Ranking the 5 Players Who Showed the Most Flair in World Cup Group Stage
The 2014 World Cup has delivered goals, controversy and unbelievable moments, and the group stages have only just come to an end.
Players such as Neymar (Brazil) and Lionel Messi (Argentina) will never fail to imress the supporters with great pieces of individual skill and ability, but who has showcased the most amount of flair on the pitch so far?
Here are five players who have dazzled the audiences at the 2014 World Cup.
Alexis Sanchez: Chile
Chile’s fine performances have certainly been a big surprise to many in this World Cup, but the South Americans certainly have some brilliant individuals, including talented winger Alexis Sanchez.
The Barcelona man, 25, has been skilful and industrious but also unpredictable. He fits seamlessly into the national team, dazzling with his trickery and quick feet to get himself out of tight situations.
He hasn’t quite matched the goal contributions of the likes of Arjen Robben and Lionel Messi, but Sanchez has been one of the players of the World Cup so far.
Lionel Messi: Argentina
It’s certainly scary to think Lionel Messi has been one of the standout performers in the tournament but is still nowhere near his best at this point.
The long-serving Barcelona forward, 27, has scored four goals from three games, while making 17 successful dribbles— more than any other player in the World Cup so far.
He’s been as creative as ever, too. Messi has continued to give defenders the run-around, using his quick feet and super acceleration.
Despite bagging a selection of goals, the Argentine still has more to offer in the latter stages of the tournament.
Arjen Robben: Netherlands
Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has been rejuvenated for his country under Louis van Gaal.
The 30-year-old, who plays for Bayern Munich, has been superb in the group stages of the World Cup. He’s made 10 successful dribbles so far, while creating seven chances.
One of the fastest players in the world, according to ESPN, Robben has made defenders look ordinary with his quick feet and close control. His excessive pace makes him a handful for any opponent.
James Rodriguez: Colombia
Despite making a big-money move to AS Monaco last summer, James Rodriguez has still been a surprise package in the World Cup.
The 22-year-old has stepped up in the absence of the injured Falcao and has set the tournament alight with his trickery and great dribbling skills.
His three goals and two assists highlight his influence in the Colombian national team, but the ease with which he drifts past players is something to be admired.
Barcelona forward Neymar hasn’t been at his consummate best in this tournament, but he’s delivered goals, skills and fantastic ingenuity.
The 22-year-old doesn’t look to have let the pressure and expectation get to him, as he’s dazzled in large parts for his country.
His quick feet, great balance and desire to lead his nation to glory have seen him become one of the tournament’s standout performers, and he still has more to give.
With four goals from three games, Neymar has been consistent in front of goal and has shown how pivotal he is for Brazil and their chances of winning the World Cup.