17        The vanishing spray

The spray was adopted into FIFA in time for the World Cup in Brazil and proved a hit with those who hadn’t seen it before. Referees would mark out the ten yard point from the ball to the defensive wall. It looked more like shaving foam than spray but it was magical.

16 Tim Howard v Belgium

In arguably the best match of the tournament, Belgium and the USA forced extra time in their second round clash. The 30 minutes of end-to-end attacking Football made up for a one-sided contest in the ninety minutes but it was the heroics of Tim Howard, who ultimately couldn’t keep USA in the tournament, but nonetheless made him a record-shattering sixteen saves in the two hours of football.

15 Arjen Robben admits to diving

Mexico: he must’ve viewed the game with different glasses to everybody else watching afterwards. He stated that he might have took a dive in the first half, which was categorically a penalty but not given, but stated that the injury time penalty winner wasn’t a dive, when it was, but was given and Holland scraped through to a quarter final.

14 Germany 4-0 Portugal

In one of three royal pastings at this summer’s World Cup, Germany took on Portugal in the marquee contest for Group G, in the group’s opening contest. A Thomas Muller hat-trick and an uninspiring Portugal, equipped with a wild Pepe willing to headbutt anything that moved ensured Germany started their warpath on their way to a fourth World Cup successfully.

13 Plucky Algeria

As the group stages moved into the knockout stages, most people in Britain became honorary Algerians for the evening as they were paired with three-time World Champions Germany. After securing their first ever group stage qualification with four points, Algeria held Germany to a 0-0 and for most of the game looked the better team. However, extra time wore on and Germany took apart Algeria, winning 2-1.

12 Brazil v Croatia controversy

The World Cup started with a bang on June 12th as controversy entered the back pages the following morning after a poor refereeing performance from Japanese official Yuichi Nishimura. Neymar was only booked for a clear elbow in the first half and when Brazil needed a second goal to go in front 19 minutes from time, Fred took an unconvincing tumble and everybody in the stadium watched on with amazement as Nishimura awarded a penalty and Brazil beat Croatia 3-1.

11 Tim Cahill v Netherlands

In second place of my top three goals of the tournament (with the third-placed goal coming up soon), is Tim Cahill’s strike against the Netherlands in a Group B contest. Needing a point at least to stay in the group for the third matchday, Tim Cahill equalised for Australia with a Robin van Persie-esque volley which thundered in off the underside of the crossbar.

10 Costa Rica surprise everybody

Costa Rica have only made the knockout stages of a World Cup once previously, in 1990. They were dumped out with ease by Czechoslovakia and since, in two attempts they have been eliminated from the group stages. When Uruguay went one up in their opening match with Costa Rica it seemed that their tournament would follow a similar pattern. However, three second half goals in response saw Costa Rica beat Uruguay and eliminate England with a 1-0 win over Italy before holding England to a final 0-0 to top the group. A penalty shootout win over Greece fed Costa Rica the almighty challenge of Netherlands in their first ever quarter final, which they took to penalties once more, but couldn’t squeeze through to a semi-final.

9 GOAL! James Rodriguez v Uruguay

My opinion of the goal of the tournament has to be awarded to the eventual golden boot winner, James Rodriguez for his volley in Colombia’s 2-0 win over fellow South Americans Uruguay in the second round. His swift look to see where Fernando Muslera was in his Uruguayan net and the perfect combination of chest and volley saw Muslera beaten all ends up as Colombia made the final eight for the first time.

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