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World Cup 2014: Team Power Rankings After Quarter-Final Matches

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 27, 2016

World Cup 2014: Team Power Rankings After Quarter-Final Matches

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    Welcome to the latest edition of our FIFA World Cup 2014 team power rankings, where we order the sides competing based on their five performances in the competition so far.

    The quarter-finals are done, and we have a final four. Argentina, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands will contest the semi-finals and move one step closer to ultimate international glory.

    How did the final eight stack up, form-wise? Read on to find out.

32-17.

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    32. Honduras

    31. Cameroon

    30. Japan

    29. South Korea

    28. Australia

    27. Ivory Coast

    26. Russia

    25. Ghana

    24. England

    23. Italy

    22. Iran

    21. Bosnia and Herzegovina

    20. Ecuador

    19. Portugal

    18. Spain

    17. Croatia

16-9.

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    16. Uruguay

    15. Greece

    14. Switzerland

    13. Nigeria

    12. Algeria

    11. USA

    10. Mexico

    9. Chile

8. Belgium

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    Last Round: 7

    Differential: -1

    Belgium reverted to type in their match against Argentina, moving the ball slowly, unsuccessfully and with a striking lack of intent throughout.

    The slow pace suited quick Albiceleste breaks inspired by Lionel Messi, and Gonzalo Higuain obliged in just the seventh minute to bury the Red Devils' hopes of reaching the final four.

    Fair or not, they've not even come close to the level of expectation set pre-tournament.

7. Argentina

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    Last Round: 10

    Differential: +3

    Argentina looked marginally better again when taking on Belgium, but sustained another key injury in the form of Angel Di Maria.

    Manager Alejandro Sabella is taking a barracking from the local press on his home continent, but he's reached the semi-finals, and his team haven't even got going yet.

    There's every chance they click in the next game, and, if they do, who can stop them? Gonzalo Higuain is rolling, finally, and Lionel Messi continues to excel.

6. Costa Rica

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    Last Round: 4

    Differential: -2

    So close. So very, very close.

    Costa Rica were once again stubborn, difficult to beat and incredibly well-drilled, forming a wall in defence and relying on goalkeeping heroics from Keylor Navas to force penalties against the Netherlands.

    In the end, the fatigue of the tournament showed, and the Ticos bowed out, but their feats at the FIFA World Cup 2014 will not be forgotten easily.

5. France

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Last Round: 3

    Differential: -2

    France desperately disappointed in their quarter-final matchup against Germany, but credit must go to Mats Hummels' defensive line where it's due.

    Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Mathieu Valbuena carved out enough chances to score a goal; Manuel Neuer and Co. simply said no.

    Didier Deschamps should be praised for an excellent tournament, and a 1-0 loss to a Mannschaft side expected to contest the final is no embarrassment.

4. Brazil

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last Round: 5

    Differential: +1

    Brazil won their quarter-final against Colombia but at a grave, grave cost.

    Thiago Silva is suspended for the semi-final against Germany, and Neymar is out for the foreseeable future due to a back injury sustained in a challenge with Camilo Zuniga.

    They'll have the home support behind them, and performances are improving across the pitch, but will it be enough? Germany's drastic improvement should make this a super tie.

3. Colombia

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    Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

    Last Round: 1

    Differential: -2

    Colombia underwhelmed against Brazil in the quarter-final and, on balance, deserved to lose the match.

    James Rodriguez was kicked from pillar to post, certainly, but Los Cafeteros endured a shocking opening 45 minutes and conceded two goals from set pieces.

    The lay fans of the tournament will miss their entertaining brand of football, and they remain high in the form rankings given their excellent performances overall.

2. Germany

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    Martin Rose/Getty Images

    Last Round: 8

    Differential: +6

    Germany finally slid into gear when it really mattered, shutting out Karim Benzema's attack and netting through the magnificent Mats Hummels to advance to the FIFA World Cup semi-finals.

    Joachim Low took his side back to basics, playing Philipp Lahm at right-back, a 4-2-3-1 formation and Toni Kroos as a No. 10. It worked a treat. The defensive line held and it was Kroos who dictated play between the lines.

    Die Mannschaft are rolling!

1. Netherlands

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Last Round: 2

    Differential: +1

    The Netherlands advanced to the semi-finals after another tactical tinkering from Louis van Gaal.

    He switched to a 3-4-3 to win the wide battle against the previously rampant Junior Diaz and Cristian Gamboa, then sent on reserve goalkeeper Tim Krul to participate in (and win) the penalty shootout in a mad 120 minutes.

    They move to the top of the form rankings, despite scraping a win, and that's largely down to a combination of their great form prior to the quarter-finals and the other strong teams losing.

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