Team of the Tournament –
Goal Keeper – Manuel Neuer
Taking into account his exceptional performances against Algeria, France and Brazil, Neuer has been included in the Best XI. Neuer, with his sweeper ability, has revolutionized the role of goal keepers in the modern game.
Reserve team – Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)
Right Back – Serge Aurier
With 2 assists from 3 games for the Ivory Coast, the 21 year old Toulouse wingback, has made it to the Best XI by beating the likes of Cristian Gamboa and Pablo Zabaleta. His performance, even though his team couldn’t reach the knock-out stages, was above par.
Reserve team – Cristian Gamboa (Costa Rica)
Left back – Daley Blind
Daley Blind will be remembered for his performance against Spain. Throughout the tournament he played in different positions – left back, central defender, and midfielder – depending on the tactical changes made by Louis van Gaal.
Reserve Team – Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland)
Rodriguez is obviously a great player and has all the characteristics of a South American wingback (he is of South American descent), but versatility is what separates these two players.
Central defenders – Mats Hummels (Germany) and Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica)
Mats Hummels missed a few matches due to injury. But whenever he played for Die Mannschaft, he was on top of the opposition forwards. So far he has scored 2 goals, proving that he is very lethal in scoring from set pieces. Adopted himself to Germany’s high pressing tactics.
Giancarlo Gonzalez – the heart of high pressing, offside trap playing Costa Rican defensive unit. He rarely let the opposition forwards dribble past him. The fact that he has never played in Europe makes him special.
Reserve team – Ezequiel Garay and Stefan de Vrij
Central Midfielders – Javier Mascherano (Argentina) and Toni Kroos (Germany)
Mascherano suits perfectly for the role of the defensive midfielder. He usually plays as a central defender for FC Barcelona. But reverted back to his original position for Argentina. He has been sensational in this World Cup. You can call him as “the Back Bone of Argentina”.
Kroos is like a conductor – picking up balls from deep positions and cleverly passing it to the forwards – he conducts the whole act of high pressing and also counter attacking. Fulcrum of German team.
Reserve team – Paul Pogba and Hector Herrera
Attacking midfielders – James Rodriguez (Colombia), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
James Rodriguez couldn’t have been left out of the squad. He, according to me is the best player of the tournament. Expectations were high on the young Colombian. He over exceeded our expectations by scoring 6 times and assisting twice.
Lionel Messi netted 4 times, showing the world why he is one of the all-time greats. 3 out of his 4 goals were scored out of the 18 yard box. His assist to Angel di Maria against Switzerland was very crucial for Argentina.
Arjen Robben has been one of the only few consistent players of the tournament. One of the greatest dribblers of the ball, Robben scored three times in this World Cup.
Reserve team – Neymar (Brazil), Alexis Sanchez (Chile), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Colombia).
Striker – Thomas Muller (Germany)
Carried his 2010 WC form into this tournament also. Scored a hat-trick in the first game against Portugal. Scored one each against USA and Brazil.
Reserve team – Karim Benzema (France)
Reserve Team –
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