As the 2014 World Cup ends, mid-day looks at some lesser known players who announced their arrival at the global stage over the last month in Brazil
Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)
The goalkeeper is a free agent after leaving Ajaccio, but should have no shortage of suitors following his displays in Brazil. His performance in the goalless draw with the hosts was one of the individual performances of the tournament, with one save to keep out a Neymar header drawing comparisons with Gordon Banks’ famous save from Pele in 1970.
Divock Origi (Belgium)
The 19-year-old Lille striker was only included in the squad because of injury to Christian Benteke. But he has made an impact, scoring his first international goal, the last-gasp winner over Russia, off the bench before winning a starting spot from Romelu Lukaku as the tournament went on.
Fabian Johnson (US)
The full-back was one of the brightest talents in Jurgen Klinsmann’s side, his rampaging runs down the right causing all sorts of problems for opposing defenders. A former Germany Under-21 international, the 26-year-old has played for the US since 2011. A versatile player, who can also do a job in midfield, he has recently joined Borussia Monchengladbach.
Yacine Brahimi (Algeria)
The 24-year-old Granada midfielder was central to his side’s run to the knock-out stages. Born in Paris and a former France Under-21 international, he made his Algeria debut last year. A quick, tricky dribbler, he caught the eye in his side’s 4-2 win over South Korea in the group stage and in the narrow extra-time loss to Germany in the Last 16.
Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)
The athletic Levante goalkeeper was arguably his team’s best player of all, with a string of fine saves throughout the tournament to keep them in games, most notably in the quarter-final with the Netherlands before the Dutch triumphed on penalties.
Enner Valencia (Ecuador)
The 25-year-old forward plays for Mexican club Pachuca. His namesake, Antonio of Manchester United, was the big name in the Ecuador squad going into the World Cup, but it was Enner who caught the eye by scoring all his side’s three goals in the competition.
Joel Campbell (Costa Rica)
The Arsenal striker is yet to play for the Gunners since joining them in 2011, spending last season on loan at Olympiacos. He scored his side’s first goal of the World Cup, the equaliser against Uruguay, and his energy, pace on the ball and goal threat have been at the heart of the minnows’ progress.
Hector Herrera (Mexico)
The 24-year-old Porto star was his side’s most impressive outfield player with his dynamic displays in midfield. He was man of the match in their victory over Croatia which booked their place in the Last 16.
Memphis Depay (Holland)
The 20-year-old, a pacey winger for PSV Eindhoven, has made a major impact off the bench for Louis van Gaal’s men, scoring in the Group B wins over Australia and Chile.
(Text: PA Sport, Pics: Getty Images)
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