World Cup Group E best players

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France were the stand-out side in Group E, securing top spot in the group in some style, but Switzerland were also able to suggest they have the potential to surprise a few in the knockout stages.

The group went as predicted, as the aforementioned nations progressed – leaving Ecuador and Honduras to catch a quick flight home.

We now take a look at the five players who really stood out for their respective countries in Group E.

Karim Benzema

France went into the World Cup without the hype that often surrounds them at major competitions.

However, they have quickly proven their capabilities of competing and established themselves as genuine outsiders to win the trophy.

Les Bleus won their opening two games in style, comprehensively dispatching Honduras and Switzerland before taking their foot off the gas and easing to a 0-0 draw with Ecuador on the final game, to secure top spot.

Nobody has been more pivotal to their form that Karim Benzema, either. The striker has been ruthless in-front of goal, finishing off most the chances that his team have given him.

He scored twice against Honduras, before adding another one to his tally against Switzerland and has set himself up as one of the leading contenders for the golden boot.

Ricardo Rodriguez

The Switzerland left-back has been brilliant in all three of his nation’s games at the World Cup to date.

His energy has allowed him to be a threat in an attacking sense, but he has also looked rock solid defensively.

He already has two assists to his name, and this total may well increase if Switzerland are to do well in the knock-out stages.

Enner Valencia

The Ecuadorian striker has been one of the break-through players at this tournament.

Valencia was a relative unknown when he first turned out for his country in Brazil, but three goals in two games rapidly established him as one of the hottest properties in football.

He currently plays his football in Mexico, but looks set for a move to the Premier League this summer – with his physicality particularly eye-catching.

Raphael Varane

The French haven't been tested too thoroughly so far during the competition, but when they has come under sporadic pressure, Varane has passed the test with flying colours.

The Real Madrid centre-back was described as a “Rolls Royce” of a defender by Carlo Ancelotti, and the summarisation is apt.

Powerful, but technically adept there are seemingly no weaknesses in Varane’s game and he looks set to be a star for many years to come.

Xherdan Shaqiri

The Bayern Munich forward has established a reputation as somewhat of a mercurial figure.

For periods of matches Shaqiri is often excellent, but he has struggled with consistency throughout his career so far.

However, he has been one of the Switzerland’s key attacking figures in each of their games so far in Brazil and his hat-trick against Honduras, which put them into the knockout stages, was fine reward for some decent performances so far.

It may well be that the 22-year-old earns a transfer to Liverpool, with reports claiming he is in talks over a move to Anfield.

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