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Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

- Flops of the tournament as selected by Reuters journalists (4-3-3):

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Spain)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

...

Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

- The 2014 World Cup has produced several goals of outstanding quality. The following are five of the best so far according to Reuters.

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James Rodriguez (Colombia 2 Uruguay 0)

Rodriguez...

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker

- Argentina's Lionel Messi has looked "jaded" and "staccato" in a disappointing World Cup overall despite some magical moments, former England striker Gary Lineker said on Saturday.

The four-times World Player of the Year and...

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker

Pepe faces possible three-game ban after red card

Portugal's national soccer team players Pepe (R), Nani (C), and Fabio Coentrao attend a team practice session in Florham Park, New Jersey June 9, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

SALVADOR, Brazil, June 16 (Reuters) – Portugal defender Pepe faces the possibility of a three-match ban for violent conduct after being sent off in the first half of Monday's World Cup Group G game against Germany.

Pepe, who has a long history of losing his cool and lashing out at opponents, leant into Germany striker Thomas Mueller with his head, making contact and applying pressure in a needless altercation that could bring him a stiff punishment.

The Brazil-born centre back had caught Mueller in the face in an innocuous-looking challenge but took umbrage as Mueller went down, returning to the forward and thrusting his forehead against the German's.

Serbian referee Milorad Mazic had no hesitation in dismissing Pepe in the 37th minute.

A red card brings a mandatory one-game ban at the World Cup but that is usually extended in the case of a sending-off for violent play.

Pepe's latest episode of violent conduct follows a series of similar incidents in recent years playing for his club Real Madrid, including one in a La Liga match against Getafe in April 2009 which earned him a 10-game ban.

With the scores level at 2-2 and three minutes left in the clash at the Bernabeu, Pepe pushed Getafe's Francisco Casquero and the referee awarded a penalty.

Pepe then kicked Casquero on the ground and a second swipe saw him rake his studs over the midfielder's back. In the ensuing melee he struck another Getafe player, Juan Albin, in the face.

He was shown a straight red card, having already picked up a yellow earlier in the match.

He was red-carded in a bad-tempered Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2011 for a studs-up lunge on Barca full back Dani Alves and earned wide condemnation for stamping on Lionel Messi's hand in another Real-Barca game in 2012.

(Additional reporting by Iain Rogers,; Reporting by Mark Gleeson,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

Pictures of the Day

Features

Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

- Flops of the tournament as selected by Reuters journalists (4-3-3):

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Spain)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

...

Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

- The 2014 World Cup has produced several goals of outstanding quality. The following are five of the best so far according to Reuters.

- - - -

James Rodriguez (Colombia 2 Uruguay 0)

Rodriguez...

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker

- Argentina's Lionel Messi has looked "jaded" and "staccato" in a disappointing World Cup overall despite some magical moments, former England striker Gary Lineker said on Saturday.

The four-times World Player of the Year and...

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker