World Cup 2014: Player Power Rankings After Round-of-16 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJuly 2, 2014

World Cup 2014: Player Power Rankings After Round-of-16 Matches

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    Martin Rose/Getty Images

    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 four 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.

    Who stands king of the castle after four games, who's rising fast and who's dropping like a stone?


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    Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

    50. Thiago Silva Brazil

    49. Giovani dos Santos Mexico

    48. Paul Pogba France

    47. Abel Aguilar Colombia

    46. Juan Zuniga Colombia

    45. Giancarlo Gonzalez Costa Rica

    44. Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland

    43. Eugenio Mena Chile

    42. Bryan Ruiz Costa Rica

    41. Robin van Persie Netherlands

    40. Mathieu Debuchy France

    39. Cristian Gamboa Costa Rica

    38. Andres Guardado Mexico

    37. Raphael Varane France

    36. Mauricio Isla Chile

    34. Claudio Bravo Chile

    33. Miguel Layun Mexico

    32. Antoine Griezmann France

    31. Marcelo Diaz Chile

    30. Mario Yepes Colombia

    29. Arturo Vidal Chile

    28. Hugo Lloris France

    27. Gary Medel Chile

    26. Alexis Sanchez Chile

25. Blaise Matuidi, France

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last Round: 16

    Differential: -9

    Blaise Matuidi drops heavily in our ranking after a very questionable performance against Nigeria.

    He should have been red-carded for breaking Ogenyi Onazi's tibia and fibula in a horrific challenge, his passing was sloppy and his dribbling was a little off as well.

    An all-round shocker for the Frenchman.

24. Rafa Marquez, Mexico

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Last Round: 11

    Differential: -13

    After playing so formidably well during the group stages, it was a cruel twist of fate that saw Rafa Marquez give up the deciding penalty against the Netherlands in stoppage time.

    The 35-year-old underwent an incredible transformation of form prior to the finals to get himself ready and led his line with aplomb. A regrettable way for his World Cup adventure to end—especially given the dubious nature of the call.

23. Junior Diaz, Costa Rica

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    Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

    Last Round: 23

    Differential: None

    Junior Diaz put in a mammoth shift at left-wing-back/left-back against Greece, playing 55 minutes with a man less and still only allowing one goal.

    He wasn't able to explode forward very often due to the numerical disadvantage Costa Rica had, but he tucked in and did his job in committed fashion.

22. Carlos Sanchez, Colombia

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    Last Round: 25

    Differential: +3

    Carlos Sanchez is a player who will likely be attracting a lot of attention during the finals.

    He's essentially a cheaper, more attainable version of Axel Witsel—he's quick across the ground, very physical in the challenge and good at the simple, short passing that allows midfields to tick.

21. Kenneth Omeruo, Nigeria

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Last Round: 14

    Differential: -7

    Kenneth Omeruo was excellent once again during Nigeria's 2-0 loss to France.

    The big, burly defender has been the Super Eagles' star performer during this World Cup, and Chelsea are fortunate to have a player returning to them who is ready to step up and contribute to the first team.

20. Joel Campbell, Costa Rica

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last Round: 21

    Differential: +1

    By the end of Costa Rica's bout with Greece, Joel Campbell looked absolutely shattered—and it's easy to see why.

    He leads the line solo in a 5-4-1 formation, and that's tough, but when a red card reduces you to a 10-man 4-4-1, it's even tougher.

    His usual link player, Bryan Ruiz, had to filter back into flat midfield and couldn't help him. Campbell ran the channels relentlessly to try to give his side relief, and it's a surprise he didn't cramp up completely.

19. Jermaine Jones, USA

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Last Round: 7

    Differential: -12

    Jermaine Jones endured a frustrating evening against Belgium.

    The defensive midfielder began buccaneering forward at pace in search of a goal late on, trying desperately to replicate his wonderful effort against Portugal by taking seven shots, per

    Unfortunately they were all blazed over. 

18. Thomas Mueller, Germany

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    Last Round: 12

    Differential: -6

    Thomas Mueller's stock is dropping, as aside from a sublime hat-trick showing against Portugal, he's struggled to make continuous impact for Germany.

    He was left on a bit of an island against Algeria, sure, and he did score a very nice instinctive goal against the USA, but his link-up play is lacking and it's Andre Schurrle who looks the more threatening when substituted on.

17. Fabian Johnson, USA

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last Round: 17

    Differential: None

    Fabian Johnson looked on course to have another field day against a Belgium side wide-open on the left flank, but a cruel hamstring injury ended his evening early on.

    DeAndre Yedlin came on and provided the same stellar impact on the flank, so his absence was largely forgotten. We've kept his stock intact here, as up until the incident he was one of—if not the—most impressive right-back at the tournament.

16. Oscar, Brazil

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Last Round: 15

    Differential: -1

    Oscar had another solid game for Brazil against Chile, rotating in midfield when asked to and filtering wide to help defend the flanks.

    His five tackles, per, were a vital factor in keeping la Roja from overloading his flank with sheer numbers, and you can always rely on him to track his man all the way back to the byline.

15. Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Colombia

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Last Round: 10

    Differential: -5

    Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, as usual, was a real nuisance for Uruguay to deal with in their round-of-16 clash.

    He started on the right but switched inside after 15 minutes, utilising his immense dribbling talents in a central location to begin opening holes in La Celeste's defensive structure.

    Later, he bagged an assist as he headed across goal for James Rodriguez's second.

14. Charles Aranguiz, Chile

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    Last Round: 8

    Differential: -6

    Charles Aranguiz's work rate is absolutely remarkable, and it's his box-to-box excellence that allows Chile to run with just two central midfielders despite facing three or more.

    He put the shift of his life in against Brazil, attacked well, defended well and took the best penalty of the lot during the shootout.

13. Daley Blind, Netherlands

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Last Round: 24

    Differential: +11

    Daley Blind is seemingly on a mission to prove he's the most versatile player at the FIFA World Cup 2014.

    Despite being a natural left-back/left-wing-back, he started the win over Mexico in central defence on the left of Ron Vlaar in a 3-5-2 and finished the match in defensive midfield playing a 4-3-3.

    He's excellent everywhere.

12. Keylor Navas, Costa Rica

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last Round: 37

    Differential: +25

    Keylor Navas turned in yet another imperious performance to push Costa Rica into the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals on Sunday.

    He was close to unbeatable inside 90 minutes and only a shanked, desperate effort beat him to force extra time. There he defied Georgios Samaras and Co. over and over before saving the fifth, crucial penalty in the shootout.

11. Tim Howard, USA

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Last Round: 34

    Differential: +22

    Tim Howard's fourth and final game at this FIFA World Cup was the best of the lot by one hell of a margin.

    His 16 saves, per, is the most recorded in a finals match, and he was awarded FIFA's Man of the Match title too—a difficult feat for a goalkeeper.

    He may well have become a national hero over night.

10. Manuel Neuer, Germany

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    Martin Rose/Getty Images

    Last Round: 39

    Differential: +29

    Manuel Neuer's heroic sweeper-keeping bailed Germany out of a gargantuan potential pit-hole on Monday evening.

    Time and time again Algeria's quick, incisive attacks caught Die Mannschaft's defensive line on the turn, and if it weren't for the Bayern Munich goalkeeper tearing off his line at light-speed to clear, things may have turned ugly for Joachim Low.

    His performance was so good he leaps an incredible 29 places.

9. Jose Juan Vazquez, Mexico

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last Round: 9

    Differential: None

    Jose Juan Vazquez missed Mexico's round-of-16 clash with the Netherlands due to suspension, and after an initially strong 20 minutes, Carlos Salcido began to falter in his place.

    Vazquez's defensive instincts and ability to play out from the back in the face of pressure is invaluable to Miguel Herrera's team; what he brings to the side was clearly on show against the Oranje.

8. Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Last Round: 13

    Differential: +5

    Guillermo Ochoa was in fine form for Mexico yet again in their 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands, making several incredible saves to preserve the lead as long as possible.

    One stop in particular, part-fisting and part-heading Stefan de Vrij's bullet header onto the woodwork and out, stands out in the memory.

    The free agent will be beating away offers when he returns home.

7. Mathieu Valbuena, France

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    Last Round: 20

    Differential: +13

    Mathieu Valbuena enjoyed another strong performance against Nigeria, bagging two assists as France beat Nigeria 2-0.

    He wasn't at his best until Karim Benzema moved central so he could feed off his movements, but he did swing the delivery in that allowed Paul Pogba to head home and break the deadlock.

6. Neymar, Brazil

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    Last Round: 5

    Differential: -1

    Neymar disappointed a little against Chile, as Luiz Felipe Scolari put him in a wonderful situation to prosper but the forward never found the killer touch.

    He paired up against Francisco Silva as a loose second striker and gave him the runaround in the channels, but his final ball—be it shot or pass—often underwhelmed.

5. Luiz Gustavo, Brazil

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    Last Round: 18

    Differential: +13

    Luiz Gustavo continued his excellent tournament with an imperious display against Chile.

    When la Roja run directly at you it can be difficult to keep your composure, but the Wolfsburg man was stellar in midfield and chopped up play very nicely.

    His final stat line of five tackles, five interceptions and seven clearances, per, is eye-popping.

4. Lionel Messi, Argentina

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    Last Round: 4

    Differential: None

    In a game absolutely devoid of quality, Lionel Messi provided the spark that won Argentina the game in the 117th minute against Switzerland.

    One last darting run at the heart of the defence opened things up, and his slide-rule pass to the right allowed Angel Di Maria to fire straight into the bottom corner without breaking stride.

    Messi has now won four consecutive games with la Albiceleste.

3. Karim Benzema, France

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last Round: 3

    Differential: None

    Karim Benzema had a tough time out on the left against Nigeria, but once he was restored to a central position the juices began to flow once more.

    His link-up play and positional awareness is out of this world, and Didier Deschamps knows he has one of the world's most in-form strikers at his disposal right now.

    Only Vincent Enyeama and a little bad luck prevented the Real Madrid man from adding to his tally.

2. Arjen Robben, Netherlands

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    Last Round: 2

    Differential: None

    After a dormant first 60 minutes, Arjen Robben eventually came to life for the Netherlands against Mexico, although it's fair to say he was denied a stonewall penalty shout in the first half after being chopped down twice in the same incident.

    His weaving dribbling ability came to the fore in the final minutes, luring Rafa Marquez into a clumsy challenge and winning a penalty for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to convert.

1. James Rodriguez, Colombia

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    Last Round: 1

    Differential: None

    James Rodriguez continued his superb FIFA World Cup 2014 by lighting up Uruguay with two superbly taken goals.

    His sublime volley and tap-in later to crown a beautiful team move took him to five goals for the competition so far, steering him ahead of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Thomas Mueller and more in the race for the Golden Boot.