Monday, July 14, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament

Interestingly, just like in the last World Cup, this one also had both finalists play with a 4-2-3-1 formation.  Argentina, though began with a 4-3-3 before moving to the 4-2-3-1.  This World Cup, however, has seen the rise of the 5-3-2 formation with Netherlands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, etc. doing well using this formation.

Since this team will not play any matches on the field, I have decided to use a format that can involve the best players of the tournament and hence I have used a 3-1-3-3 formation.

GK: Neuer may have won the Golden Glove but it is Keylor Navas the Costa Rican goalie that takes the No. 1 position in my team.  He won 3 Man of the Match awards in the 5 matches he played including the two matches in the knock-out phase.  There are rumours that Navas is moving to Bayern Munich for Euro 8 million and this will mean that Golden Glove winner Manuel Neuer will have competition from his nemesis Keylor Navas. Notable mention: Ochoa of Mexico.

CD: Thiago Silva of Brazil, Matts Hummel of Germany and Giancarlo Gonzalez of Costa Rica are my three defenders.  Notable mentions are Raphael Varane of France, Vincent Kompany of Belgium, Dejan Lovren of Croatia, Deigo Godon of Uruguay, Ezequiel Garay of Argentina, et al played well throughout the tournament.

Full backs:  None in the XI because of formation.  I would've loved to include Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland in the team.

DM: The unheralded star of the World Cup was Javier Mascherano and this team needs an experienced defensive cover who can also marshal the central defenders.  Daley Blind or Phlipp Lahm would've walked into this team and I would've changed the formation had either of them stuck to the defensive midfielder role throughout the tournament. While the flexibility both Blind and Lahm offers is incredible, I consider it to be unfair to consider them either as full backs or in a defensive midfield role.  However, in any other other formation, both players would've made it.  Notable mention: Paul Pogba of France and Fellaini of Belgium.

Wingers: Angel Di Maria of Argentina and Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez of Colombia make it.  Notable mention: Juan Cuadrado of Colombia and Xherden Shaqiri of Switzerland.

Playmaker: The best player in world at the moment, Lionel Messi, walks into this role.  Notable mentions: Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium, Arturo Vidal of Chile and Toni Kroos of Germany were impressive but nowhere close to Messi.

Forwards (switching flanks and positions): Arjen "the cheat" Robben, Thomas Muller and Neymar will lead the front line.  Notable mentions: Alexis Sanchez of Chile, Karim Benzema of France, and Luis Suarez of Uruguay.  If it wasn't for the biting incident, Luis Suarez was the most impressive striker in the tournament.

Supersub: Mario Gotze for the superb strike in the final.

Coach: Van Gaal is a genius and Sabella is a very hardworking gentleman and both of them deserve to be here but Louw makes it because of his dedication and ability to weave magic around a mediocre team.  Louw emphasized teamwork and strategy rather than being overly dependent on one or two world class players.