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Team of the tournament: CNN picks its World Cup XI

By Euan McKirdy, CNN
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
  • CNN's picks for the tournament
  • Month-long football fest has given us a lot of memorable moments
  • Don't agree with these choices? Tell us you would have chosen below

(CNN) -- And so it comes to a close. With 64 games, some huge shocks and 171 goals scored over a month of great football, the medals have been presented and the trophy lifted. Now it's time to look back, and to recognize some superlative performances from some of the world's best players.

Here are our picks for the outstanding performers of the tournament:

Tim Howard (USA)

Jan Vertonghen (Bel)

Mats Hummels (Ger)

Raphael Varane (Fra)

Philipp Lahm (Ger)

Toni Kroos (Ger)

Angel Di Maria (Arg)

James Rodriguez (Col)

Arjen Robben (Ned)

Lionel Messi (Arg)

Neymar (Brz)


Manuel Neuer (Ger)

Thiago Silva (Brz)

Arturo Vidal (Chi)

Karim Benzema (Fra)


Louis van Gaal (Ned)

Of course, every list like this is bound to be contentious -- no room for Thomas Müller, for example? You chose Howard over Neuer? It would have been easy to choose a tranche of German players for this list, but there have been some wonderful performances, both team and individual,from a wide variety of sources over the course of the tournament.

Some players had exceptional tournaments, others had moments, or games, of sheer brilliance. Most wore their hearts on their sleeve throughout. All were hugely entertaining.

You can read our rationale for choosing these players by clicking on the buttons on each player's shirt above.

On some mobile phones, you may not see the interactive.

This XI, plus a few substitutes and one larger-than-life manager, are the players we think merited special mention.

Here's to a remarkable World Cup.

Who would have made your team of the tournament? Tell us below in the comments.

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