World Cup 2014: The best passes of the tournament

The Independent’s team of writers make their individual choices for the best pass of the World Cup in Brazil

It's been a fantastic month of football littered with brilliant plays. Our writers select their favourite pass of the tournament.

SAM WALLACE - chief football writer

Lionel Messi to Angel Di Maria against Belgium

The mesmerising thing about this pass, as it evaded four defenders, was the perfection of the pace on the ball. Any quicker, or any slower, and it would not quite have been right. It was like a good chip onto the green with enough backspin to hold up at the pin. A pity Di Maria did not score.

IAN HERBERT - football correspondent

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal v  United States

Grace under the most incredible pressure, this. The accuracy and weight of Ronaldo’s cross from the right were sublime, allowing substitute Silvestre Varela to keep Portugal in the tournament with a late equaliser against the US. The timing – 90 minutes – just took your breath away.

GLENN MOORE - football editor

Take your pick from the various unselfish short, square passes by Germans in the slaughter of Brazil. Less defence-splitting than Lionel Messi’s v Belgium, or Raheem Sterling v Italy, but symbolic of a team in which the individual plays for the collective.


JACK PITT-BROOKE - football writer

Paul Pogba v Switzerland

Pogba is too often praised only for his athletic prowess, but the France midfielder is a technical wizard too, as he showed with his brilliant assist for Karim Benzema against Switzerland. Pogba floated a pass with the outside of his right boot, looping it over Philippe Senderos and perfectly into Benzema’s path. He volleyed it in.

TIM RICH - football writer

Cristian Gamboa, Costa Rica v Uruguay

The goal that started the fairytale; a run to the by-line, a perfect pull-back for Joel Campbell, who produced the shot the pass deserved. Junior Diaz’s cross for Bryan Ruiz’s winner against Italy wasn’t bad either.

SIMON HART - football writer

Daley Blind, Netherlands v Spain

The pre-finals anxiety among the Dutch press about Louis van Gaal’s use of wing-backs vanished in the 44th minute of their opening game as Blind delivered a brilliant 40-yard ball from out on the left touchline to meet Van Persie’s run between Spain’s two centre-backs.

MIGUEL DELANEY - football writer

Lionel Messi for Angel Di Maria against Belgium

Literally the perfect pass, and the event that showed why there has always been so much more to him than goals. Way back in his own half, and with four Belgian players to beat, Messi somehow threaded it both around and through them to set up Angel Di Maria. Extraordinary vision. Exquisite execution.

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