The 10 Biggest Takeaways From the 2014 World Cup

The 10 Biggest Takeaways From the 2014 World Cup

Germany World Cup
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The 2014 World Cup had everything. From old players putting on their usual shows to new stars emerging onto the world stage, the tournament in Brazil was one that we won't soon forget. Here are the 10 biggest takeaways from the 2014 World Cup.

10. The FIFA World Rankings Shouldn't Be Taken Too Seriously

Torres Spain
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10. The FIFA World Rankings Shouldn't Be Taken Too Seriously

Torres Spain
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Only three of eight groups saw the top two-ranked teams advance to the knockout rounds. Spain, the No. 1 team in the world entering the tournament, were eliminated before the team's third game began. Fourth-ranked Portugal failed to advance, while 44th-ranked Nigeria did. The 2014 World Cup was as unpredictable as they come.

9. Some Players Could Double As Actors

Arjen Robben Netherlands
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9. Some Players Could Double As Actors

Arjen Robben Netherlands
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Flopping will always be a part of football, whether fans like it or not. So it wasn't the usual flopping that was shocking in the 2014 World Cup. Rather, it was the blatant, persistent flopping from some huge stars like Neymar and Arjen Robben that was really disappointing. Robben had the flop with the largest impact, as he tricked the referee into awarding a penalty that saw the Dutch through past Mexico in the knockout rounds.

8. Home-Field Advantage Isn't Completely Irreleveant

David Luiz Brazil
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8. Home-Field Advantage Isn't Completely Irreleveant

David Luiz Brazil
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Most people tend to think that home-field advantage is irrelevant in football, but that isn't entirely true. South American teams had, even more than most thought, strong performances throughout the tournament. Brazil were seemingly willed on by their fans despite a couple lackluster showings in both the group and knockout rounds. The second and fourth-place teams were both South American.

7. Luis Suárez Can't Control His Temper

Luis Suárez Uruguay
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7. Luis Suárez Can't Control His Temper

Luis Suárez Uruguay
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Luis Suárez marred the early stages of the World Cup with his antics, as the Barcelona forward bit a player for the third time in his career. The Uruguayan was suspended and apologized, but his reputation was damaged in Brazil even further than before.

6. James Rodríguez Is A Rising Star

James Rodríguez Colombia
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6. James Rodríguez Is A Rising Star

James Rodríguez Colombia
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James Rodríguez put on a show in Brazil, winning the Golden Boot by scoring six goals. Even more impressive was the fact that the Colombian midfielder played two less games than runner-up Thomas Müller, who could've taken the honor with a goal in Sunday's final. Rodríguez became a household name in Brazil, and the young star will be around for many years to come.

5. Great Goalkeeping Stole The Show

Guillermo Ochoa Mexico
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5. Great Goalkeeping Stole The Show

Guillermo Ochoa Mexico
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Despite the large number of goals in the 2014 World Cup, a couple great goalkeeping performances were especially memorable. Guillermo Ochoa willed his Mexican side to a 0-0 draw of host Brazil, saving several shots that seemed destined for the back of the net. The Americans' Tim Howard followed Ochoa with a 16-save outing against Belgium, arguably the best individual showings of the entire World Cup.

4. Neymar Is Crucial To Brazil's Success

Neymar Brazil
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4. Neymar Is Crucial To Brazil's Success

Neymar Brazil
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And even that is an understatement. Brazil looked totally lost without their superstar, as the hosts were outscored 10-1 over two games in his absence. Brazilian fans had high hopes for a world title on home soil, but instead they are left with bad memories of what might have been with a healthy Neymar.

3. The U.S. Men's National Team Is On The Rise

Tim Howard USA
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3. The U.S. Men's National Team Is On The Rise

Tim Howard USA
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The U.S. Men's National Team exceeded expectations in Brazil, advancing out of the "Group of Death" before being eliminated by a talented Belgian side 2-1 in extra time in the knockout rounds. The Americans are loaded with young talent and will undoubtedly be a force that could make a deep run in the next World Cup in four years.

2. Germany Are The Best Team In The World

Germany World Cup
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2. Germany Are The Best Team In The World

Germany World Cup
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There were many surprises in the World Cup, but the final outcome was not one of those. The Germans were crowned as champion, and deservedly so. Joachim Löw's side was top-to-bottom the most complete team, putting to rest any question of the fact with the 7-1 thrashing of host Brazil. The Germans played well for the entire tournament and deserved the final result.

1. It's More Than A Game

Germany World Cup
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1. It's More Than A Game

Germany World Cup
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No matter what you call the "beautiful game," soccer or football, it is more than just a mere game. Late stoppage time winners set entire nations afire with exultation, while simultaneously breaking the hearts of millions more around the globe. Regardless of which team you affiliate with, we can all agree that when it comes to the World Cup, it is much, much more than a game.

Jacob Dennis is a writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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