Was it the best World Cup ever? It certainly felt like it. Drama, great goals, magnificent saves made Brazil 2014 one to remember for most. Even as an Englishman, whose team got knocked out in the group stages with just one point, I still felt as though the tournament was better than the two I’ve seen previously. Even older fans, who have seen countless World Cups, claimed that this year’s topped the rest. I look back over it with a teary eye but a big smile as I conclude my own thoughts and reveal the results of your votes.
Team of the Tournament (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
How it compares to FIFA’s Team of the Tournament:
- 6 of the 11 players in your XI are also in FIFA’s: Neuer, Hummels, Rodriguez, Kroos, Messi and Muller.
- You did not vote any Brazilian players in your line-up, whereas FIFA had four: David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Marcelo and Neymar.
- Those players are replaced by Blind, de Vrij, Lahm and Robben.
- Both XI’s had one Argentine in their midfield. You had Mascherano, FIFA had Angel Di Maria.
- Your line-up had three Dutch players in it, FIFA’s had none.
Player of the Tournament (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
James Rodriguez – Colombia
With Falcao ruled out through injury, Colombia needed somebody else to step up and be their talisman in Brazil. It was Falcao’s AS Monaco teammate, 23 year old James Rodriguez, who took up the responsibility with both hands, and was one of the sensations of the tournament. He scored six goals in just five games as his country made it to the quarter-finals, making sure he took home the golden boot, whilst he also set up two goals for teammates, meaning he was involved in eight of Colombia’s 12 tournament goals. As expected, Rodriguez was nominated for the Golden Ball by FIFA, which although he didn’t win, you have voted him as your best player in Brazil as well as putting him in your team of the tournament. Lionel Messi was FIFA’s Player of the Tournament, a decision that has been criticised by many.
2nd – Thomas Muller (Germany)
3rd – Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
Young Player of the Tournament (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
Paul Pogba – France
This time you do agree with FIFA, as both you and the federation thought that Paul Pogba was the best young player in Brazil. In five total appearances (four starts), the 21 year old scored got one assist and one goal, which came against Nigeria in the Round of 16 to set France on their way to victory in that game. Pogba’s World Cup wasn’t perfect. He lost his cool against Honduras and like most of his teammates was stifled by Germany. In general, though, Pogba not only excelled but also showed marked improvement from one game to the next. Throughout and since the tournament, Chelsea have been linked with the Juventus midfielder. I personally felt that Memphis Depay was the best young player of the tournament, but he came a close second to Pogba in your vote.
2nd – Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
3rd – Raphael Varane (France)
Goal of the Tournament (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
James Rodriguez (1st) vs Uruguay
2nd – Tim Cahill vs Netherlands
3rd – Robin van Persie (1st) vs Spain
Game of the Tournament (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
Brazil 1-7 Germany
Brazil’s World Cup dreams ended in humiliating and brutal fashion as Germany inflicted their heaviest defeat in the first semi-final in Belo Horizonte. A thunderous occasion that began with Brazil riding a tidal wave of emotion was reduced to a nightmare as Germany were 5-0 up inside 29 remarkable minutes in front of a disbelieving Estadio Mineirao crowd, as Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos (2) and Sami Khedira all got on the scoresheet. Chelsea striker Andre Schurrle, on as a substitute, added two more after the break before Brazil’s followers delivered what must be regarded as the defining insult to their national team – cheering every German pass and applauding their goals. Oscar’s goal for the hosts in the 90th minute was possibly the most pointless goal of the tournament. Read the full match report here.
2nd – Spain 1-5 Netherlands
Read the full match report here.
3rd – Germany 1-0 Argentina
Read the full match report here.
Who was the best player for each country? – My opinion
Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa
Croatia: Ivan Perisic
Cameroon: No one – they were that bad
Netherlands: Arjen Robben
Chile: Alexis Sanchez
Spain: Andres Iniesta
Australia: Tim Cahill
Colombia: James Rodriguez
Greece: Konstantinos Manolas
Ivory Coast: Gervinho
Japan: Atsuto Uchida
Costa Rica: Keylor Navas
Uruguay: Diego Godin
Italy: Andrea Pirlo
England: Raheem Sterling
France: Karim Benzema
Switzerland: Xherdan Shaqiri
Ecuador: Enner Valencia
Honduras: Maynor Figueroa
Argentina: Lionel Messi
Nigeria: Ahmed Musa
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Miralem Pjanic
Iran: Mehrdad Pooladi
Germany: Thomas Muller
USA: Tim Howard
Portugal: Joao Moutinho
Ghana: Andre Ayew
Belgium: Jan Vertonghen
Algeria: Abdelmoumene Djabou
Russia: Sergey Ignashevich
South Korea: Ki Sung-Yueng
In the next few days, I will publish a top ten moments from the 2014 World Cup to conclude my coverage of a truly brilliant tournament.