Photo by ISIphotos.com
Now that all 32 World Cup teams have played at least one match, it is time to look back at which players impressed the most in the tournament's first 16 matches.
Now, there haven't been a ton of goals scored, but that doesn't mean there haven't been good performances from attacking players. There were actually plenty of strong individual performances from offensive players despite organized team defending being the story of the tournament so far.
Here are our picks for the World CUp Best XI After the first round of group matches:
FIFA World Cup Best XI (After First Matches)
—-Alexis Sanchez—————————-Park Ji Sung——-
Stephan Lichsteiner—–Kolo Toure———————Maicon
Coach– Ottmar Hitzfeld
HONORABLE MENTION– Tim Howard, John Mensah, Michel Bastos Oguchi Onyewu, Ji Yun-Nam, Yaya Toure, Yong Hak-An, Jean Beausejour, Steven Gerrard, Asamoah Gyan, Miroslav Klose, Jong Tae-Se.
I'm sure there are some players who I forgot, and will gladly tweak the squad accordingly. Consider this a launching point for discussing which players you have liked in the tournament so far. No, last night's Uruguay-South Africa match was not included in the consideration. As for positions, we obviously massaged some positions to make this group work. Considering the varied positions we've seen in this tournament, you can't really go wrong with any particular formation.
Yes, there were obviously some tough calls, such as Asamoah Gyan missing out, and Robert Koren and Yaya Toure being edged out by Michae Bradley. Oguchi Onyewu could have also made the squad, but Toure got the nod and there were other positions with great performances so I went with a three-man defense (and yes, I do realize it's been an ultra-defensive tournament, but that puts even more of a premium on attacking success).
Who did we forget? Who would be on your Best XI after the first round?
Share your thoughts below.