Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

The superstars and super team of FIFA World Cup

Mueller is en route to writing his name in Germany folklore. (Source: AP) Mueller (C) is en route to writing his name in Germany folklore. (Source: AP)
Written by Saahil Mehta | Posted: July 19, 2014 6:00 pm | Updated: October 8, 2014 6:59 pm

It was a World Cup that equaled the highest tally of goals scored (171) since the 1998 Cup in France. There were goals aplenty in the group and knockout stages of the tournament with most teams adopting an attacking style of play. We take an in-depth look at the top five players that got pulses racing over the month long World Cup along with my team of tournament.

Thomas Mueller (Germany)
Position : Striker
Age : 24
Club Team : Bayern Munich

Arguably the best player of the tournament, Mueller is en route to writing his name in Germany folklore. At the young age of 24, the German is expected to break compatriot, Miroslav Klose’s record of 16 World Cup goals after he added five goals to his previous tally of five in his last World Cup appearance. He may not be the flashiest, or the most spectacular, but like Klose, he scores goals.

Mueller thrives as the free roaming frontman in Joachim Loew’s side, and is the most important cog in the team. In the first game, his hat-trick helped his side demolish Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal. Most defenders believe they can bully him on the field due to his scrawny physique, but Mueller is one of the most intelligent and clinical strikers in the world.

James Rodriguez (Colombia)

Position : Midfielder
Age : 23
Club Team : AS Monaco

In the wake of the baby faced Colombian’s performances at the tournament, his countrymen have nicknamed him, ‘El Pibe Nueva’ (The New Kid), after Colombia’s finest player, the curly-haired, Carlos ‘El Pibe’ Valderrama, playing in a similar creative midfield role.

With star player Falcao missing the tournament through injury, nobody gave Colombia a fighting chance to survive beyond the group stages. However, James proved that notion faulty, helping is country reach the quarterfinals for the first time in their history as well as bagging the prestigious Golden Boot award with 6 goals and 2 assists. The attacking midfielder scored in all five of Colombia’s World Cup matches, including two crucial strikes to get past Uruguay in the Round of 16 and, also scoring a goal in the 2-1 loss to Brazil in the quarterfinals. In the end, his scintillating performances were not enough to see his team through.

His performances caught the eye of Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez and, it is believed that los Blancos are considering a bid for him.

Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

Position : Midfielder
Age : 30
Club Team : Bayern Munich

Robben had fans sitting on the edge of their seats with his mesmeric runs and sudden turn of pace. There is an air of predictability about Robben’s sudden cuts from the right wing, which opposition defences have still not been capable to stop.

It was a joy to watch Robben – not known for his tracking back abilities – show some defensive discipline and offer cover to right continued…

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