World Cup 2014: The best players of the tournament

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

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

SAM WALLACE - chief football writer

Lionel Messi/Thomas Müller

Bearing in mind this is written before the final, I have to go for one of the Germans without knowing whether they got over the line or not. Messi is the best player at this tournament. The most effective performer over the course of the tournament has been Müller. I’d like to think he shares qualities with some of the best English footballers in history but we don’t have anyone to compare to him at the moment.

IAN HERBERT - football correspondent

Arjen Robben, Netherlands

I covered a lot of the Netherlands and watched Robben operate on another level almost all the time. There is a simplicity and predictability about the way he cuts in from the right – stooped, ball at the left foot – but that doesn’t make him any easier to stop.

GLENN MOORE - football editor

Had Messi  led Argentina to success he would have edged it, but when it really mattered he was quiet. So it's James Rodriguez very narrowly ahead of Arjen Robben with Kaylor Navas and Alexis Sanchez also in contention. Probably not a German, not even the excellent Bastien Schweinsteiger, which is testament to what a fine team they are. 

 

JACK PITT-BROOKE - football writer

Toni Kroos

Just like his team, Toni Kroos got better and better as the tournament progressed. Running the midfield for Germany, with his astute runs and brilliant range of passing, he was decisive when it mattered, setting up the winner in the quarter-final and  scoring twice in the devastating semi.

TIM RICH - football writer

Manuel Neuer, Germany

Neuer has redefined the art of goalkeeping, acting almost as a sweeper against Algeria. His double save from Paulinho when Germany were 5-0 up in the semi-final was an example of the ferocity of his concentration. That he was visibly furious when Oscar scored to make it 7-1 demonstrates his overwhelming professionalism.

SIMON HART - football writer

James Rodriguez, Colombia

The excitement of seeing a player little known in England – James Rodriguez – blossom in an exciting Colombia side was a thrilling throwback to World Cup discoveries past. As for individual displays witnessed in the flesh, Toni Kroos stood out for his laser-precision passing against Portugal.

MIGUEL DELANEY - football writer

Javier Mascherano, Argentina

Messi may be Argentina’s most decisive and best player, but Mascherano best defined the grit and aggression that took them as far as the Maracana. It was his attitude that set the mood, his effort that so often saved them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments