This World Cup has been one of the most entertaining in recent memory and, as the competition reaches the quarter-final stage, spectators - both partizan and neutral - will be optimistic it continues to surpass expectation.
Two European superpowers, France and Germany, begin proceedings on Friday before Brazil and Colombia add some South American flair in arguably the most eagerly anticipated of these four games.
On Saturday, Belgium and Argentina meet for a semi-final place while the Netherlands greet surprise package Costa Rica, who were able to top a group containing three former champions, before overcoming Greece.
These four encounters will hopefully produce the high quality, fast paced games we have come to expect of the World Cup in 2014, and also allow the most prominent stars of the competition to shine.
Who are the best players?
The race for the golden ball and golden boot is still very much on, and plenty can still happen over the next week or so to decide the destination of both. But we do already have an inkling as to who may triumph in the individual awards, with FIFA rating the World Cup’s top players via something known as the Castrol Index.
But what is it? Here is the official explanation…
“Previously used at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and 2013 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Castrol Index uses the latest FIFA tracking technology to capture data on each player, which will then be analysed by a team of Castrol Performance Analysts.
“Every pass, tackle and move on the field is measured and assessed to see if it has a positive or negative impact on a team's ability to score or concede a goal.
“The team of Castrol Performance Analysts crunch all the data to award each player a Castrol Index score out of 10 - the stronger the player's performance, the higher their score.”
Sounds in-depth, doesn’t it? Here are the top six players officially ranked using this method, with the next update to take place on July 6, after the quarters.
Interested? Click on the ‘begin slideshow’ button below in order to flick through the slides.
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