Italy player ratings v Costa Rica: Ex-Man City man poor

Balotelli 2

Mario Balotelli may have wanted a kiss from the Queen if he scored the winner, but he and his side's performance warranted the defeat they suffered.

Many believed, before this tournament started, that Group D's two qualifying spots would be battled out between England, Uruguay and Italy, how wrong was that.

Costa Rica, with a population of just four million, surprised everyone this afternoon with a 1-0 over four time World champions Italy, a win that secures their qualification into the last 16 with a game to spare.

Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz scored the only goal of the game just before half time as Italy struggled in the heat of Recife, and will now need to get at least a draw against Uruguay on Tuesday to secure qualification.

Gianluigi Buffon - 7 

Returned in goal for Italy after his injury, wasn't tested a lot and couldn't do much for the Costa Rica goal. 

Matteo Darmian - 7

As Italy returned to a back four, the full back tried to get forward when he could, also had a good shot saved in the beginning of the second half.

Andrea Barzagli - 6

Centre-back tried to play from the back, however with Costa Rica pressing high, he struggled at times. Also lack of pace was evident.

Giorgio Chiellini - 6

Experienced Juventus man led the defence, not to the high standard we've come to expect over the years. Struggled with Joel Campbell.

Ignazio Abate - 5

AC Milan full back tried to play his normal attacking style, however a number of occasions when he was too far back when italy tried to attack down the right flank. Struggled in the heat.

Thiago Motta - 7

Was subbed off at half-time, returned from injury and looked solid in the midfield. Also not afraid to step forward and find space behind Costa Rica defence, which he did well.

Daniele De Rossi - 6

Played his normal position in front of the back four, struggled to stop the Costa Rica side from playing, looked exposed.

Antonio Candreva - 6

Didn't make a real impact on the match, both defensively and attacking. Understandably substituted just before the hour after his lack of an impact.

Andrea Pirlo - 6

Had half the touches he had against England, Costa Rica hunted him down and he struggled. Despite that, still played some superb through balls in the first half to Balotelli.

Claudio Marchisio - 5

Along with Candreva, didn't make an impact. No time did he run beyond Balotelli, or if he did he was offside. Substituted after 68 minutes for Alessio Cerci.

Mario Balotelli - 5

One of the worst performances from Balotelli for a while, struggled from the beginning. Missed two chances in the first half when through on goal, perhaps was thinking about the Queen too much...

Subs: 

Lorenzo Insigne - 5

Come on just after half time for Candreva, tried to support Balotelli by running behind Costa Rica but was offside far too often. Poor impact.

Antonio Cassano - 6

Come on at half time for Motta, linked the midfield with Balotelli well. Had a few long range shots that looked dangerous, may have earned himself a starting role for Tuesday against Uruguay.

Alessio Cerci - 6

Come on with just 20 minutes remaining, showed his pace well with a couple of runs. Poor on the final ball though, not the impact his coach would have wanted. 

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