The group stage of the 2014 World Cup finals is all done and dusted, and now it is time to focus on the knockout rounds.
The first match of the round of 16 kicks off at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte on Saturday when tournament hosts Brazil will take on their South American rivals Chile.
Manchester United legend Phil Neville has been closely following the competition as he is part of the BBC’s World Cup coverage team in Brazil.
The former Everton and England star, who could feature both in defence and in midfield during his playing career, posted his team of the group stage on social networking site Twitter.
My team of tournament so far- navas-gamboa silva company Marcelo-neymar kroos vidal robben- Messi Rvp Subs Benzema cuadrado pjanic muller— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) June 27, 2014
“@Moe_ManUtd4lyfe: Since u were a fullback, which fullback in the world cup has impressed u the most? Gamboa Costa Rica— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) June 27, 2014
The one name that sticks out in that team is that of Cristian Gamboa. The Costa Rica international right-back has been superb as the Central Americans have progressed to the last 16 much against the odds, but for many, Serge Aurier would be in the team of many football followers, despite the Ivory Coast’s exit at the group stage.
The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Premier League giants Arsenal this summer, with the Gunners reported to be willing to pay the £8 million transfer fee necessary to Toulouse to sign the former Lens defender.
Another player in Neville’s team that will spark some debate is Brazil left-back Marcelo. The Real Madrid star has done his job in attack, but defensively there is always a question mark over him.
For many, the Netherlands’ Daley Blind, who has displayed an all-round performance so far, would be a more suitable candidate, while Switzerland’s Ricardo Rodriguez will also be on many people’s list.
Can one argue with the other players Neville has picked in his best XI? Probably, but given that so many players have been brilliant in the group stage, there will always be someone who misses out.