Goal World Cup Power Rankings: Netherlands, the best team in the group phase

Goal pundits from around the world ranked all teams in Brazil 2014 from 1 to 32. Here is their view of the participants before the knock-out stages

The group phase of the 2014 World Cup is over. Powerhouses like Spain, Italy and Portugal are gone, underdogs like Costa Rica, Algeria and Greece are still alive. The road to the title looks very different of what we could have imagined just a few weeks ago.
Goal pundits from around the world have ranked all participants in Brazil 2014 from 1 to 32. Brazil, Germany and France were the leaders in each one of the first three instalments, published on Opening Day and after the first two matchdays were completed. What has changed since then?

Here are the Goal World Cup Power Rankings after the group phase. 

While other European sides struggled in the second halves due to the hot weather, Robin van Persie and Co. actually won all their games thanks to their performances after half time. ::: Luis Herrera

#2 - GERMANY (+2)
The victory against the USA without excitement showed that Germany is ready to enter the knock-out round. They are favorites against Algeria, but should be cautious: they have never won against them. ::: Christian Nier

#3 - ARGENTINA (+3)
Argentina had an open match against Nigeria and showed what they can do in offence, probably more so than any other team. ::: Martín Seldesa

#4 - COLOMBIA (+1)
Colombia doesn't have a good history in the World Cup, but if the team keeps the force and determination they showed in Group C, they could get very far. ::: Andrés Restrepo
#5 - BRAZIL (+2)
Led by Neymar, the Canarinha finally proved their scoring prowess against Cameroon and face the last 16 round with hope. ::: Miguel Churruca 
#6 - FRANCE (-5)
A game less fluid and logical draw against Ecuador? No problem for Deschamps, who wanted to make a rotation without injuries. Another competition begins. ::: Jean-Charles Danrée
#7 - BELGIUM (+1)
A progressive increase to ensure the first place. Next game against USA will be indicative to see if their lack of experience is a problem. ::: Jean-Charles Danrée
#8 - CHILE (-5)
Despite losing against the Netherlands in the last game of the group phase, Chile showed their potential in the Group B and they are ready to become the hangman of the host Brazil. ::: Miguel Churruca
#9 - MEXICO (=)
El Tri kept the best defence of the World Cup and their attack finally exploded in the second half against Croatia. ::: Luis Herrera
#10 - COSTA RICA (=)
Los Ticos are probably the most pleasant surprise in the World Cup and their clash against Greece in the round of 16 leaves an open door to a further dream. ::: Miguel Churruca
#11 - URUGUAY (+1)

La Garra Charrúa won the battle against Italy, but Luis Suárez probably cost Uruguay the war. ::: Luis Herrera

#12 - UNITED STATES (+1)

Better feelings than results for Klinsmann's men in the G Group, as they finally got their spot in the last 16 round thank to an advantageous goal difference to Portugal. They face a new challenge now against Belgium ::: Miguel Churruca

#13 - SWITZERLAND (+5)

Intriguing, young and multi-ethnic mix. If they were less weak in defense, they would make things harder for Argentina. ::: Federico Casotti

#14 - ALGERIA (+3)

Algeria opened a new chapter of its History. The next page to write will be a wonderful challenge. ::: Jean-Charles Danrée

#15 - NIGERIA (+1)

The Super Eagles looked mighty impressive, even in defeat to Argentina. France will have their hands full in the Round of 16. ::: Solace Chukwu

#16 -  GREECE (+11)

Probably the weakest of the teams that remain alive and yet it wouldn't be a total shock if Greece beat Costa Rica to get into the Quarterfinals. ::: Luis Herrera

#17 - ITALY (-6)

Heavy lack of condition and tensions between the group lead to the elimination, despite the quality of the team. ::: Federico Casotti

#18 - PORTUGAL (+4)

One of the biggest disappointments in the tournament. Led by Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese side was unable to qualify in the G Group after a disastrous initial defeat to Germany (4-0) and an agonizing tie with USA (2-2) ::: Miguel Churruca

#19 - ECUADOR (+1)

Bittersweet taste for the South American nation as they go back home after a good performance. Seferovic's goal in the stoppage time in the first game was the key of ther elimination. ::: Miguel Churruca

#20 - CROATIA (-6)

Niko Kovac and his players were a bit overconfident in the press conference before their match with Mexico, but couldn't back their words with actions. ::: Luis Herrera

#21 - SPAIN (+7)

A wide win against Australia (3-0) was the only worthy result that Del Bosque's side take from their Brazilian journey. It's time for a transition and new faces in the Spanish national team ::: Miguel Churruca


Gave a good account in their maiden appearance. These Dragons are the real deal. ::: Solace Chukwu

#23 - GHANA (-4)

The Black Stars deserved much better on the field, but their attitude after losing against Portugal was embarrasing. ::: Luis Herrera

#24 - IVORY COAST (-9)

A shocking implosion brought an end to what had looked like a landmark tournament for the Ivoirians. ::: Solace Chukwu

#25 - ENGLAND (+1)

The stalemate against Costa Rica summed up England's lack of finesse in front of goal which has cost them a place in the last 16. ::: Chris Davie

#26 - RUSSIA (-5)

Fabio Capello complained on referees performances with his team, but the truth is that they never proved to be the side that easily got the spot on this WC leaving Portugal behind during the qualifying phase. Fair elimination ::: Miguel Churruca

#27 - IRAN (-3)

A surprising & bold performance against Argentina was not enough for Iran, that say goodbye to the WC with just a goal scored and a poor point in the first game against Nigeria ::: Miguel Churruca

#28 - JAPAN (-5)

Two weeks of disappointment overshadow four years of excitement and progress under Zaccheroni. ::: Dan Orlowitz

#29 - AUSTRALIA (=)

The Socceroos ran out of gas against Spain but they'll be a joy to watch at the Asian Cup in January. ::: Dan Orlowitz

#30 - SOUTH KOREA (-5)

The Taeguk Warriors had as good a chance as any to break out of the group, but fell far short. ::: Dan Orlowitz

#31 - HONDURAS (=)

Good effort, but not enough talent. One more time Los Catrachos have an early good-bye in the tournament. ::: Luis Herrera

#32 - CAMEROON (=)

The key lesson have to be learned, one more time... Cameroon's World Cup was a fail because of a lacking team spirit. ::: Jean-Charles Danrée


Federico Casotti 
Goal Italy - Chief editor 

Chris Davie
Goal UK - Site manager

Martín Seldes
Goal Argentina - Chief editor

Jean-Charles Danrée
Goal France - Assistant editor

Luis Herrera
Goal Spain - Deputy editor

Miguel Churruca
Goal Spain - Assistant editor

Solace Chukwu
Goal Nigeria - Features writer

Dan Orlowitz
Goal Japan - Assistant editor

Andrés Restrepo
Goal Colombia - Chief editor

Christian Nier
Goal Germany - Chief editor