World Cup 2014 has been one to remember

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With the final in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana just days away many Brazilians are in hiding after a humiliating semi final defeat at the hands of the rampant Germans.

However, Brazil can salvage some pride in the fact that they have hosted one of the most colourful and entertaining World Cup's of recent memory. Here's a look at some of the biggest success stories of the tournament so far.

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Football from the Americas

It seems to be back to its beautiful brand of free flowing and effective football with teams such as Chile and Colombia dazzling throughout. Costa Rica, meanwhile, defied all odds to reach the quarter final's for the first time in their history only to be narrowly defeated by the Netherlands on penalties.

Costa Rica were the surprise package, and being able top of a group which included England, Uruguay and Italy is an achievement this side can be immensely proud of.

Chile captured the hearts of many with their fearless approach. Although they bowed out at the hands of Brazil in the round of 16 they returned home to a heroes welcome after helping to make the tournament an attacking feast.

Alexis Sanchez, then of Barcelona and now of Arsenal, was one of the main men for Chile scoring two goals, including a fine composed finish against the hosts, and assisting once. 

Another South American nation who performed spectacularly were Colombia, who were many peoples' dark horses to win the tournament.

With James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, rock at the back and old faithful Mario Yepes, Colombia were a joy to watch and brought a nice touch to the tournament also when they put on 43-year-old keeper Faryd Mondragon against Japan in their final group game. Mondragon is now the oldest player ever to play at a World Cup and has since retired.

Colombia scored 13 goals in just five matches and conceded only three times. James Rodriguez was undoubtedly their shining light and still remains in contention for the golden boot and player of the tournament awards after scoring six times, including an unbelievable volley against Uruguay.

They returned back to their capital, Bogota, after bowing out of the tournament to be met with amazing scenes as proud Colombian football fans flooded the streets, and rightly so. 


In this tournament the 'keepers have been amazing and such talent between the sticks on the world stage has been a joy to watch.

Vincent Enyeama of Nigeria, Tim Howard the American wall, Thibaut Courtois of Belgium, the superb Keylor Navas of Costa Rica, Mexican Guillermo Ochoa, Germany's Manuel Neuer, the sweeper keeper, have all been superb.

Obviously this tournament will be remembered as an attacking masterclass with the hoards of goals scored but the goalkeeping should be remembered also. Most notably, Howard's last 16 display against Belgium, where he played the match of his life, saving a record 15 shots.

However it was not enough to keep the USA in the tournament, although this team was a success story in itself with Jurgen Klinsmann's men playing out of their skin and pushing Belgium right to the wire in the knockout stages. 

Manuel Neuer brings his own brand of goalkeeping to this tournament - he's been aptly labelled the 'sweeper keeper' for his escapades out of his goal, the ability to use his feet and a fantastic knack for a quality challenge.

This method did however almost back fire on a couple of occasions against Algeria but if any man can do it, it's Neuer, a player who could some day be the first keeper to win the Ballon d'Or. Firstly however he must focus on winning the World Cup on Sunday. 

Miroslav Klose

He deserves endless praise Klose scored his 16th goal of the World Cup finals against Brazil in the semis - a record.

Ronaldo of Brazil was the man who held the record before Klose's 23rd minute strike, a further kick in the teeth for the host nation. In addition Germany have now scored the most goals in World Cup finals, 223, over taking Brazil of course.

Klose's World Cup journey started in the 2002 edition of the tournament in Japan and South Korea and he has showed amazing longevity to keep scoring at the highest level all the way through to today, 12 years later. Klose has secured his place as not just a Germany legend, not just a World Cup legend, but a footballing legend.


Neymar was on the way to fulfilling his potential and finally achieving his ability, his goal scoring exploits in this tournament were reminiscent of Brazilian strikers gone by.

But for a horrible injury the 22-year-old could have continued to dazzle, maybe things would be different for Brazil had he been fit along with their captain and leader Thiago Silva. But one thing's for sure despite Brazil and Neymar's demise - there are countless positives to focus on in this World Cup as we look forward to the final in the Maracana in Rio on Sunday.

Spectacular goals, beautiful football and records being broken. Brazil 2014 has brought to us many success stories. 

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