always something that comes to spoil things.

โ€œThis time, it was not from the players, it was from our officials. This is the saddest thing about it.โ€

John Terry

With England being more incompetent than usual in 2010, Terry attempted a coup against Fabio Capello during a press conference when the hill who chose to die on him was pressing for Joe Cole to be included in the starting line-up.

A draw against the USA and Algeria means the knives are out and the defender told reporters: โ€œAs a group of players we owe it to ourselves and to everyone in the country, if we feel there is a problem, there is no point in keeping it. If it bothers him or any other player, so what?โ€

But the “Cape Town coup” did not go further. Terry was forced to make a public apology and soon England were eliminated by Germany in the round of 16.

Luis Suarez

“I want to change the bad boy image that has been stuck around for some time because I don’t think I am at all how I was portrayed,” Suarez said ahead of the 2014 finals in Brazil, hoping that some goals would erase the memories of all the biting, racism and handball that characterized him.

And despite scoring two goals to knock England out of the group stage, the defining image of the Uruguayan striker was sinking his incisors into Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder.

The punishment was swift, despite Suarez’s denial of the truth behind the photos, which were passed on to the hundreds of millions. He was suspended from nine international matches and from all football for four months, leading his country’s president, Josรฉ Mujica, to classify FIFA as “a bunch of old sons of bitches”.


Scotland 1978

Scotland had an excellent squad in 1978, but their campaign in Argentina has long become the epitome of farce, arrogance and misplaced bravado.

Peru – whose head coach Ally MacLeod didn’t bother to explore – and Iran went undefeated from their confrontations against Scotland, meaning Archie Gemmell’s tournaments against the star-studded Netherlands were all in vain.

McLeod’s squad stayed in a hotel that didn’t even finish and Willie Johnston was sent home in disgrace after failing a drug test. “When I was on that bus alone with two soldiers and two rifles, I was thinking ‘That’s it, they’re going to take me to the end of the runway and shoot me,'” Johnston said.

The team returned to Glasgow with their tail firmly between their legs and Scotland have refused to get excited about their national team ever since.

Spain 2018

We’re not football experts, but sacking your manager two days before the World Cup constitutes a meltdown of epic proportions.

Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has expressed his dismay at the fact that neither coach Julien Lopetegui nor Real Madrid bothered to inform the federation of post-World Cup arrangements until five minutes before the news was announced.

Rubiales quickly sacked Lopetegui and installed Fernando Hierro in his place. Spain were eliminated by hosts Russia in the round of 16, and the likes of Sergio Ramos, Andreas Iniesta and David Silva will not participate in the World Cup finals again.

Togo 2006

Togo were a surprise in qualifying for Germany 2006 but their only World Cup appearance is remembered primarily due to the great controversy over bonuses and a blowout.

Roc Gnassingbe, president of the Togolese Football Association, has revealed that players are refusing to play in Germany unless they are given big bonuses of ยฃ100,000 each.

โ€œThese sums are too high for the countryโ€™s financial standing,โ€ Gnassingbe said before the tournament, and after the defeat in the opening match, Togo players threatened to boycott their match against Switzerland unless the payments were repaid.

FIFA eventually stepped in to avoid any embarrassment and Togo went home after three group stage defeats.

Read more: 8 players from the 2002 World Cup we can’t believe they’re still playing in 2022