Now that the dust has settled on another World Cup, the questions have begun about such things as where England can improve and if a new era of German dominance at international level has started. Fans and pundits alike are also perplexed over who has had the best tournament and which stars have been the biggest disappointments.
In terms of the star performers, few shone quite as brightly as German attacking midfielder Thomas Muller, whose goals helped play a big part in earning his team glory in Brazil. However, despite his talents, he’s by no means the best-paid or most fancied star to have featured in the tournament. We look at the highest paid and most good-looking players according to fans:
Highest paid players
Ronaldo experienced such a disappointing tournament, with his Portugal side crashing out in the group stages. Not helped by having some pretty limited teammates, he does at least bank in excess of £50m per year, plus Champions League glory with Real Madrid and a personal best season at club level tempers his poor World Cup.
Messi’s annual earnings are around £10m less than those of his great rival. However, he did have a far better World Cup, just missing out in the final to Germany with his Argentina side. Controversially, he was named as the best player in the tournament, even though several of his teammates including Javier Mascherano outshone him.
Before the semi-final in which Brazil were humbled by Germany, Neymar was fully-fit and acted as the host nation’s main source of goals. Sadly, injury struck, leaving the Barcelona forward distraught. He does have around £25m a year in earnings to fall back on, although he’s under pressure to have a good season at the Nou Camp to justify his huge price tag.
Best looking players
In an online quiz asking which World Cup stars were the sexiest, the Ghana playmaker came top with 62% of the vote. As for his performance on the pitch, he was sent home early along with teammate Sulley Muntari for criticising the team’s preparations for the tournament.
A back-up goalkeeper for Greece, Tzorvas didn’t make a single appearance, with glimpses of the Apollon Smyrnis star limited to shots from the substitutes’ bench. Nevertheless, he came second in the quiz, with 60% rating him as attractive.
South Korean playmaker Ki is known for his incisive passing at club level, but we didn’t see too much of it as his national side limped out of the group stage. 59% said that the former Celtic star was attractive, beating the likes of Ronaldo and Sergio Aguero!