The 2014 World Cup has already borne witness to several outstanding individual efforts, but two footballers have distinguished themselves as the tournament’s best players so far.
Neymar, a forward on the Brazilian national team, has anchored his country’s offensive efforts throughout the tournament. The 22-year-old has more goals (4) than the rest of his Brazilian teammates combined (3).
Furthermore, a two-goal effort in Brazil’s 4-1 victory over Cameroon on Monday made Neymar the frontrunner for the tournament’s Golden Boot, awarded to the World Cup’s top scorer. Brazil has already advanced to the knockout round, and Neymar’s consistency was crucial to their strong performance during group play.
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema of France has spearheaded one of the World Cup’s most dynamic attacks. Thrust into the forefront after an injury forced French superstar Franck Ribéry out of the tournament, Benzema has stepped up to create his own offense (3 goals) and facilitate his teammates (2 assists).
Benzema’s finest moment occurred in France’s World Cup opener against Honduras, when he scored a pair of goals en route to a 3-0 victory. He’s also the tournament’s highest-rated player, earning a 9.77 rating in FIFA’s “Castrol Index,” which measures a player's positive impact.
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