World Cup matchday one best XI - United, Villa stars and ex-Blackburn man feature

Sneijder, Robben and De Jong Netherlands

Robin van Persie, Ron Vlaar and Jermaine Jones are in the team - who else features?

The World Cup is well and truly under way with all 32 teams now playing at least once after South Korea and Russia played out a 1-1 draw yesterday evening.

We have seen shocks from Costa Rica, The Netherlands pasting Spain and Pepe losing his mind against Germany - overall it has been an exciting and rip-roaring opening round of matches, apart from Iran v Nigeria.

But who has shone, which eleven players make up the Team of Matchday One?

Here is the best XI of the tournament so far...

GK: Rais M'Bolhi - Algeria

For those expecting to see Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico in place here sorry to disappoint, his excellent performance against Brazil was part of Matchday Two - no dice for Ochoa.

Instead we have gone with Algeria stopper Rais M'Bolhi. He made more saves than anyone else in the first round of matches and was also good in the air and despite competition from USA's Tim Howard and Salvatore Sirigu of Italy - the unknown CSKA Sofia stopper deserved a mention, despite letting Marouane Fellaini net.

  TeamPosSavesGood High ClaimAccurate Goal KicksTotal Keeper SweeperAppsMins
Rais M'Bolhi Algeria GK 6 3 5 1 1 90
Salvatore Sirigu Italy GK 4 4 15 0 1 90
Tim Howard USA GK 2 5 9 3 1 90

DC: Ron Vlaar - The Netherlands

The Dutch were superb against Spain going forward, but they were equally superb in defence. Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij, as the hot young prospects in the Dutch back three, received much of the post-game attention - but the veteran at the heart of defence kept it all together.

Aston Villa's central defender Vlaar was superb as the pillar of an expansive back-three. Villans should look forward to next season.

DC: Oscar Duarte - Costa Rica

No doubt the result of the first round went to Costa Rica. The under-rated CONCACAF side dominated Uruguay - with Club Brugge defneder Duarte their rock.

He also bagged a goal as well as shackling Edinson Cavani - not bad for a relatively unknown player.

DR: Serge Aurier - Ivory Coast

So this is why Arsenal are being so heavily linked with the Toulouse star. He certainly looked like the perfect Bacary Sagna replacement in the Ivory Coast v Japan game - setting up both goals as The Elephants came back from a goal down.

Two assists, by the way, is the same amount Sagna managed in the entire 2013-14 Premier League season. Arsene, sign him up!

DL: Ricardo Rodriguez - Switzerland

Much like Aurier, Swiss left-back Rodriguez has been linked with Premier League clubs this summer. And he was also the hero as Switzerland came back from a goal down against Ecuador.

He set up both goals for his side, no doubt increasing the value of this exceptional VfL Wolfsburg talent.

  TeamPosGoal AssistAppsMins
Serge Aurier Côte d'Ivoire DF 2 1 90
Daley Blind Netherlands DF 2 1 90
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Colombia MF 2 1 90
Ricardo Rodriguez Switzerland DF 2 1 90

MF: Jermaine Jones - USA

Robbie Savage said in commentary that this guy didn't really cut it at Blackburn Rovers. How? He played a lot further up the pitch at Ewood Park but in his deeper role for the USA against Ghana he was sensational.

He did not stop running for the entire game and clattered into challenges with all the gusto of a rodeo bull. Sensational performance and he also set up Clint Dempsey's opener.

MF: Axel Witsel - Belgium

The Red Devils struggled to break down Algeria in their opening game. Many of their players were poor, trying to do everything themselves and not playing at the pace necessary to break down a stubborn Desert Foxes defence.

The Zenit midfielder however was superb. He was always in space, excellent on the ball and dominant in the air. The unsung hero of this talented collection of players.

MF: James Rodriguez - Colombia

What a performance from James Rodriguez. Colombia despatched of Greece with relative ease but it was the cool and calm presence of this man behind the strikers that caught the eye.

He also bagged a goal for his efforts.

FW: Arjen Robben - The Netherlands

Possibly the player of the first round of matches. Fast, direct and lethal - he left Spain looking like amateurs in the 5-1 win - and were it not for a good save from Iker Casillas he would have had a stunning hat-trick on his hands.

FW: Robin van Persie - The Netherlands

For Robben's brilliance Van Persie also played his part. Tireless running and the goal of the tournament so far with his flying header to level the game at 1-1. A sensational performance.

FW: Alexis Sanchez - Chile

The last choice was tough. Thomas Muller bagged a hat-trick and helped get Pepe sent off, but his amateur dramatics count against him.

Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell was stunning for Costa Rica, and perhaps only just misses out to the final choice, Alexis Sanchez.

He scored and set up another against Australia - but it was his overall performance that saw him get the nod ahead of the other two. He was inspiring for the South American outfit and will hope to gun down Spain this evening.

  TeamPosGoal AssistGoalsWon ContestBig Chance CreatedTouchesTotal PassTotal Scoring AttTotal CrossAppsMins
Joel Campbell Costa Rica FW 1 1 4 1 55 24 4 1 1 90
Alexis Sánchez Chile FW 1 1 6 1 68 39 2 3 1 90
Thomas Müller Germany FW 0 3 0 0 43 34 4 2 1 82

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