Who were the best midfielders during the World Cup? Including Kroos and Mascherano

Manchester United targets, a former Liverpool player and a Chelsea attacker all feature.

There were some world class midfield performances at the World Cup in Brazil as Germany’s stars get all of the headlines today after a narrow win against Argentina in the final.

Some top performers have already been on the move in the transfer market, as pre-season now kicks in and attention switches to the start of the Premier League and other domestic European seasons.

We’ve taken a look at several key statistical areas and assessed the best midfielders in Brazil.


James Rodríguez Colombia MF 6 5 400
Arjen Robben Netherlands MF 3 7 690
André Schürrle Germany MF 3 6 244
Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland MF 3 4 387
André Ayew Ghana MF 2 3 261

Colombian star James Rodriguez is way out ahead of everyone else in terms of goals from midfield and he may well have scored more had his nation stayed in the tournament for longer. It’s no wonder why Real Madrid are reportedly scrapping hard for his signature.


  TeamPosGoal AssistAppsMins
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Colombia MF 4 5 386
Toni Kroos Germany MF 3 7 689
Abel Aguilar Colombia MF 2 3 238
Christian Bolaños Costa Rica MF 2 5 413
Kevin De Bruyne Belgium MF 2 4 390

Two Manchester United transfer targets appear at the top of this list with Juan Cuadrado the more realistic. Real Madrid are being tipped to complete a move for Toni Kroos although Bayern Munich may now be more convinced than ever to try and keep him.

Tackles Won

  TeamPosWon TackleAppsMins
Javier Mascherano Argentina MF 23 7 720
Oscar Brazil MF 20 7 639
Toni Kroos Germany MF 15 7 689
Valon Behrami Switzerland MF 13 4 345
Luiz Gustavo Brazil MF 13 6 525

No midfielder was more effective than former Liverpool star Javier Mascherano when it came to winning tackles and breaking up the play. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will also be pleased to see Oscar near the top of this list considering he’s predominantly a forward thinking and attacking midfielder.

Interceptions Won

  TeamPosInterception WonAppsMins
Luiz Gustavo Brazil MF 23 6 525
Javier Mascherano Argentina MF 16 7 720
Kwadwo Asamoah Ghana MF 11 3 270
Stéphane Mbia Cameroon MF 11 3 270
Ogenyi Onazi Nigeria MF 10 4 329

Mascherano appears near the top of another section, but he’s trumped by Luiz Gustavo. Gustavo has been linked with several sides this summer including Chelsea and Manchester United who could do a lot worse than throwing some cash at him in attempts to pull off a deal.

Accurate Passes

  TeamPosAccurate PassAppsMins
Toni Kroos Germany MF 544 7 689
Philipp Lahm Germany MF 529 7 690
Javier Mascherano Argentina MF 515 7 720
Bastian Schweinsteiger Germany MF 384 6 505
Fernando Gago Argentina MF 328 6 373

It shouldn’t be a major surprise to see so many German players featuring in this section with Kroos once again right at the top of the tree. A large part of Germany’s success will be put down to the way they dominated and controlled the passing aspect of the game.

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