In this new feature Soccer Laduma will take a look at standout performers of the World Cup in Brazil, who are shining in the shadow of the international top stars.
In the first round there were a couple of players who came across the scout’s radar.
1) James Rodriguez & Juan Cuadrado – Colombia
The Colombian duo were the standout players in the 3-0 victory over Greece. Fiorentina winger Cuadrado, who is reportedly on the radar of Barcelona, assisted two goals, while Monaco's Rodriguez looked dangerous throughout the game and scored Colombia’s third goal. Both made injured striker Radamel Falcao forgotten.
2) Oscar Duarte & Joel Campbell – Costa Rica
The Costa Rica pair played an instrumental role in their side’s surprising 3-1 victory over Uruguay. Joel Campbell equalized Edinson Cavani’s 1-0 through a superb finish early in the second half. Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has already confirmed that the 21-year-old, who had been on loan since 2011, will join Arsenal’s pre-season.
His teammate, Oscar Duarte, scored Costa Rica’s second goal, giving his side a 2-1 lead. The defender also did well to keep Uruguay striker, Edinson Cavani, quiet for most of the match.
3) Serge Aurier – Ivory Coast
The 21-year-old Ivory Coast right-back was another standout performer in the first round, assisting both his side’s goals in their comeback against Japan. The 21-year-old Toulouse player proved why he has been linked with a move to Arsenal to replace the leaving Bacary Sagna.
4) Ricardo Rodriguez – Switzerland
The Swiss left-back with Chilean descent was the most attacking defender in the German Bundesliga last season, scoring five goals and assisting further nine. The 21-year-old proved his attacking threat when assisting both Swiss goals in their late 2-1 victory over Ecuador.
Which other players stood out for you in the first round? Have your say in the comment section below.