It speaks volumes about Lionel Messi's talents that the World Cup he has just enjoyed could still be considered such a catastrophic failure in so many quarters... Fans cried out that there were plenty of others more deserving of the gong... but Messi has to contend with the expectations his performances over the years have built up.
Brazil 2014 started with a bang and a flurry of group game goals, though the tournament somewhat petered out in the knockout stages as nerves and disjointed football took hold... here is a list of three other sides who failed to impress in Brazil, but should be a lot stronger during the next World Cup in Russia.
This German side imbued the perfect mix of grace, solidity and resolve. Owing to a conveyor belt of talent, they now possess the most gifted players in the world... The idea of Brazil as the home of the beautiful game is a myth and one that deserves to be challenged for it lacks the supporting evidence.
The main problem holding England back at international level may well be a slight lack in overall technical quality, but it does not have to be the reason that England continue to fail so miserably... an extra effort and more drive should see them able to bridge the gap to the very top of world football.
It will be interesting to see how the next World Cup kicking off in Moscow in 2018 impacts global views of the Kremlin. For while the media spotlight has shone on an already-vibrant Brazil today, unless the four year hiatus is used to full benefit, it may reflect very differently on Russia tomorrow.
The XI that faced the Germans on Tuesday, even before the mauling, on paper, looked like one of the worst Brazil sides in history. Germany, meanwhile, not only have world-class players but a world-class team... Müller's scored crucial goals for club and country but isn't really one to take the glory.
Although England were kicked out disappointingly early, many of us have still been following the World Cup, which has dominated our television screens for the past month. While travel interest to Brazil increased by 387% during the past month, searches were only up by 6% outside the World Cup period.
Relative to pre-tournament expectations at least, these are dizzying heights for the Dutch. Even manager Louis van Gaal gave his side only a 20 per cent chance of making the quarter-finals and many tipped them to crash out of a tough group, but the Oranje have come through the tournament surpassing any realistic hopes they had harboured a month ago...
This reaction is less about a sudden hatred of Brazil and more about the ongoing issues that Brazil faces. Brazil is one of the most unequal societies on Earth and the people don't like many of the realities this creates - the poor don't believe that they have access to a good education or healthcare system and the rich complain that they need big walls, electric fences and private security to guard their own homes.