2014 World Cup: Power Ranking The 8 Teams In The Quarterfinals

2014 World Cup: Power Ranking The 8 Teams In The Quarterfinals

World Cup Trophy
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The 2014 World Cup is down to its final eight teams. One can argue that these aren’t the eight best teams in the world, but no one can argue that the eight teams still alive don’t deserve to be where they are. All eight teams won their group and all survived a stern test in the Round of 16, and here is how those eight teams rank heading into the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup.

8. Costa Rica

Costa Rica National Team
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8. Costa Rica

Costa Rica National Team
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Fair or not, Costa Rica are the minnows of the quarterfinals, and after such impressive performances against Uruguay and Italy, they've looked more and more like minnows over their last two games. The Ticos will fight and they'll act like they belong on the same field as the world powers, but it's hard to argue against them being the weakest team left in the field.

7. Brazil

Neymar Brazil
Mark J. Rebilas - USATODAY Sports

7. Brazil

Neymar Brazil
Mark J. Rebilas - USATODAY Sports

The Brazilians were uncomfortably close to being eliminated in the Round of 16, and unless you count their thrashing of Cameroon, they have not had a strong tournament. Brazil have not played their normal game, and they've become too reliant on Neymar running past people to generate scoring chances, as well as the heroics of Julio Cesar. Unless that changes, they don't look like one of the leading contenders left.

6. Belgium

Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini
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6. Belgium

Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini
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Belgium started to catch their stride against the U.S. after a rather unimpressive Group Stage, during which they played more like 11 individuals who happened to be on the same field rather than a team. There's certainly a lot of talent on the team, but Belgium still doesn't have a great soccer pedigree compared to the other teams left, so they have much to prove being at this stage of a World Cup.

5. Argentina

Nigeria v Argentina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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5. Argentina

Nigeria v Argentina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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Lionel Messi has been magical, but for a team that has four wins, Argentina have been unimpressive in this tournament. Far too often, Argentina look like a one-man team, and while that one man has a chance to carry his team even further in this tournament, it would be a lot better for Argentina if the other 10 guys on the field started to contribute a little more.

4. Germany

Germany v Ghana: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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4. Germany

Germany v Ghana: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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Other than a 4-0 drubbing of Portugal, the Germans don't have much to hang their hat on in this tournament. That being said, the talent and the depth they have is tough for any other team in this tournament to match. History tells us that the Germans will show up and be at their best at this stage in the tournament, but the past four games tell us that they are well past their peak at this World Cup.

3. Colombia

James Rodriguez Colombia Uruguay World Cup
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3. Colombia

James Rodriguez Colombia Uruguay World Cup
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The Colombians don't have the pedigree or the history of being at this stage of the tournament, but they have four impressive wins against quality teams, slowly working their way up to a matchup with the mighty Brazilians. There are quality players all over the field, and based on the last four games, it's hard to argue against Colombia being one of the best teams left in the World Cup.

2. Netherlands

Netherlands v Chile: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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2. Netherlands

Netherlands v Chile: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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No one is more surprised than the Dutch at how this team has played, but they won a difficult group and then against a tough Mexican team with a hot goalie and unfavorable weather conditions. The Dutch can score, they can draw borderline penalties, and they've been surprisingly effective defensively during this tournament. More than that, they have a strong will to win after coming up short four years ago.

1. France

France v Honduras: Group E - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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1. France

France v Honduras: Group E - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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Based on the last four games, France have been the best team in this tournament. They haven't played the toughest schedule, but at times they've made scoring goals look easy. Moreover, history says that after being a huge disappointment four years ago, the French are poised to make a deep run, and their play on the field supports that.