World Cup 2018: The Hits and the Flops at the World Cup

The outcome of a mere three more games will give the world the new FIFA World Cup champion. The roads to the semi-finals has been exciting – the fallen heroes are out, there are resurgent groups and surprise performers.

Heimir Hallgrimmson, the Iceland manager with € 7 million salary was among the highest paid coaches for the FIFA World Cup finals 2018. Even as the Nordic nation did not go beyond the Group Stage, Hallgrimmson and his squad returned home amidst celebration for having for holding Lionel Messi’s Argentina to a draw and putting up some gutsy display in the other two games.

In contrast, Fernando Heirro quit his job as the Spain manager as the team crashed out on their  first knock out hurdle. The 50-year-old had taken the charge in dramatic circumstances last month after Julen Lopetegui was unceremoniously sacked on the eve of the World Cup.

Even as hosts Russia failed to enter the last four stage, home team manager Stainslav Cherchesov is hailed as a big success. While Hallgreimmson and Cherchesov has emerged as new celebrities or World football, there are big names like  Jorge Sampaoli, who have fallen from grace as their teams failed to keep the promise.

As four teams head into the semi-finals, here are the top four hits and misses among the FIFA World Cup 2018 managers.

THE HITS

1)      Stainslav Cherchesov (Russia, Salary : €2.6 million) – The Russia prodigy who took his team to the quarters only losing out on Penalties to Croatia. His tactics were spot on, and he made the perfect use of the home conditions. The host looked a different team altogether as compared to their pre-world cup performances.

2)      Zlatko Dalic (Croatia, Salary : € 550,000) –  All the teams that played against Croatia, accounted for their star midfield duo. But what every team failed to factor in was the role of their coach Zlatko Dalic, who made the perfect use of the duo of Rakitic and Modric. The strong strategist has already taken his team through to the last-four stage.

3)      Gareth Southgate (England, Salary : € 2 million) – The English team despite having all the dearth of the talent, somehow always failed to impress at the big World Cup stage. But this time around their ongoing success can be credited to their calm manager Gareth Southgate, who had ignited that lacking self-belief in the team, and as a result, they have managed to surprise everyone.

4)      Heimir Hallgrimmson (Iceland, Salary: €7 million) – The Thunder Clap initiator, manager of the Iceland national team is one big success story of the World Cup 2018 even as his team just missed out on making it to the knock out stage. Clearly, their Euro 2016 heroics were not enough for them. As they almost managed to qualify for the Round of 16. Narrowly missing out on that spot to Argentina. But they did manage was to earn the appreciation of everyone at the World Cup.

 THE FLOPS

1)      Fernando Hierro (Spain) – The Spain national team manager  got his job just 2 weeks prior to the World cup. Clearly, that had an effect on him and the team. As Spain crashed out of the World Cup losing to Russia at the Round of 16 stage. As a repercussion Hierro, himself announced his resignation.

2)      Jorge Sampaoli (Argentian, Salary : € 1.8 million) – The Argentinian manager, was in the spotlight way before the WorldCup started. Under him, Argentina barely managed to qualify for the World cup and that was quite visible through their under-fired performance. The manager is surfing at the edge of losing his job.

3)      Joachaim Low (Germany,  Salary : €3.85 million) – The star German manager was being criticized before the World Cup started for his team selection. Ignoring some players might have taken its toll on his team’s performance. Adding to this was the failure of his tactics. Called a master tactician at the last World cup, this time around it was a different ball game altogether for Joachaim.

4)      Adam Nawalka (Poland, Salary: € 3.5 million) – The Polish manager had to face a lot of heat as his team crashed out at the group stage. Backed by an abysmal performance, and his managerial failure. The Polish manager decided to step down from the duty.

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