The World Cup has seen a lot of Premier League stars perform well or exceed expectations. The tournament has been very competitive and lively with a lot of underdogs punching above their weight while a host of top countries have failed to perform. Last night we saw the Brazilians getting destroyed by the ruthless Germans as the score reached a humiliating 7-1 for the Europeans. Keeping in mind the progress of the tournament so far and the way each team and its Premier League contingent has performed, we present you the Premier League World Cup XI.
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard (USA/Everton)
He has had a brilliant tournament as the United States performed very well despite losing out in the round of 16. Tim Howard created the world record for maximum saves in a single world cup match (16) in their round of 16 match against Belgium. 6 punches, 6 catches and 3.5 saves per goal, Howard, with a total of 21 saves in 4 games has been an absolute beast in the World Cup.
Right Back: Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina/Manchester City)
The Argentine Right Back is the only natural full back in the squad. The team is often criticised for having a weak defence, but the Argentines have conceded only three goals so far and the Man City full back has been a crucial part of the defence. He has had 9 interceptions, 3 blocks, 16 clearances and 89% pass completion to his name, hence proving himself to be a top defensive full back for Argentina.
Centre Back: Vincent Kompany (Belgium/ Manchester City)
He was the defensive stalwart for the Belgians who were termed as the dark horses. Belgium conceded only three goals in the tournament with the help of his top organising skills and also because of Thibaut Courtois’ brilliant goalkeeping. 89% pass completion and 9 tackles won, Kompany has been decisive and has been a smart defender.
Centre Back: Gary Cahill (England/ Chelsea)
Cahill carried his club form into the world cup but unfortunately England crashed out of the tournament in the group stages itself due to some world class goals. Cahill played only three games and managed 88% pass completion, won 8 aerial duels with 89% success and 5 interceptions and 23 clearances to his name.
Left Back: Jan Vertonghen (Belgium/ Tottenham Hotspurs)
Vertonghen has played like a natural full back even though he is a central defender. Despite conceding a penalty against Algeria, Vertonghen has managed 12 interceptions, 4 blocks and 31 clearances. He has also created 5 chances and has scored 1 goal. He has been a regular tackler as he has won 7 out of 18 tackles attempted. Vertonghen has been all action to say the least.
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Midfield: Oscar (Brazil/ Chelsea)
Oscar has had a good world cup with two goals and an assists along with 7 interceptions, 20 out of 41 tackles won. Oscar has always managed to work hard in midfield and play with energy and enthusiasm. He was the man of the match in the opening game where he scored and assisted once and had 7 successful take-ons. Scored the only goal in Brazil’s 1-7 thrashing by Germany.
Midfield: Mesut Ozil (Germany/ Arsenal)
Ozil has always been criticised for his lack of work rate and he had a few lows during the world cup as well. But the silky playmaker has been creating a lot of chances and has many key passes to his name, stats which show that he is a natural playmaker. With 15 chances created and 14 key passes, Ozil has done decent in the World Cup with one goal and an assist.
Midfield: Eden Hazard (Belgium/ Chelsea)
Hazard has been criticized for playing below his usual standards in a rather functional Belgian side as he failed to score in the tournament. Despite that Hazard has managed to have 2 assists to his name along with 20 successful take-ons with 77 % success rate and has created 13 chances with 11 key passes. He also has 6 interceptions and has been fouled 11 times.
Forward: Andre Schurrle (Germany/ Chelsea)
Schurrle has only been a substitute for the Germans but has been sharp and clinical. He has had 13 shots with 89% accuracy and has scored 3 goals. Schurrle added to the misery of the Brazilians with two well taken goals in the second half. His versatility is also useful for the team as he can be made to play in the wide midfield as well.
Forward: Luis Suarez (Uruguay/ Liverpool)
Suarez has had a really weird world cup with him biting an opponent yet again, this time Italian Centre Back Chiellini. He got suspended, but not before he struck twice against England to kick them out of the tournament in the group stages itself. He also managed to create 3 chances and would have thrilled the spectators further in the tournament if he hadn’t lost his cool.
Forward: Robin van Persie (Netherlands/ Man United)
Van Persie has been sharp in the world cup with 3 goals so far with 14 shots at goal with accuracy of 77%. He has led his team very well in the tournament despite struggling a little bit in the torrid heat of Brazil. His wonderful chipped header in the Oranje’s opener against Spain is one of the best goals in the World Cup.
Stats via squawka
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