2014 World Cup: 5 Players To Watch In The Quarterfinals

5 Players To Watch In The Quarterfinals

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There has been no shortage of standout performances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With the Quarterfinals looming, expect even more big showings as the tournament winds its way towards the Final on July 13th in Rio de Janeiro. Here are five players to keep an eye on as the final eight gets underway on Friday afternoon.

5. Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium

Kevin De Bruyne
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5. Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium

Kevin De Bruyne
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De Bruyne has stepped forward to become one of Belgium’s top playmakers in the tournament. After being the Belgians’ top-scorer in World Cup qualifying, the dynamic midfielder has been a major factor in all four of his team’s wins in Brazil, including netting the first goal in Belgium’s Round of 16 win against the United States. Watch for him when the Belgians take on Argentina in the Quarterfinals.

4. James Rodriguez, Colombia

James Rodriguez
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4. James Rodriguez, Colombia

James Rodriguez
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Rodriguez has become one of the breakout stars of this World Cup. The talented 22-year-old forward has more than made up for the loss of Radamel Falcao by netting five goals, including tallying both goals in Colombia’s 2-0 win over Uruguay in the Round of 16. He’ll play a big part in the Colombians' offensive game plan against the Brazil on Friday.

3. Thomas Muller, Germany

Thomas Muller
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3. Thomas Muller, Germany

Thomas Muller
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Only appearing in his second World Cup, Muller has already racked up a scoring record that would make any player envious. After winning the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer back in 2010, Muller has netted four goals in four games for Germany in Brazil. Capable of playing either midfield or forward, the dynamic playmaker will be a big factor for his team against France on Saturday.

2. Neymar, Brazil

Neymar
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2. Neymar, Brazil

Neymar
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The eyes of nearly 200 million Brazilians will be on Neymar when Brazil takes on Colombia on Friday. An explosive talent who can make plays out of thin air, Neymar has carried Brazil with three of his team’s eight goals so far in the competition. The 22-year-old phenom will again be relied upon to create offensive opportunities as Brazil look to keep their dreams of a sixth World Cup title alive.

1. Lionel Messi, Argentina

Lionel Messi
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1. Lionel Messi, Argentina

Lionel Messi
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Messi had already established his reputation as an all-time great before the World Cup began with four World Player of the Year awards to his credit. Messi's been superlative for Argentina in Brazil, having already netted four goals while also assisting on Angel Di Maria’s game-winner against Switzerland in the Round of 16. He’ll again be the center of attention when the Argentinians take on Belgium on Saturday.

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