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Next

Barca make case for the defence

Barcelona Jul 7, 2014
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Midfield issues still plague Brazil

Brazil Jun 29, 2014
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Jul 14, 2014

Best XI of the World Cup

The ESPN FC World Cup Encore crew give their picks for Team of the Tournament.

Our 2014 World Cup team would take some beating.

This year's World Cup has seen the rise of the 3-5-2 formation, so it's only fair that our Best XI from the tournament lines up in the same way. Here are the 11 players who did more than any others to impress this summer.

GK: Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

In a tournament rich in goalkeeping skills, it takes a lot to shine above the rest. There have been some standout performances this summer from the likes of the USA's Tim Howard, Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa and Nigerian stopper Vincent Enyeama. Howev...

 Posted by Dermot Ledwith
Jul 7, 2014

A case for Barca's defence

Barcelona confirmed the signing of Claudio Bravo on Monday. He will battle Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the No. 1 shirt.

Goalkeepers have really come to the fore at this World Cup and on Monday, Barcelona presented one of the many players in that position to shine in Brazil: Chile international Claudio Bravo.

The 12 million-euro signing of a player who has impressed in La Liga over eight seasons with Real Sociedad comes after Marc-Andre ter Stegen's arrival following the departure of Victor Valdes.

- Video: Goalkeepers prove their worth at World Cup
- Corrigan: Bravo excited by Barca switch

The 22-year-old from...

 Posted by Michael Cox
Jul 2, 2014

Fatigue played a role in round of 16

Relive all of the best moments from the World Cup round of 16.

If the group stage was about shocks, the round of 16 was what we expected.

For the first time since the switch to a 32-team tournament in 1998, the World Cup's round of 16 games were won by the eight group winners, with the eight runners-up eliminated.

How predictable, you might think. We might as well scrap the round of 16 and put the group winners straight through to the quarterfinals. Although, of course, the actual matches weren't remotely predictable.

Two were decided on penalties, three mo...

 Posted by Chris Wright
Jul 1, 2014

Pinilla's tattoo of shot that almost KO'd Brazil

Having come, in his own words, "one centimetre from glory" when his 119th-minute shot thwacked against Brazil's crossbar in extra time, Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla has immortalised his brief, ultimately doomed flirtation with the World Cup quarterfinals by having the entire scene tattooed on his back.

 Posted by Angus McNeice
Jun 29, 2014

Assessment: Chile a team to remember

Chile defender Gonzalo Jara smashed the final spot-kick against the post to keep alive Brazil's dreams of winning a World Cup on home soil.

Chile have exited the World Cup in heartbreaking fashion, losing to Brazil in penalties in the last 16. ESPNFC blogger Angus McNeice gives his verdict on the brighter points of the campaign as well as what went wrong.

One sentence, World Cup recap

"We came up losers ... we came up winners."

No line better describes Chile's World Cup campaign than that in "The Goals" by Pablo Neruda, a late fan of the game from the Land of Poets.

All team assessments

Group Stage: Australia | Bosnia-Herzegovina | Cameroon | Croatia | Ecuador | England | Ghana | Honduras | Italy | Iran
Ivory Coast Japan | Portugal | Russia | South Korea | Spain
Round of 16: Algeria | Chile | Greece | Mexico
Nigeria | Switzerland | Uruguay | United States
Quarterfinals: Colombia | France | Belgium | Costa Rica
Semifinals: Brazil | Netherlands
Finalists: Argentina
Winners: Germany

Star Man

Alexis Sanchez approached world-class territory at this W...

Jun 29, 2014

Tactics Board: Dutch play long; Greek bombardment

Bruno Martins
This shows where Bruno Martins Indi was passing, with long, diagonal balls.

Netherlands 2-1 Mexico

The Netherlands have played different forms of direct football in this World Cup. For the group-stage games against Spain and Chile, they relied on swift counterattacking. When they were 1-0 down to Mexico, that wasn't an option, so they took more of an aerial route. You could call it a long-ball game.

Bruno Martins Indi's passing map in the final 40 minutes demonstrates their approach. The substitute came on as one of the centre-backs in a 5-3-2 system but ended up at le...