The Guardian asked 1982 World Cup legend Zico for his best XI of this World Cup so far. We have selected our favourite three names.



James Rodríguez (Colombia)

“To say James is one of the most talented players in this competition is an understatement. At 22, this is a player ready to take the world by storm. His touch is exquisite and his passing has an impressive accuracy. It is remarkable how he stepped up to help Colombia absorb the blow that was Radamel Falcao’s pre-tournament injury. A curious thing about James is that he seems a bit slow but he changes gear when the opposition is least expecting it.”

Arjen Robben (Holland)

“Age has done wonders for Robben. He is more experienced and has learned to be more decisive for Bayern and Holland. He is also obviously very skilful and I am still in awe of the way he controlled the ball in that goal against the Spaniards. Everybody knows he likes to cut inside and use his left foot – try to stop Robben when he is inspired. A craque (an ace), as we say in Brazil.”

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

“Argentina went into the second round with three wins. In all of them Messi scored. If he was Nigerian, they would beat Argentina. He made the difference for his team and hit some amazing goals. There wasn’t much more this kid could do.”

Continue reading Zico’s full team report here: