As the World Cup enters its second week, here is our list of 5 footballers who have excelled and stood out for their country
It has been over a week since the World Cup kicked-off in Brazil and the on-field action so far has kept the fans all over the world enthralled.
For every winner, there is a loser and for every triumph, there are defeats. The FIFA 2014 World Cup so far has been gripping with most games ending in exciting results.
As the World Cup enters its second week, here is our list of 5 footballers who have excelled and stood out in their country's kits.
5. Neymar Jr. (Brazil)
An entire nation's hopes are resting on this youngster's shoulders, and Neymar like a true champion delivered in the first game of the tournament against Croatia. At 22, Neymar possesses the class and composure, which makes him a lethal threat to the opposition. The Barcelona man scored two goals in the opening fixture of the World Cup against Croatia as Brazil pulled off an amazing comeback from 1-0 down to win 3-1. In Brazil's next outing against Mexico, Neymar's brilliant effort was thwarted by Mexican goalie Ochoa and the match ended in a goalless draw. As Brazil progresses ahead, the team will hope that Neymar continues his amazing form and terrorises his opponents.
4. Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
Arjen Robben, along with his Dutch teammate Robin van Persie, has already proved that age is inconsequential in front of class and talent. The 30-year-old Bayern Munich winger, played exceptional football against world champions Spain and netted a brace in a 5-1 thumping. In a dazzling move, 'super fast' Robben unlocked the entire Spanish defense by dribbling past the defenders before striking the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal.
He also scored a goal in Netherlands' next outing against Australia, which the Dutch won 3-2 and secured a place in the next round of the World Cup. He has won almost every major trophy with German giants Bayern Munich, including the Champions League, Club World Cup, Bundesliga and several other titles. However, he has never won the World Cup and hopes to break the jinx in 2014. Robben has played in two previous World Cups and has scored 26 goals in 78 appearances for his country.
3. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)
The Mexican who plays in the French league, has been the star goalkeeper in this tournament. So far, he has not conceded a single goal in Mexico's two outings, which explains his reliability in goal. Thanks to his quick reflexes and movement, he made crucial saves against Brazil to help Mexico earn a scoreless draw and keep their chances of progressing alive. Funnily enough, after his staggering performance against Brazil he has also recieved a cyber proposal from Mexican singer Thalía. With his current form, he will surely be attracting attention from big clubs.
2. Robin van Persie (Netherlands)
The Dutch captain made the list after his stunning performance against Spain in the 5-1 massacre. His spectacular equaliser against the Spanish is a strong contender for one of the goals of the tournament. The Manchester United star has so far scored 3 goals in the tournament and looks in sizzling form. Like his teammate Arjen Robben, van Persie also has never won the World Cup but came very close to winning it in 2010 where his team lost to eventual champions Spain in the finals.
1. Thomas Mueller (Germany)
Who else but the hat-trick hero himself. The German international has scored the only hat-trick of the tournament so far in the match against Portugal to help his side win 4-0. Mueller also won the Golden Boot in the 2010 World Cup at the young age of 20 and if he continues in this form he could repeat the feat of being the highest scorer in two successive World Cups and also be the first player ever in history of football to have won 2 Golden Boots in consecutive World Cups. He has already achieved major European success with Bayern Munich and winning the World Cup is at the top of his wish list.