World Cup 2014: Who look like winners? Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany or Netherland? - International - Football - The Independent

World Cup 2014: Who look like winners? Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany or Netherland?

The lowdown on the eight teams remaining

We're now down to the last eight teams left in the competition. So ahead of the quarter-finals, we take a look at the credentials of those still standing.

ARGENTINA

Lionel Messi has delivered, but hardly anyone else has and he is carrying the team. However, while the attack has misfired the Albiceleste have been stronger defensively than anticipated. Other than Messi their big advantages are huge support and that they have not played in the hot north.

Star men: Messi, Mascherano

Win rating: 7/10

 

BELGIUM

Have justified their rating as dark horses without playing particularly well and reached the last eight for first time since 1986. Manager Marc Wilmots does not appear to know his best starting XI, but he has enviable options off the bench and has used them well so far in this tournament.

Origi has impressed Origi has impressed  

Star men: Origi, Vertonghen

Win rating: 5

 

BRAZIL

Will believe their name is on the trophy after Chile’s challenge, but firing only intermittently at present and desperately in need of Neymar being fully fit on Friday. Appear to be lifted rather than suffocated by the home support, which is a credit to Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Neymar pictured after Brazil's victory over Chile Neymar pictured after Brazil's victory over Chile  

Star men: Neymar, Julio Cesar

Win rating: 6

 

COLOMBIA

The team of the tournament so far, playing delightful, fluid, attacking football spearheaded by the competition’s emergent superstar, James Rodriguez. Can it last? Brazil present a mental block to most South American teams but perhaps not to this confident outfit.

Colombia's James Rodriguez Colombia's James Rodriguez  

Star men: James Rodriguez, Cuadrado

Win rating: 5

 

COSTA RICA

The World Cup’s Cinderella story. In the last eight for the first time on merit, having dispatched three previous winners and the Euro 2004 champions. Superbly organised, adroit on the ball, hard-working off it, with an attacking threat, dogged determination and superb goalkeeper. But surely the Dutch will be a step too far.

Joel Campbell celebrates scoring for Costa Rica Joel Campbell celebrates scoring for Costa Rica  

Star men: Campbell, Navas

Win rating: 3

 

FRANCE

Appear to have a unity not seen since winning Euro 2000, and an impressive depth of talent. However, early fluency has faded while Didier Deschamps tries to work out how to play Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema together, and whether to start Paul Pogba. A potentially shaky defence has yet to be tested.

Karim Benzema shoots past Noel Valladares Karim Benzema shoots past Noel Valladares  

Star men: Benzema, Cabaye

Win rating: 5

 

GERMANY

Started in style but have since been beset by illness, injury, questions about Phillip Lahm’s role, the pace of the back four and form of the flair players. But no doubting the excellence of Manuel Neuer between the sticks, or their goal threat, with Thomas Müller, in particular, finding a way to win.

Germany's Thomas Mueller has four goals Germany's Thomas Mueller has four goals  

Star men: Müller, Neuer

Win rating: 6

 

NETHERLANDS

For once, there are no personality clashes; it seems there is room for only one ego in the Court of King Louis. Van Gaal has, however, largely justified his self-regard tactically, and in Arjen Robben has perhaps the finals’ most dangerous attacker. A lack of experience defensively, but there is no flawless team in these finals.

Arjen Robben scores for Holland against Australia Arjen Robben scores for Netherlands against Australia  

Star men: Robben, Blind

Win rating: 6

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