2014 World Cup is finished, let us take a look at who the best starting XI are.
Goalkeeper – Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)
Costa Rica would not make it to the QF of the World Cup if it wasn’t for Keylor Navas play in net. The Costa Rican goalkeeper was the stand out player of the tournament and the best goalkeeper. He only allowed two goals during the tournament and was incredible at every single game he played. He deserves the recognition of making it to the best XI of the World Cup.
Defender – Lahm (Germany)
Lahm started the World Cup in midfield, but it is undeniable that since he moved into defense not only his play has improved but also the overall play of his team. He has been an anchor at the back for Germany and this has allowed the midfield to play with more space in front of the back line, which has overall contributed for a better offensive play and a stronger stability at the back.
Defender – Vlaar (Netherlands)
He was a surprise with Netherlands in this tournament. He is a solid player, with incredible ball control and vision. Able to break a play, get the ball and initiate the offense, a true central defender that understands Total Football. He was the reason why Netherlands was incredibly solid at the back playing only with three men in the back line.
Defender – M. Hummels (Germany)
Hummels struggled in the tournament with his fitness level, but when he was on the field he was without a doubt an added value to Germany and their defensive line. He adds more speed, vision as well as the ability to score on dead ball situations. He is currently the best central defender playing for Germany.
Defender – M. Rojo (Argentina)
Rojo came into this tournament as an unknown to most. Playing in Portugal at Sporting CP not many people knew of his value, but he has taken every opportunity that he has been given to show how important and versatile he is. He can play on the left of defense as well as central defense. Good defending, able to also lead his team in attack. Good crosser of the ball, he has really been one of the best players in this Argentina squad. He has a bright future ahead of him.
Midfield – Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
Robben deserved more than just to play in the 3rd place match. He was the best offensive player for Netherlands during the tournament. His speed was incredible, able to break down a defense by running at them with quick dribbles. He wasn’t just a speedy winger; he also finished his plays when given a chance. One of the most complete midfielders at this year’s World Cup.
Midfield – J. Mascherano (Argentina)
He has been the best defensive midfielder in this World Cup, and the reason why Argentina was able to make it to the final with low scoring games. He made up for all the lapses provided by the central defenders. He may not be Rambo but he has been super human.
Midfield – Toni Kroos (Germany)
He is another player that used the World Cup as a way to put his name in the minds of all football fans. At Bayern Munich, he has always been a very influential player, but he has elevated his game during this tournament, and become an influential player in his countries midfield. He is an incredible player, huge heart, great passer and able to finish when given a chance near the box. The ultimate box to box player.
Midfield – James Rodriguez (Colombia)
He should have won the MVP of the tournament award. He was the best player of the tournament. Scoring important goals, brilliant goals, but also carrying his country on his back to the QF. It was a shame that he couldn’t take them any further but he proved to be at the same level of the World’s best players.
Forward – Neymar (Brazil)
Up until the moment he got injured he was being influential to his countries team and success. I don’t think it is a surprise or coincidence that once he was out of the squad, Brazil didn’t win a single game. He is not just an offensive problem, but his ability to create something out of nothing has the opposing team more pushed back than if playing against a team that doesn’t have Neymar. Brazil’s collapse was enough to show us how important one player can be to a national team.
Forward – Messi (Argentina)
Messi wasn’t brilliant or dominating at this World Cup, but he was influential in his team’s play and performances. If Argentina didn’t have Messi they would had never made it to the final. He was decisive at moments, pulling goals out of nowhere and creating problems to any team he played against. His consistency and ability to turn a game upside down grants him a spot on the best XI.