Fulham's Ruiz proves he should be kept, Mitroglou not so much

Bryan Ruiz

Bryan Ruiz put in another impressive performance for Costa Rica against Greece - but Kostas Mitroglou did not fare so well.

It was a quirky twist of fate that the two Fulham forwards, considered by many to be Fulham misfits, ever met at the World Cup. And it was testament to their sides’ team spirit that their meeting came at the last-16 stage of the greatest show on the planet.

It was no surprise, however, to see Ruiz score for his country once more, while many Fulham supporters were less than shocked to see Mitroglou put in a mixed performance for the Greeks.

  TeamGoalsmins / Touchesmins / Won Contestmins / Successful Final Third Passesmins / Aerial WonMins
Bryan Ruiz Costa Rica 1 2.07 40.00 8.57 0 120
Kostas Mitroglou Greece 0 5.17 0 15.50 62.00 62

As Opta stats show, 28-year-old Ruiz was an important presence for Costa Rica over 120 minutes, scoring their only goal and taking a touch every two minutes.

Mitroglou got less involved, making a touch every five minutes after coming on as a substitute. The Fulham striker also won just the one aerial duel - although that was more than Ruiz, he won no dribbles, compared to the Costa Rican's three.

Mitroglou's passing in the final third was also less successful, while the 26-year-old missed a big chance to win Greece the game in extra time.

On the basis of their World Cup campaigns so far, then, one clear winner emerges if the Cottagers ever had to decide which to keep out of the two.

Deciding to sell Mitroglou purely based on his World Cup form, though, would be harsh, as the Greece man is still short of fitness - and cost Fulham no less than £12 million.

On the subject of summer sales, another interesting figure of note in Costa Rica's clash with Greece was Giorgos Karagounis, the 37-year-old midfielder who Fulham have released ahead of the coming season.

  TeamPosAccurate PassTouchesWon ContestWon TackleMins
Giorgos Karagounis Greece MF 72 104 1 4 120
Giannis Maniatis Greece MF 37 63 2 0 78
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos Greece MF 36 69 7 0 120
Celso Borges Costa Rica MF 34 44 0 0 120

Considering his age, the move not to extend Karagounis' contract is understandable - but he was still the best midfielder on the pitch in the last-16 tie.

With 72 accurate passes and 104 touches, Karagounis was livelier than any other midfielder from either side, while he also won one dribble and four tackles.

The 37-year-old announced his retirement from international football after Greece's exit and will now look for a new club to play for next term.

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