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World Cup 2014

Best 2014 World Cup Players XI | After second round of group games

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Guillermo Ochoa | Mexico, 28: After keeping a cleansheet against Cameroon, Ochoa was more than impressive against hosts Brazil, pulling off some incredible saves and ensuring they get a famous 0-0 result. Ochoa is the only keeper having played two games and not conceded a goal yet.

Rafael Marquez | Mexico, 35: As he did against Cameroon, Rafael Marquez was the last line of defence for the Mexicans against Brazil as well. In both games he kept things organised and led from the back in a three man defensive set-up. His role was crucial as he proved to be the final cover to keeper Ochoa.

Gary Medel | Chile, 26: He had an easier task in hand against Australia, but it was a more difficult opposition in Spain. Both games he played a fantastic role in transferring his abilities as a defensive midfielder to central defence. The same ability to break up play and get stuck in to tackles applied as Chile booked their place in the next round.

Cristian Gamboa | Costa Rica, 24: Another three man defensive system proved to be successful at the World Cup with full-backs playing the important role. Gamboa & Diaz mirrored each others’ contribution but what made their performance interesting in a 5 man defence is their defensive work rate as opposed to attacking.

MORE | Best 2014 World Cup Players XI (after first round of fixtures)

Daley Blind | Netherlands, 24: His defensive performance was more in the spotlight against Australia, while his two crosses against Spain caught the attention in the first game. In both those matches Blind has displayed his ability to balance both sides of the game, getting forward but getting back into position too.

Jermaine Jones | USA , 32: He played two different midfield systems for the US, first as part of a diamond and second in a 4-2-3-1. Both games his defensive performance was impressive while he put in a fantastic shift in attack against the Portuguese, getting on the scoresheet with quite superb effort.

James Rodriguez | Colombia, 22: The Colombian has been the stand-out performer for an impressive side that has booked it’s place in the next round. First involved in all three goals vs Greece, he scored another against Ivory Coast, somehow managing to get on the scoresheet with his head. He was at #3 in our list of 25 Young Players to Watch at the World Cup.

Andre Ayew | Ghana, 24: Playing on the left side of attack, Ayew has been important in ensuring Ghana’s main attacking approach, down the flanks, is successful. He got on the scoresheet against the US with quick work with Gyan, while scoring with his head in an impressive draw with Germany

Arjen Robben | Netherlands, 30: He followed up an incredible two goal performance against Spain with another goal against Australia as the Dutch impress on their way into the quarter finals. Although he isn’t played in exactly his favourite wing position, Robben has adjusted well to a more central role (been included out wide in this line-up for convenience).

Robin Van Persie | Netherlands, 30: Robben’s partner in crime, Van Persie, has also found the back of the net on three occasions. A beautiful header, a reward for pressing and composed finish are the three goals the Dutch captain can boast of leading the line for Van Gaal’s Oranje.

Karim Benzema | France, 26: The Real Madrid man could have been top scorer by a decent margin had it not been for a few near misses, he scored twice against Honduras, adding one more against Switzerland. Benzema has been part of a hugely impressive and consistent French side, joint top scorers in the World Cup.

Players in red are part of our Talent Radar feature

Best Players XI

Read all our World Cup content here

Sami Faizullah

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