World Cup 2014: Team of the tournament
N.B: This article represents solely the writer’s point of view.
Manuel Neuer (Germany): In a World Cup where the goalkeepers played a major role, this was a tough pick, the likes of K.Navas, G.Ochoa & Howard came close, but Neuer is my pick because of the major role he played throughout the tournament, not just as a goalie, but sometimes as a “Libero” too, as against the Algerians. The best goalie in the world right now.
Philip Lahm (Germany): Started as a midfielder, but shined as a fullback, the captain finally completed his trophy cabinet with the greatest of them all, leading his team to their 4th World Cup, something he has been trying to achieve for the last 12 years with this team. consistent through the whole tournament & his athleticism and commitment is an example to follow.
Stefan De Vrij (Netherlands): Many doubted the names Van Gaal choose before the tournament to take with him to Brazil, but those names , De Vrij included proved critics wrong with some memorable displays. the young Feynoord centre back shined in the three back line formation adopted by Van Gaal, and his calmness and great anticipation made him a target for the likes of Man United and Lazio.
Mats Hummels (Germany): One of the protagonists of this historic German team, when he’s on the field, he provides security to the back line with his calmness and excellent game reading, not to mention his great aerial abilities both in the defense & the attack. The best defender of the tournament.
Mario Yepes (Colombia): The veteran ex-Milanista was the heart & soul of an amazing Colombian team. His partnership with Zapata was on the best duo in this tournament and his experience and excellent defensive abilities made his age just a number to read!
Daley Blind (Netherlands): Another pleasant surprise presented by Van Gaal this tournament, The young Ajax fullback caught the attention with his pinpoint assists in the first game against the Spanish team, but that was just the opening of a great World Cup for him, played multiroles for his team, from a fullback where he shined, to a centre back and even a defensive midfielder, Daley Blind is the World Cup’s best young player.
Javier Mascherano (Argentina): Return of Mascherano to the midfield, and you’ve got the best defensive midfield out there. Amazing work rate for the general of the Argentinian midfield, his display in the semi final against the Dutch will remain as one of the best defensive performances for a defensive midfielders in football history. His country’s best player this tournament.
Tony Kroos (Germany): The mastermind of the German team & man assist man, excelled in the role of the deep lying midfield with his great vision and game reading abilities, not to mention his ability from free kicks and corners, just ask Hummels about it!
James Rodriguez (Colombia): No Falcao, No problem, the other Colombian of AS Monaco made his country forget all about the injured striker with his amazing skills and wonderful goals, the ones against Uruguay and Japan especially, winning the tournaments top scorer award despite playing two games less than his competitors. A star in the making.
Thomas Muller (Germany): Another great World Cup for the young German, was his team’s mean threat upfront with his clinical finishing abilities and speed. He already has reached 10 World Cup goals and one has to wonder will Klose’s record withstand in the presence of this guy in the coming tournaments!
Arjen Robben (Netherlands): Some questioned Van Gaal positioning of Robben as a 2nd striker, but the answer was on the field, The flying Dutchman was at his absolute best in Brazil, single handedly humiliating Spain with one of the tournaments best goals, and his pace and amazing skills were always the solution that unlock the opponents defenses for the Dutch team. Arguably the tournament’s best player.
Honorable mentions: Keyler Navas & Michael Umana (Costa Rica), Neymar (Brazil) ,Ezequiel Garay, Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi (Argentina), Ron Vlaar (Netherlands), Bastian Schwensteiger (Germany), Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico), Juan Cuadrado (Colombia) and Alexis Sanchez (Chile).
Best player of the tournament:
1-Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
2-James Rodriguez (Colombia)
3-Thomas Muller (Germany)
Best Coach :
1- Luis Van Gaal (Netherlands)
2-Joachim Low (Germany)
3- Jorge Luis Pinto (Costa Rica)