World Cup 2014: Player Power Rankings After Semi-Final Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJuly 10, 2014

World Cup 2014: Player Power Rankings After Semi-Final Matches

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    Welcome to the latest round of FIFA World Cup 2014 player power rankings, where we order the stars of the tournament based on their form in the six games played so far.

    Every game has been watched and analysed, and players have all been given a mark out of 10 for their performances so far. Player form is decided by extracting the mean from their total showings, then a little tweaking is done to iron out any anomalies.

    With only Germany, Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands in action, the scope for grading is limited, but who reigns supreme after six gruelling games?


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    30. Enzo Perez, Argentina

    29. Bruno Martins Indi, Netherlands

    28. Miroslav Klose, Germany

    27. Daryl Janmaat, Netherlands

    26. Martin Demichelis, Argentina

    25. Dirk Kuyt, Netherlands

    24. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany

    23. Benedikt Hoewedes, Germany

    22. Sergio Romero, Argentina

    21. Mesut Ozil, Germany

20. Oscar, Brazil

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last Round: 13

    Differential: -7

    Oscar's last-minute goal papered over a few cracks in some people's eyes, but his shortcomings were unforgivable during Brazil's demolition at the hands of Germany.

    He looked lost in midfield, unable to challenge Sami Khedira's dominance and lost possession far too easily. He didn't impact in the final third up until the goal and failed to step up in Neymar's absence.

    The Chelsea man just clings on to a place in the top 20.

19. Jasper Cillessen, Netherlands

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    Last Round: Unranked

    Differential: N/A

    So he's not the overbearing, intimidating goalkeeper Tim Krul is, but Jasper Cillessen quietly put together a very good tournament, and we honour him here.

    He kept clean sheets against Chile, Argentina and Costa Rica. While he couldn't come to his nation's rescue in the shootout against Argentina, he can still be proud of his showings in Brazil.

18. Pablo Zabaleta, Argentina

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    Last Round: Unranked

    Differential: N/A

    The Pablo Zabaleta we saw on Wednesday evening was the Pablo Zabaleta we love: marauder, fighter, bruiser and warrior.

    Despite having his face ripped open in a challenge in extra time, he continued to play the only way he knows, tearing up and down the right side and giving his all for the team.

    He's not exactly awed at the World Cup so far, but this was a major step in the right direction.

17. Stefan de Vrij, Netherlands

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    Last Round: 37

    Differential: +20

    For all the talk surrounding Ron Vlaar and Javier Mascherano following Argentina's semi-final victory over the Netherlands, Stefan de Vrij may well have gone unnoticed as the third-best performer on the park.

    He stepped out of defence superbly to tackle, tracked markers solidly and filled in for Vlaar in the central zones if his colleague decided to wander off and make a tackle higher up.

    He will have turned some heads this summer.

16. Jerome Boateng, Germany

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    Last Round: Unranked

    Differential: N/A

    Jerome Boateng's been steady yet unspectacular all tournament long, and the reason he hasn't made the headlines—or the heady heights in our power rankings—is because he's changed position so much.

    He looked very handy from the right but suspect alongside Per Mertesacker in the middle. With Mats Hummels now in the side and leading the line, though, his performances are plateauing at a desirable level.

15. Luiz Gustavo, Brazil

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    Last Round: 9

    Differential: -6

    Oh boy.

    Luiz Gustavo was the best defensive midfielder at the FIFA World Cup before the semi-final stage, but a dramatically poor performance has seen him drop several notches.

    The Brazil defence was ripped apart at the seams, and Gustavo failed to protect them sufficiently. Granted, some of the goals—namely the fourth and fifth—were due to errors from colleagues, but the 7-1 scoreline looks bad for every member of the Selecao's back six or seven.

14. Toni Kroos, Germany

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    Last Round: Unranked

    Differential: N/A

    Toni Kroos struggled in the group stages and hadn't even achieved a ranking in our previous lists, but one good performance against France and one stunner in the semi-final see him shoot upward late in the day.

    He put in a midfield masterclass against Brazil, notching two goals in two minutes to bury the Selecao in their own backyard and seal a spot in the final after just 26 minutes.

    It's been a remarkable transformation since his attacking abilities were unlocked and unleashed by Joachim Low.

13. Ezequiel Garay, Argentina

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    Last Round: 30

    Differential: +17

    Argentina have quietly put together a very impressive showing with four clean sheets, and Ezequiel Garay is a major part of that.

    He's dominant in the defensive line, and he has excelled once again in the semi-finals, clearing any ball that landed near his penalty area and looking titanic during aerial tussles.

    Even his penalty in the shootout was amazing.

12. Marcos Rojo, Argentina

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    Last Round: 24

    Differential: +12

    Marcos Rojo returned to the Argentina XI at left-back following his suspension and played fairly well in the semi-final match against the Netherlands.

    He rarely threatened to get forward, as La Albiceleste essentially ignored their left side as a potential route of attack.

    But he defended well and was only really tested a little later on as a fresh-legged Daryl Janmaat came to play.

11. Sami Khedira, Germany

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    Last Round: Unranked

    Differential: N/A

    Sami Khedira was the Man of the Match against Brazil at the Maracana on Tuesday.

    He's a physical midfielder who relies on his burst, muscle and physique, but after tearing his ACL early this past season, he's been blunted and unable to punish midfielders one-on-one.

    We saw a certifiable step toward his best against Brazil; he resembled a wrecking ball smashing through the Selecao's midfield lines.

10. Philipp Lahm, Germany

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last Round: Unranked

    Differential: N/A

    Since moving back to his natural position of right-back, Philipp Lahm has been absolutely incredible for Germany.

    He helped keep a clean sheet against France and shut down Antoine Griezmann as best he could, then completely stupefied Hulk by standing him up and dispossessing him over and over at the Maracana.

9. Ron Vlaar, Netherlands

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    Last Round: 30

    Differential: +21

    Ron Vlaar excelled on Wednesday night, enrapturing the footballing world with an immense display of defensive skill and confidence when facing up to Lionel Messi and Co.

    He was unnaturally efficient on the ball, he tackled superbly, he dominated in the air and he even looked quicker than usual. Clearly hyped by the occasion, he also decided to take a penalty in the shootout, but the less said about that the better.

8. Nigel de Jong, Netherlands

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    Last Round: 22

    Differential: +14

    Nigel de Jong, the man who had been ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a groin injury, returned to the starting XI for the Netherlands on Wednesday and completed 62 very strong minutes.

    He managed to limit the influence Lionel Messi had on the game via loose tracking in the first half and shielded his back three typically well.

    A lack of ability on the ball, though, held his side back again to an extent.

7. Javier Mascherano, Argentina

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    Netun Lima/Getty Images

    Last Round: 17

    Differential: +10

    Javier Mascherano was a strong consideration for Man of the Match against the Netherlands, dominating midfield—despite sustaining a head injury—and making a goal-saving sliding tackle on Arjen Robben late in the second half.

    He's looked monstrous in the anchor role for Argentina, sparking fresh questions as to why Barcelona persist with him in the centre-back slot. The selection dilemma between Mascherano and Sergio Busquets must be a killer for Barcelona managers.

6. Thomas Mueller, Germany

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    Last Round: 16

    Differential: +10

    Thomas Mueller had another excellent game for Germany in the semi-finals, notching the opening goal from a corner and contributing in the final third throughout.

    Andre Schurrle nicked a second off his toe late on, but it didn't matter, as Die Mannschaft cruised to a 7-1 battering of Brazil.

    Miroslav Klose may have bagged the record, but he needs to watch out for his own colleague given the rate he's firing in his wake.

5. Daley Blind, Netherlands

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    Last Round: 11

    Differential: +6

    Daley Blind kept yet another clean sheet...but for once he was on the losing end, as the Netherlands bowed out of the competition.

    He struggled at left-wing-back early, hamstrung by Bruno Martins Indi's incompetence, but he looked far more solid after slotting in at left-centre-back and dealt with Argentina's wide threats very well.

    It has been an excellent tournament for him.

4. Lionel Messi, Argentina

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    Last Round: 7

    Differential: +3

    Lionel Messi did very little during Argentina's semi-final win over the Netherlands, starting brightly on the ball but eventually being shut down by the magnificent Ron Vlaar.

    His forays forward on the ball came to nothing, and bar one superb run down the right, he struggled to make an impression on behalf of his team.

    He's the one you look to when it's just not happening, but for once he came up a little short.

3. Arjen Robben, Netherlands

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    Last Round: 2

    Differential: -1

    Arjen Robben was close to ineffectual in the Netherlands' semi-final loss to Argentina. Other than slamming his penalty in the shootout home with aplomb, the most noteworthy thing he did all evening was console his crying son.

    He only managed two shots, one on target, per, and he was restricted from finding the ball—more often than not due to the Oranje's overly negative game plan.

2. Mats Hummels, Germany

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    Last Round: 6

    Differential: +4

    Mats Hummels marshaled a perfect defensive line for 45 minutes against Brazil, gave his side the platform to take a 5-0 half-time lead and then ducked out for a rest.

    It's unclear as to why he swapped with Mertesacker, though his recent illness issues are the likely cause of an early exit.

    His replacement actually contributed to Brazil's only goal, further enhancing Hummels' position as the first-choice centre-back and penning him in for a final berth.

1. Manuel Neuer, Germany

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    Last Round: 3

    Differential: +2

    Manuel Neuer was on top form once again against Brazil, making a few excellent saves in the second half to stifle any hopes of a dramatic Selecao comeback.

    He was beaten eventually, let down by slack defending on the halfway line, and looked enraged at the fact he'd missed his clean sheet: a mark of an excellent goalkeeper.

    With Arjen Robben slipping and James Rodriguez out, Neuer is our new No. 1.