With the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup finals about to get underway, in the second of our two-part series, we look back at five of the most astonishing stats of the tournament so far.
1) Javier Mascherano’s name is not always mentioned when one talks about the best footballers in the world.
However, the Argentina international is one of the most versatile and consistent players on the planet, and it is no surprise that the 30-year-old Barcelona star leads the charts for the most tackles committed and most tackles won.
What does come as a surprise is the fact that Brazil and Chelsea attacking midfielder Oscar is second in the list with 16 tackles won out of 21 made – same as many as Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland.
|Team||Pos||Total Tackle||Won Tackle||Apps||Mins|
This is evident in the fact that the 25-year-old won 53 of his duels. What is interesting is that former Manchester City attacker Georgios Samaras comes second with 48 duels won for Greece, ahead of Argentina star Lionel Messi.
The former AC Milan star leads the category of accurate through-balls with four. Of the players who are joint-second in the list, one name sticks out: Makoto Hasebe.
The 30-year-old is actually a defensive midfielder, but the Japan international still was more incisive than any of the Spain players.
|Team||Pos||Accurate Through Ball||Apps||Mins|
4) Germany international midfielder Toni Kroos has the most number of touches at the World Cup so far with 473, while his compatriot and Bayern Munich teammate Philipp Lahm is second with 437. Another German player, Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker, has 337 touches – more than Lionel Messi (303) and Sanchez (279).
5) Belgium were deserved winners against the USA in their last-16 clash at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on July 1.
Although after the match, much of the talks centred on how Jurgen Klinsmann’s side had almost pulled off a shock upset, there was one stat that stuck out.
Wolfsburg attacker Kevin De Bruyne, who failed to make his mark at Chelsea, created a little history by, well, creating no fewer than 10 chances for Belgium against their American opponents.