World Cup Best Eleven: Team Of The Tournament

Brazil 2014 World Cup Team Of The Tournament

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil was the 20th in the history of the competition and what a fabulous few weeks have we had. Superstars have served us dribbles and goals. New stars have been born and legends have been made.

What more, it came to a scintillating end as Germany were crowned champions for the third time ever.

Goal Dig was on hand to witness events the entire four weeks that the tourney lasted. While there were several brilliant performances from highly talented players in Brazil, yet the team of the tournament can only accommodate eleven players.

Top performers like Cristiano Ronaldo are missing after a poor outing by Portugal. Germany’s undisputed Number one, Manuel Neuer lost the goalkeeping spot despite an excellent showing at the World Cup. Benzema and Van Persie enjoyed scoring outings. A recording-breaking display by Miroslav Klose ensured his name will forever be mentioned among football greats.

Di Maria, Sami Khedira, Mesuit Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Cuadrado among others all did well yet didn’t make the best eleven.

So who made the best eleven?

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In a league boasting some of the world’s best goalkeepers in Courtois, Casillas, and Valdes, Navas was La Liga’s finest by some distance. Even more impressive was that he achieved this feat while playing for modest league side Levante. He made countless saves and was solid throughout as Costa Rica enjoyed a fairy tale run to the quarter finals.

GoalDig has opted for a three man defence. Ageless Phillip Lahm was his usual energetic self. Playing in midfield and defence, Lahm was Germany’s Mr dependable.

Matt Hummels confirmed his status as one of the world’s best his position. He was instrumental as Germany roared to the world title while conceding a mere five goals in seven matches.

 Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar surprised many with his World Cup performance. An average defender with a struggling Premier League side prior to the global event, the Dutchman was in Rio Ferdinand’s class all through the tournament.

It certainly required a bull-dog effort to keep Sami Khedira out of this team and Mascherano gave it all and more. He covered every blade on the pitch. Worked more than most and gave the more creative players ahead of him the confidence to attack the opponent.

Toni Kroos made the passing job look so simple. Pass, move, pass and move. Germany’s midfield was dynamic and pretty and Toni Kroos was the master conductor. He was to Germany what Xavi was to that World Cup-winning Spain back in 2010.

Holland flogged Spain 5-1 in their opening game and Arjen Robben was the architect. He scored goals and made fine assists. He almost single-handedly dragged Holland to a creditable third place finish. He was the best player at the tourney bar two.

James Rodriguez is simply the revelation of the 2014 World Cup. A delight to watch, he was Colombia’s focal point, their superstar and their main man. Star striker Radamel Falcao couldn’t join the party due to injury but the Monaco hitman was not sorely missed as his fine-faced compatriot, James racked up 6 goals to head home with the Golden Boot.

It was destined to be Lionel Messi’s World Cup. He had won everything else; the La Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League, even the Olympics. To win the World Cup would have lifted him to the same heights as Maradona. Maybe beyond that, even. And how close could one get.

On his short legs was the hope of the Argentine populace and he didn’t disappoint. Almost. With four goals and an assist to his name, he was the finest Argentine in Brazil.

Thomas Muller is the goal-scoring machine Germany can’t do without. The Bayern Munich forward popped up with the important goals for his country when needed. He may not be as feared as Falcao, as nimble-footed as Neymar or as magical as Messi but Muller sure knows where a goal is and how to plant the ball in it.

Two consecutive World Cups and scoring four goals or more in each, Muller has earned his place on this team.

Brazil were brilliant until Neymar got injured. He dazzled and dazzled, scoring in nearly every game he played in. There was a mountain of pressure on his shoulders yet he thrived under it. If there were noticeable cracks in the Selecao, Neymar’s brilliance covered it.

He was arguably the World Cup’s best player until his injury and even after, his name still turned up in all the inspiring places.

Honourable Mentions

It was not easy coming up with a final, finest eleven in a competition that featured over 600 football players. And this is the list of those who very nearly made it to the best eleven.

Manuel Neuer was Germany’s goaltender-cum-sweeper and he would easily walk into another’s Team of the Tournament. That’s how good he was.

It was really not a great tournament for defenders as goals upon goals were scored at a frightening regularity. But Argentina’s Demichelis and Belgium’s Kompany both did well for their respective countries. And so did Holland’s Blind and Germany’s Boateng.

Angel D Maria is certainly the best of the rest.  Wesley Sneijder showed he still had the passing range in midfield. Cuadrado will certainly command several suitors after his scintillating showing.

I hate that Karim Benzema didn’t make the team having missed out by whiskers and Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan is worth more than just a thought.

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