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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk