Now then who’s the best player at the 2014 World Cup so far?
Messi, Ronaldo, Benzema. Van Persie, Neymar?
Well all the big names have made an impact – that’s been one of the great features of this tournament.
But no player has been more spectacular than Arjen Robben.
And there’s no shortage of experts who agree with my verdict that Bayern Munich’s flying winger is currently the No.1
As Gary Lineker tweeted: “The best player of the World Cup group stage is Arjen Robben. He has been utterly outstanding!”
Joey Barton adds: “Whilst the World was watching Ronaldo and Messi, Robben has come along and lit this tournament up. MVP so far . . .”
Holland 2-0 Chile
The former Chelsea star has been unplayable running with the ball. And he was at it again against Chile.
An electrifying burst down the left by Robben deep into injury time made it 2-nil.
That made it 9 points out of 9 for the Dutch masters, who’ve been tactically flexible under new Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal.
Spain 3-0 Australia
Spain’s 3-nil thrashing of Australia was too little too late for the defending champions in their final match.
Goals from David Villa, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata restoring some pride for the Spaniards.
In the final Group A matches Neymar came close to rivalling Robben’s outstanding display.
Brazil 4-1 Cameroon
It is hard to see how the host nation would have qualified without their No.1 player. Against Cameroon another two goals from Neymar provided decisive. Fernandinho’s late goal confirmed the victory. A win that ensures Brazil avoid Holland in the first knockout round.
Mexico 3-1 Croatia
Mexico beat Croatia 3-1 to finish level on points with Brazil. Manchester united’s Javier Hernandez scoring the third goal for the Mexicans.
But they take the runners up spot by virtue of an inferior goal difference. And that means Brazil face Chile in the Round of 16 – while Mexico draw the short straw of facing Holland, who will have Robin Van Persie back from his one match ban to team up with star man Arjen Robben.