Football

World Cup 2014: Tournament best XI

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With the World Cup now having ended its month-long sprint, numerous fans are refreshing their memories to choose the true greats of the most memorable international football tournament in recent years.

Here is my take on the best possible XI of the players we saw in Brazil:

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer

The German shot-stopper never ceases to improve. His ability to read the attacking play of the opposition was already well-known, but he pushed it to a whole new level at this World Cup. Always a leading presence in the box, Neuer is definitely the choice for number one. Costa Rica's Keylor Navas comes second.

Right-back: Philipp Lahm

No surprise here either. The tireless German seems to appear in every "greatest" XI of any competion in recent years, as he is by far the best in the world in his position. His indefatigable runs up and down the flank, his confident and accurate passes and crosses and his excellent defence takes Lahm way ahead of second-choice Pablo Zabaleta.

Centre-back: Ezequiel Garay

The most recent signing of Russian side Zenit was a true leader for Argentina's defensive line, doing the dirty work and leading the defence with calmness. Ron Vlaar was a close second.

Centre-back: Mats Hummels

Arguably the greatest defender at this World Cup. His return to the German side for the quarter-final against France was vital and he also brought the best out of Jerome Boateng. Brazilian David Luiz is the second-choice.

Left-back: Daley Blind

He was not perfect, but he certainly had his moments. His passing from deep was superb and his defence was solid. Switzerland full-back Ricardo Rodriguez was great as well, showing that his time in Wolfsburg may soon come to an end.

Defensive-midfielder: Javier Mascherano

In this World Cup, the Argentinian showed the world which is his true position on the pitch, reminding us of the great tackling and reading of the game he displayed at Liverpool a few years back. The unsung hero of Chile, Marcelo Diaz, is the second pick.

Centre-midfielder: Toni Kroos

Kroos had an incredible tournament. He completed 90% of his passes, was the key playmaker for Germans and was deadly when given time on the ball. He is now taking the next step in his career, heading to current European champions Real Madrid. His fellow German, the always hard-working and energetic Bastian Schweinsteiger, comes second.

Attacking-midfielder: James Rodriguez

James was probably the MVP of the tournament, probably doubling his value on the football market. He won the Golden Boot award with his six goals and his passing range and vision was insane. His dribbling ability was also phenomenal. Costa Rica's most talented footballer, Bryan Ruiz, is second.

Right-forward: Lionel Messi

Every fan around the globe is probably still surprised regarding the Golden Ball award that was handed to the Argentinian. The little magician deserves a spot in the best XI, though. He was the architect for what the Albiceleste achieved in Brazil, even though he wasn't at his best in the last two games. My second choice is Alexis Sanchez.

Left-forward: Arjen Robben

Robben was a joy to watch at yet another tournament. He was unstoppable with the ball at his feet and a killer u- front. Too bad this world-class player will likely not win the World Cup Brazil's go-to man, Neymar, comes second.

Centre-forward: Thomas Muller

His second time on the grandest stage of national football was even better than the first. He was relentless when going outside, cutting inside, allowing runners from deep to have space, and working with whomever was in the box with him.

His touches were just glorious. He now has 10 World Cup goals and he is only 24. Madrid's Frenchman Karim Benzema is second.

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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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