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As Germany & Brazil face-off in the semi-final of the World Cup, we have compiled an XI of the best players from each team based on their performances solely in this tournament, with positional strength a criteria.
The German keeper made in time for the World Cup after an injury in the german Cup final, and has been great for his side. His role as a keeper sweeper has been crucial to the German’s executing their tactics well. In goal too, he’s done a fine job, with his one handed save against France being the stuff of machismo fuelled dreams.
The Brazilian, who is set to move to PSG, got off to a shaky start in the tournament, but has only gotten better with time. His performance against Colombia was spectacular, as he, along with his captain, did a fine job of keeping the lethal Colombian attack at bay. Oh and in case you haven’t heard, he scored a decent goal too.
The Dortmund defender didn’t have a long season at club level owing to an injury, and has come into this tournament quite fresh. That might be one of the factors that has contributed to his excellent performance. Easily man of the match against France, Hummels got the winning goal, but made a great contribution at the back as well, keeping the French forwards out.
The Brazilian captain, who will, unfortunately, miss the semi final owing to a suspension, has been the driving force behind this Brazilian side. His defending, and organisational abilities at the back have really helped Brazil make it this far. His hard work at the back were key in ensuring that Brazil didn’t concede more against Colombia.
At the start of the season, Lahm began to be used as a central midfielder by his coach at Bayern, Pep Guardiola, and a year on, he is proving to be absolutely brilliant in the role. Lahm really was the driving force behind the German midfield in the Group phase, and the round of 16. Shifted to right back for the match against France, he put in another match winning performance, helping his bypass the French pressing.
He didn’t feature in the quarter final against Colombia, but nobody will be surprised to see him return to the XI for Brazil due to the level of his performances in the first 4 games of the tournament. His performances were absolutely incredible, as he did a swell job of protecting the back 4, and getting the ball to the creative elements of his team.
The stylish Arsenal midfielder has been deployed in a slightly different capacity to his usual one this tournament. The man has started in the wide areas, and been abale to do a good job creatively, combining well with the likes of Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller to help his side score quite a few goals and get this far in the tournament. If we do happen to see an Ozil special in the next game, Brazil might well have to come up with something very special to stay in the tournament.
The Bayern man, who has been so consistent for club and country, has been the standout midfield man for Germany in the World Cup thus far. His passing ability and forward runs have allowed Germany to forge a strong link between the midfield and the forwards. Germany will be looking to him to break up the impressive partnerships that Brazil have in midfield, led by Fernandinho.
The young Chelsea man has been impressive for Brazil this summer, playing the back-up to Neymar very well. His performance in the first game was incredible, and will probably need to pull of a repeat at least once if Brazil are to make their dream of a World Cup at home come true. Oscar will occupy the space behind the striker, and with his creative abilities unleashed, we could see a different side of him.
The Brazilian star has lived under the spotlight for the entirety of the tournament, and continues to do so despite his tragic exit due to injury. His performances have been stellar, with his pace and dribbling ability coming to the fore, as he got on the scoresheet 4 times on his way to the quarters with Brazil. He will be missed sorely, as he was the creative head of his side, and will take some serious replacing.
The German man with 9 World Cup goals, who now only trails Klose and Gerd Muller on the all time list of German World Cup scorers has some more to give to this tournament. While he is yet to score in the knockout round, it would be foolish to rule him out. The versatile forward will look at the weaknesses in Brazil’s defence and try to get on the scoresheet.