Football

Joel Campbell leads cast of five World Cup stars from Group D

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Group D was touted as one of the hardest to get out of in this World Cup, receiving the poisoned chalice 

The group contained three former winners of the competition in Italy, Uruguay and England, but in the end it was the unfancied Costa Rica who took most of the plaudits.

The Central American nation topped the group, unbeaten, whilst Uruguay snuck into second place.

We now look at the five best players, who starred for their sides in Group D.

Joel Campbell

Costa Rica’s World Cup campaign has been one of the most notable stories of the competition so far.

Written off a no-hopers by many, Jorge Luis Pinto’s side have shocked all comers in this year’s tournament.

They picked up wins against Uruguay and Italy in their first two group games to secure qualification, before drawing with England to ensure top spot.

And no player was more central to their heroics than Joel Campbell.

The Arsenal man has spent a lot of time out on loan since joining the Emirates, but he has used the showcase of this tournament to put him firmly in Gunner’s fans’ thoughts ahead of their upcoming campaign.

Campbell’s pace and power has provided his team with a potent weapon and his performances, particularly in the opening two matches, have been superb.

Andrea Pirlo

Italy may have slumped to a disappointing exit, but few offered more to their side’s cause than Andrea Pirlo.

He was at his masterful best against England, in the Azzurri’s 2-1 win, allowing Italy to exert their gameplan on England and dictate the tempo of the match.

And, although he never hit the hits of that performance again, his composure in central midfield thoughout was still impressive.

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez’s World Cup campaign will be forever remembered for his alleged bite on Giorgio Chellini in his side’s crucial 1-0 victory of Italy, but it should not be forgotten that Uruguay wouldn’t have qualified without him.

Despite not being 100% fit, England could not deal with Suarez’s quality going forward and his two goals confirmed their exit from the competition and secured three vital points for his country.

It was a performance which confirmed his place as one of the world’s greatest players and that should not be forgotten, despite his very questionable actions when on the pitch.

Bryan Ruiz

Costa Rica’s captain may have had a rather unsuccessful time in England, with Fulham, but he made sure their fans knew about his qualities at this tournament.

Ruiz’s skill shone through and he has looked his nation’s classiest player throughout their impressive World Cup so far.

His goal against Italy was fine reward for his excellent general play and he will be looking to continue this form in the knockout stages of the competition.

Diego Godin

For a centre-back, Diego Godin is developing a happy knack of scoring crucial goals.

He has been on the scoresheet for his club side, Atletico Madrid, on regularly occasions this season, but this goal was important as any.

With Uruguay looking doomed to exit at the group stages, drawing 0-0 to Italy with fewer than 10 minutes remaining, Godin managed to rise highest from a Uruguay corner and head home to provide them the decisive three points.

It is not just his attacking play which has been good throughout their campaign so far, though, he has also been Uruguay's best defender and the South American outfit will be relying on him to continue this standard of performance if they are to progress any further in the competition.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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