The Team Of The Group Stages




So it seems to be on trend for various footballing websites to give out their teams of the group stages. So why should I be any different, so here is my team.

As you can see the side is in a 4-2-3-1 formation. I’ve no room for Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez or FRED!



1. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico):

The fact that Mexico finished level on points with Brazil in Group A was down in no small part to goalkeeper Ochoa. He managed to keep two cleansheets in his nations opening two games. The game against the hosts was the important one as he made some superb saves to keep out Neymar and Thiago Silva. In total he made seven stops against Brazil and before that three in the Cameroon match. He finally conceded in this tournament, when Croatia’s Ivan Perisic found the net. But at that time, the 87th minute in final group match, Mexico were all ready up by three goals.

Really impressed the footballing world with his heroics against ‘A Selecao’, the twenty-eight year old is a free agent after leaving Ajaccio this summer. More World Cup saves could see him make a big move.

2. Mathieu Debuchy (France):

The first obstacle was for Debuchy to win the battle for the right-back spot with new Man City signing Bacary Sagna. Debuchy won that battle and has been impressive in the two French wins in Group E. Solid at the back as well as strong going forward, Debuchy has shown that Didier Deschamps was right to select him.

Was rested from the Ecuador game but should be back for the last sixteen tie against Nigeria. Was one of Newcastle’s top performers last term and its good to see him continue that form in a World Cup for Les Bleus.

3. Daley Blind (Netherlands): 

People were talking about how the Dutch crushed the Spanish with the talents of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie. But make no mistake, they had a big hand from this talented left back. The Ajax man created the first two goals for his side against the world champs, his cross field balls over the top were pinpoint in accuracy and couldn’t be dealt with. Was also credited with an assist against the Aussies.

Dependable at the back too, like his dad Danny, was back in the nineties.

4. Jermaine Jones (USA):

Has been a solid and dependable performer for the US in this competition. Quick to put a foot in and seems to run all day. Always seems to give his all for the cause. An opponent that players hate to play against as it’s so hard to shift him. Grabbed an assist against Ghana and impressed in the match with the Portuguese getting a goal and the man of the match award. Struggled more against those pesky Germans as they did a great job keeping the ball.

As the States impress, thirty-two year old Jones has become the poster boy for hardworking footballers everywhere.

5. Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica):

Costa Rica have been the surprise package of this tournament with strong, impressive displays against Italy, England and Uruguay. During those matches the Central American side have only conceded one goal. At the heart of defence Giancarlo Gonzalez has been a rock for his country.

Still in his mid-twenties, the MLS defender has came up against a wide variety of strikers in Brazil and came out on top in each occasion. His manner on the pitch has impressed as has his positioning sense and his composure at the back.

6. Mario Yepes (Colombia):

At thirty-eight you might have thought that Mario Yepes wasn’t going to be a star in this World Cup but you’d be wrong. The Colombian defender has been fantastic in the centre of defence and been a huge leader on the pitch. His positional awareness has been second to none. Always has to think a step ahead as he lacks pace but has performed impeccably so far.

Missed the final group stage game as he was given a rest but the Colombian captain will be back for the last 16 tie against South American rivals Uruguay on the 28th of June.

7. Arjen Robben (Netherlands):

The Dutch wide-man just seems to be getting better and better with age. His pace in Brazil has been blistering to say the least. Was sensational and clinical against the Spanish, scoring a brace. Also managed the opening goal in the Australia tie and provided a positive assist against Chile. Robben seems to be in the form of his life and very composed when in on goal.

His nation have dismantle every opponent at this World Cup, if that’s to continue then Arjen Robben needs to keep on scoring and being unstoppable.

8. Toni Kross (Germany):

Germany have managed to get out of their group without too much fuss. Midfield man Kroos has had some fine displays in the middle of the park as he helps keep the ball moving and usually in the right direction. A very classy player to watch and effective too. Managed an assist in the demolition of Portugal.

His passing success rate of 93% in this tournament has been hugely impressive. Has also averaged over 2.5 tackles in Brazil too. The German star has once again shown he is a reliable star, although doesn’t seem to get enough credit.

9. Thomas Muller (Germany):

Muller is having a wonderful tournament as a number nine or a false nine, depending on who you listen to. Has scored four goals in the three group games. His powerful, accurate finish against the US was of the highest order. The player also gets into the wars with the centre-backs and isn’t scared to throw his weight around.

Always seems to be in the right place at the right time and that’s a huge bonus for a player at the World Cup. His hat-trick against Portugal was fantastic and now he’ll hope to add to his four goal tally in the latter stages of the competition.

10. James Rodriguez (Colombia):

James has been the focal point to the attacking Colombian side and has been like a magician at times with the ball at his feet. A smart, creative talent Rodriguez has been one of the players of the World Cup so far. Has a goal in each game, the best being his strike against Japan. Also was awarded man of the match in two of the group ties and has two assists. Has an 80% passing success rate and has made his nation forget about Radamel Falcao.

Was a player I point out before the tournament as one to watch and hasn’t let me down!

11. Neymar (Brazil): 

Neymar knew that he was the star all of Brazil would look to as their main man. He has managed to grab all that attention, pressure and at the times the rest of his teammates and put all of that/them on his shoulders and carry Brazil through.

No longer dives around the way he did a few years back, he has matured and scored four fine goals. Sometimes it’s easy to forget this is his first World Cup campaign as he has taken to it like a duck to water. If the host nation have any chance to win this title then Neymar will need to continue to shine.


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