Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and the worst team in Europe

The 2022-23 season has already been a season like no other.

For the first time in history, we held the World Cup in the middle of the Qatar 2022 season in November and December.

For the first time in history, we held the World Cup in the middle of the Qatar 2022 season in November and December.

Therefore, European club competitions are tightly scheduled before and after the World Cup.

The players had to get used to this situation, and as always, some big stars ran to their clubs.

We take a look at 11 top stars who have disappointed so far this season.

Edward Mendy (Chelsea)

Edouard Mendy kept 14 goals in 34 Premier League appearances for Chelsea last season, but this season he kept just one in nine games before being sacked by Graham Potter, who succeeded Thomas Tuchel as manager. Kepa Arrizabalaga is now ahead of him when fit and the Blues are still in the hunt for the long-term No.1.

Mendy also had a terrible World Cup with Senegal, losing in the round of 16 against England.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Second, Liverpool, who finished just one point behind champions City last season, are 15 points behind leaders Arsenal this year. No Reds player has been more frustrating than Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose defensive positioning and tenacity – or lack thereof – allowed Liverpool to concede silly goals.

He made England’s World Cup squad in place of the injured Reece James, but found himself third behind Kyle Walker and Kieran Tripper in Qatar.

Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

Gerard Pique has been so bad this season that he was forced to retire despite only being three months into the campaign. Pique’s legendary career came to a sad end in November after a start to the season that showed he was no longer good enough at this level. He made a series of mistakes in the Champions League, which led to Barcelona being knocked out by Inter at the group stage. But to his credit, many Barca defenders have disappointed in 2022-23, including Andreas Christensen and Eric Garcia.

Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Harry Maguire is taking credit for his World Cup performance with England, but let’s not forget that Manchester United, whom he captained, started to win after being dropped. The most expensive defender of all time has made a catalog of mistakes at the start of the season and currently sits firmly behind Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in the centre-back pecking order.

Angelino (Hoffenheim)

Angelino fell out of favor last year. In 2020-21, he was one of the most prolific left-backs in Europe, scoring eight goals and playing in the Champions League. But he has lost the thread of his career and has struggled after being loaned out to Hoffenheim for a team that is 11th in the Bundesliga and just four points above the relegation zone.

Renato Sanches (PSG)

Renato Sanchez has exploded at Euro 2016, hinting that he is a superstar of the future. He languished at Bayern Munich but slowly rebuilt his career before again suggesting to Lyon that he was ready to star for a big club. He turned down Milan for PSG last summer, but once again failed at a top-flight team. He is at the bottom of the hierarchy in Paris.

Frank Cassie (Barcelona)

Franck Kessie’s decision to move to Barcelona on a free transfer this summer had already raised doubts before the start of the season due to the abundance of midfield talent at the Camp Nou. Those fears came true as he started just two La Liga games, plus five appearances on the bench for a total of 213 minutes. He scored just one goal in all competitions. It is already connected to the departure.

Paul Pogba (Juventus)

Paul Pogba has not touched a ball this season since joining Juventus on a free transfer from Manchester United in the summer. In September, the 29-year-old underwent surgery for a meniscus tear sustained over the summer that did not respond to conservative treatment. He tried to recover in time for the World Cup with France, but then picked up a thigh injury before the final. Pogba has yet to return to training at Juventus and manager Max Allegri has admitted he has no idea when he will be fit.

Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)

Sancho can line up on either flank but is increasingly found on neither flank, with Antony signed from Ajax for €100m and Alejandro Garnacho becoming a rising star on the opposite side. Sancho scored two goals and provided an assist before England missed out on World Cup selection. He then did not even feature in his club’s mid-season tour to Spain. Ten Hag said Sancho was “not physically or mentally ready” to play for Man Utd. His long-term future at Old Trafford is highly uncertain.

Romelu Lukaku (Inter)

Although Lukaku returned to Inter from Chelsea on a season-long loan last summer, he struggled with his physical condition. He has played a total of 256 minutes in club football this season, starting three games and making just five appearances. He scored two goals this season. He also fought in the world championship. Understandably, he came on as a substitute twice and missed a number of clear chances in Belgium’s 0-0 draw with Croatia, which they lost in the group.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s second stint at Man Utd ended in disaster. The Portuguese was replaced by Marcus Rashford and scored just one league goal before giving an unauthorized interview to Piers Morgan and criticizing the club, the Glazer family and manager Ten Haag. It is reported that Ronaldo, who was released by United on the eve of the World Cup, will make a profitable transfer to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nasr club. His career at the highest level is over.

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