The Ivorians were tipped to make a big noise in South Africa but need a miracle to get out of Group G.
They have one point going into today's clash with rock-bottom North Korea.
Chelsea forward Kalou, 24, said: "Expectations were huge and we owed it to ourselves to perform well. But the pressure has caused us more stress than anything and even inhibited our talents.
"All of us have put lots of pressure on ourselves because this World Cup is being played on our continent.
"There have been a few players who haven't been up to the standard required. Their abilities have been crushed by the pressure they've put on their own shoulders."