World Cup 2014: BBC Sport pundits' team of the tournament

BBC pundits pick their team of the tournament

An unforgettable World Cup comes to an end after Sunday's eagerly anticipated final between Germany and Argentina.

BBC Sport pundits Alan Shearer, Chris Waddle, Rio Ferdinand and Tim Vickery have got their heads together to work out their team of the tournament.

You can watch the pundits make their picks on Match of the Day's uninterrupted live coverage of the World Cup final on BBC One from 19:00 BST.

Statisticians Opta have also provided their 2014 World Cup XI based on cold, hard data.

So how do the two compare?


Manuel Neuer (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica), Mats Hummels (Germany), Daley Blind (Netherlands), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Toni Kroos (Germany), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Lionel Messi (Argentina), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Thomas Muller (Germany)

BBC pundits' team of the tournament

The stats XI

Tim Howard (USA), Marcos Rojo (Argentina), Mats Hummels (Germany), Stefan de Vrij (Netherlands), Dani Alves (Brazil), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland), Toni Kroos (Germany), Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), Thomas Muller (Germany), Karim Benzema (France)

Opta team of the tournament

The Opta scoring system is devised by working out an overall score based on more than 250 statistical events, with each event having a positive/negative score awarded based on its outcome. More important stat categories are weighted more heavily, so crucial stats during games make a difference (goals, assists, clean sheets, etc).

GOALKEEPER - Manuel Neuer (Germany)

World Cup 2014: Manuel Neuer save denies French equaliser

Age: 28

Club: Bayern Munich

RIO FERDINAND: "He had that one game when he played like a sweeper against Algeria and everyone started to wake up and say 'whoa, he is more than just a keeper'. Then he showed in the games after that how he is commanding of his box. He comes out and claims crosses and he is the full package."

ALAN SHEARER: "He can play, save, catch, punch - I don't think that there is a question of his place. Costa Rica's Keylor Navas had a good tournament but the number one is Neuer."

TIM VICKERY: "He has strong arms, has control of 40 yards and lets the back four push up high. Neuer is a terrific goalkeeper."

Just missed out: Keylor Navas (Costa Rica), Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

RIGHT-BACK - Philipp Lahm (Germany)

Germany defender Philipp Lahm

Age: 30

Club: Bayern Munich

RIO FERDINAND: "The best right-back in the world. He is consistent. His retention of the ball is unbelievable - he never gives it away, is always around the 90% pass completion rate and is always one of the highest passers in his team. He does it all. The perfect right-back."

ALAN SHEARER: "At right-back definitely but as a sitting midfielder, I'm not so sure. He can do whatever you want, defend or attack."

Just missed out: Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina), Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast)

CENTRE-BACK - Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica)

Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzalez

Age: 26

Club: Columbus Crew

RIO FERDINAND: "Over the course of the four games he played, Gonzalez was the outstanding centre-back. He did magnificently well. He got his back three in line, he pulled people around, made last-ditch tackles - he has to play for me."

TIM VICKERY: "His side conceded two goals in the tournament, played former world champions and one of the goals they conceded was a silly penalty. He was immaculate and didn't put a foot wrong."

Just missed out: Ron Vlaar (Netherlands)

CENTRE-BACK - Mats Hummels (Germany)

World Cup 2014: Mats Hummels heads Germany in front

Age: 25

Club: Borussia Dortmund

RIO FERDINAND: "I'll pick Mats Hummels, after his performance against France, which was very good."

TIM VICKERY: "I would go for Hummels, especially for the performance against France when I think he won the game."

Just missed out: Thiago Silva (Brazil)

LEFT-BACK - Daley Blind (Netherlands)

World Cup 2014: Brazil 0-3 Netherlands highlights

Age: 24

Club: Ajax

RIO FERDINAND: "The passes he did for Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie were two of the passes of the tournament and he has defended well. He is an all-round footballer, and I think he is a must."

ALAN SHEARER: "He gave the Netherlands width, whipped crosses in and defended when he had to at times. I know he played the vast majority of games as a wing-back rather than a full-back but I would go for him."

Just missed out: Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland)

MIDFIELDER - Javier Mascherano (Argentina)

Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano

Age: 30

Club: Barcelona

RIO FERDINAND: "He is probably Argentina's most important player after Lionel Messi."

TIM VICKERY: "The harder a game is the more he likes it, the more he digs in deep. He can also play and I think that he has had a sensational tournament. He is an absolute must."

Just missed out: Sami Khedira (Germany)

MIDFIELDER - Toni Kroos (Germany)

World Cup 2014: Toni Kroos scores German fourth

Age: 24

Club: Bayern Munich

RIO FERDINAND: "I think you could take any one of the three German midfielders and put them in the team and you would be happy. Khedira or Schweinsteiger could also get in quite easily."

CHRIS WADDLE: "What Germany's three midfielders have done in the last couple of games is dominate possession. You can't stop them and once they get in a flow it is very hard to get them off the ball."

Just missed out: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Hector Herrera (Mexico)

ATTACKING MIDFIELDER - Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

Watch highlights of Robben's contribution against Mexico

Age: 30

Club: Bayern Munich

RIO FERDINAND: "He is the danger man. Every time he gets the ball he looks like he is going to hurt the opposition. He's the one who gets his head up, running at people with pace, and asks questions of people."

CHRIS WADDLE: "I think he does deserve to be in there. He didn't play well in the semi-final but up until then you have got to say he was on fire. He was excellent but it was one game too many."

Just missed out: Juan Cuadrado (Colombia)

ATTACKING MIDFIELDER Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Argentinean commentator goes wild for Lionel Messi's winning goal

Age: 27

Club: Barcelona

ALAN SHEARER: "Without Messi, Argentina would have been out of the tournament a long time ago, there is no doubt. He has got his goals, had the pass of the tournament - there has to be a place for him."

CHRIS WADDLE: "His goals have carried him through but he hasn't played great. He's not the same as when we see him play for Barcelona as he plays too deep for Argentina."

RIO FERDINAND: "He hasn't been the Messi we wanted to see by turning up and dazzling us with his skills at breakneck speed but he has had decisive moments in games where he has got his team through. Argentina are in the final now and he has played a huge part in that, albeit not playing well."

TIM VICKERY: "He's so static, he almost has the air of a bored secretary on a Monday morning. But every game there is one moment which could be decisive."

Just missed out: Alexis Sanchez (Chile)

ATTACKING MIDFIELDER James Rodriguez (Colombia)

World Cup 2014: James Rodriguez's six World Cup goals

Age: 23

Club: Monaco

CHRIS WADDLE: "I would let him play a free roaming role. Give him the shirt, ball and let him play."

ALAN SHEARER: "Without doubt, Rodriguez has to be in the side. He has scored the goal of the tournament and has been brilliant."

Just missed out: Mathieu Valbuena (France)

CENTRE-FORWARD - Thomas Muller (Germany)

World Cup 2014: Thomas Muller strike puts Germany ahead

Age: 24

Club: Bayern Munich

CHRIS WADDLE: "Muller is not really a number nine - he floats in areas. He's not someone who likes to stand up against the centre-halves, he is all over the place, left-right and coming short."

RIO FERDINAND: "He is the first name that goes down on the teamsheet because he has been consistent throughout. The chances he's creating, his goals and ridiculous work-rate he puts in for the team have been phenomenal."

Just missed out: Karim Benzema (France), Neymar (Brazil)

Opta's best of the rest


Best other keepers of the tournament
PlayerTeamGoals concededSavesClean sheets
Manuel NeuerGermany4233
Keylor NavasCosta Rica2213
Vincent EnyeamaNigeria5222
Claudio BravoChile4161
Diego BenaglioSwitzerland7201


Best other defenders of the tournament
Gary MedelChile4409
Per MertesackerGermany2335
Ron VlaarNetherlands155517
Jan VertonghenBelgium112212
Federico FernandezArgentina8276


Best other midfielders of the tournament
PlayerTeamGoalsChances createdAssists
Lionel MessiArgentina4211
Angel Di MariaArgentina1110
Fernando GagoArgentina0100
Alexis SanchezChile271
Phillip LahmGermany072


Best other forwards of the tournament
Clint DempseyUSA2110
Georgios SamarasGreece161
Admir MehmediSwitzerland140
Peter OdemwingieNigeria150

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