Collymore's World Cup Corner: James Rodriguez and Mario Goetze My Stars so Far

Stan CollymoreFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2014

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1. Rodriguez and Goetze lighting up Brazil

James Rodriguez of Colombia has been my player of the World Cup so far, scoring wonderful goals and making things happen in the No. 10 role. I was there to watch his performance against Uruguay, and it was quite something to behold.

Rodriguez is being talked about as the next big thing, and he could get a glamorous transfer to Real Madrid this summer, as per the Guardian. My only concern about Rodriguez performing in the Champions League is that he lacks real pace. 

Mario Goetze is a more dynamic presence and has also impressed in Brazil. He has so much energy and can play anywhere on the field. He pops up all over the place in clever positions. When Germany play without an out-and-out striker, it's vital you get players like him making runs.

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The two are very different types of player. Goetze has greater speed, while Rodriguez is more of a nuanced, thoughtful midfielder. 

In terms of defenders, Socratis Papastathopoulos of Greece had a great tournament before going home. Rafa Marquez also impressed for Mexico. Ron Vlaar had a difficult season for Aston Villa, but he's really stood out for the Netherlands at this World Cup.

In goal, Manuel Neuer of Germany has had a predictably solid tournament. He's so good at offering support behind his defence and coordinating everything. Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa obviously deserves mention for his standout goalkeeping performances for El Tri.

Netherlands' Nigel De Jong and Philipp Lahm of Germany have been my pick of the defensive midfielders so far.

Perhaps surprisingly, I can't think of a single Brazil player besides Neymar who would even come close to my XI of the tournament so far.


2. Potential shocks?

I can't see Switzerland beating Argentina, who will bring in Ezequiel Lavezzi for Sergio Aguero and will be just far too much for the Swiss in the last 16.

As for the United States beating Belgium, I don't think that would be a shock at all. They've really impressed so far and are capable of defeating a Belgium side who haven't really done the business yet.

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 26: Clint Dempsey of the United States acknowledges the fans after being defeated by Germany 1-0 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Would it be a shock if Colombia beat Brazil on Friday? No. In fact, you could argue it would be surprising if Brazil won that one, based on the pair's respective campaigns so far.


3. Suarez will happen sooner rather than later

From what I'm hearing about it, Luis Suarez's exit from Liverpool will happen sooner rather than later, with the striker likely headed to Barcelona. It suits all parties for this one to be sewn up as soon as possible.

Could Alexis Sanchez move the other way? Both Liverpool and Arsenal are keen, as per the Independent. My prediction, based on the Suarez possibility, is that Liverpool will win the battle to sign the impressive Chile international.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Alexis Sanchez of Chile controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Image
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Based on his performances for Costa Rica thus far, Arsenal would be crazy not to give Joel Campbell a chance in the Premier League next season. He'd fit perfectly into their plans and would feed off the supply line of Mezut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and co.

Let's hope Campbell gets his shot. He's earned it at this World Cup.


Stan Collymore is a former Liverpool, Aston Villa and England striker who has forged a hugely successful second career as a radio and TV broadcaster.