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Here are the best and worst XIs of the World Cup’s third round of games

Lionel Messi, Rafael Marquez and James Rodriguez are among the players to have caught our eye.

Lionel Messi makes our best XI from the third round of games.
Lionel Messi makes our best XI from the third round of games.
Image: Adam Davy

Raïs M’Bohli (Algeria): MADE SOME EXCELLENT saves to help his side earn a draw with Russia and advance to the knockout stages in the process.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece): Produced some important interceptions and generally looked solid as Greece overcame Ivory Coast to book their place in the second round.

Diego Godin (Uruguay): Had an inspirational game at the heart of Uruguay’s defence against Italy, keeping a clean sheet and scoring the winner.

Rafael Marquez (Mexico): Has impressed so far at this tournament despite being past his prime at 35. Moreover, he capped off an excellent display against Croatia with the all-important opening goal.

James Rodriguez (Colombia): The 22-year-old Monaco star has easily lived up to the hype so far at this World Cup. Despite only coming on as a sub, he delivered a goal and an assist as Colombia outclassed Japan.

Hector Herrera (Mexico): Starred in a Mexico midfield that outshone their venerated Croatian counterparts, producing an intelligent and near-flawless performance.

Xherdan Shakiri (Switzerland): Not just the player of the Honduras-Switzerland game, but arguably the player of the round of matches, thanks to his sublime hat-trick.

Andres Guardado (Mexico): Another Mexican midfielder who stood out. Like Herrera, he regularly demonstrated his considerable prowess in attack, as illustrated by his goal, while also doing some good work defensively to boot.

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Lionel Messi (Argentina): People can no longer claim that he ‘never does it for Argentina’. Messi has scored in every game he’s played so far, including two fantastic strikes to help his side beat Nigeria.

Jackson Martinez (Colombia): Scored a fine brace as Colombia powered past Japan to emphasise their ‘dark horses’ credentials.

Neymar (Brazil): Continued his fantastic tournament with two goals against Cameroon — a Brazil team without him is practically inconceivable.

Subs: Alexander Dominguez (Ecuador), Fabian Schär (Switzerland), Georgios Karagounis (Greece), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Arjen Robben (Holland), Josip Drmic (Switzerland), Georgios Samaras (Greece).

Flops XI: Fatau Dauda (Ghana), Brayan Beckeles (Honduras), Juan Carlos Garcia (Honduras), Yasuyuki Konno (Japan), Maya Yoshida (Japan), Stephane Mbia (Cameroon), Claudio Marchisio (Italy), Luka Modric (Croatia), Ante Rebic (Croatia), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Luis Suarez (Uruguay).

Who would you pick in your team?

Here are the best and worst XIs of the World Cup’s first round of games>

Here are the best and worst XIs of the World Cup’s second round of games>

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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