It has been a great World Cup so far with a lot of our Icons in a main role. We have made a selection of the performances of our players so far this tournament.

#1: Messi’s magic chases history

Messi's magic chases history

Lionel Messi waited until injury time to break Iranian hearts Saturday and give Argentina a scarcely deserved 1-0 victory in Belo Horizonte in a Group F clash.
“If we analyze both matches, we might say we can play better,” said Messi, who has drawn comparisons to fellow Argentine legend Diego Maradona. “We know we’re not playing as well as we’re expected to.”
In 1986 there were many articles criticizing Maradona before the World Cup. In the group stage he showed that he was ok, but only scored one goal in three games.
Messi scored two goals in two games and made so far the difference for his country. The great ones always save the best for last. Will he make history in the knock-out stage?

#2: God save the King Suárez

God save the King Suárez

Before the game against England a group of Uruguayan supporters held up a banner showing Luis Suárez wearing an English crown, accompanied by the slogan, ‘GOD SAVE THE KING’.
Suárez performance against England was astonishing, but with all things he has been through the last month in mind, it makes it even more special.
He injured his left knee while training for the World Cup and an MRI scan on 21 May found some damage to the meniscus. He had keyhole surgery soon afterwards. His wounded knee, which had kept him out for five weeks following surgery, had become a national obsession in Uruguay while the expectation that he would recover from it had become a gathering fear for England.
Suárez scored both goals with his only two efforts on target; he ran England ragged on one knee; he was taken off on a stretcher; he was in tears on the bench, burying his head into a team-mate as he could not watch the last few seconds, and he was chaired back onto the pitch at the final whistle. His status as a national hero was confirmed.
Even Roy Hodgson has now to admit: Luis Suárez is world-class.

#3: Cristiano Ronaldo produces last gasp moment of magic

Cristiano Ronaldo produces last gasp moment of magic

In the game against USA, it took four minutes to realise Cristiano Ronaldo was back. It took another 90 until we saw him again and by that time it was too late, both for him and Portugal.
There is no phrase to describe what he pulled off in the fourth minute of this game, but it was world class.
With six touches he had executed two Cruyff turns at speed, made space with a drag-back and laid the ball off, all while three American defenders hurtled past him as the ball went the other way.
Nani opened the score for Portugal, but goals of Jones and Dempsey gave USA the lead. Then, once again, it came down to Ronaldo. He sent two headers wide and the game seemed up. But then he was afforded one last chance, down the right wing and with no space to work with. The cross was absolute perfection. Varela did not have to break stride to score, but the celebrations were muted. This was a case of far too little, far too late for Portugal.
So, is it fair to judge Ronaldo’s place in the pantheon of greats on the basis of these past two games? Certainly not. An astonishing Ronaldo was hampered by his Portugal team-mates.

#4: The end of tiki-taka

The end of tiki-taka

In Spain they talk of revolution; in the broader world they proclaim the death of tiki-taka.
There was Xavi, the maestro, orchestrating his teammates’ every action, and Andrés Iniesta, the first violinist, taking what was conducted and moving with it. But just as a sound can grow tiresome after a time, so too can the musicians become tired, worn out, and even old.
Xavi will turn 35 next season, and will not return to another World Cup. Iniesta is still 30, and showed this World Cup, as one of the few of Spain, he is still a world-class player. But without his maestro his role will change as well.

#5: Will Gerrard continue?

He said he takes time over his retirement decision, but it looks like the 34-years old Steven Gerrard has played his last game for England.
“England failed Steven Gerrard and turned one of the greatest players of his generation into mediocrity on national duty”, stated the Daily Mail. You cannot blame Gerrard for that.
His career at Liverpool is a string of highlights.
The second half of the 2005 Champions League final; the FA Cup final in 2006; that Champions League tie against Olympiacos in 2004; the 3-0 win over Everton in 2012; Napoli in the Europa League in 2010; as a 21-year-old against Manchester United in 2001.
Looking back on Gerrard’s international career, it would appear the England machine has failed to make an international footballer out of a truly exceptional player in Gerrard. Luckily, Liverpool didn’t.