World Cup 2014 Brazil vs Netherlands Consolation Match: FIFA 14's Key Player Profiles And Preview
The 2014 World Cup will be over before we know it, forcing us to leave behind the great goals, upsets, and comebacks that have entertained us over the past several weeks. Before we have to say goodbye though, there's a lot to dissect and enjoy as we head toward the final.
Teams need to play well as a collective to succeed, but it's clear that even the best units need key players to give them an edge, or drag the side up when it's struggling. I'll take a look at the two best players for the remaining teams, starting with Saturday's third place match between Brazil and the Netherlands.
[Brazil] Oscar, 84 Overall
Key Attributes: Short Passing (85) Vision (84) Ball Control (86) Dribbling (85)
Why He's Important: Oscar is Brazil's best and most influential attacking player without Neymar, and even when the star man was healthy, the young player's passing and high work rate were crucial to his side. As his attributes show, he has good control and passing ability, though he has been criticized for not being creative enough for both Brazil and club team Chelsea. What's not reflected in the game is his ability to tackle--even though he's a slim attacking player, Oscar led the competition in tackles for multiple weeks.
It's this high work rate and all-around game that makes Oscar essential, even though he was played out wide rather than in his ideal central position, requiring more running but less opportunities to be creative. He scored 2 goals for Brazil and assisted another, helping the side as a whole until its eventual collapse against Germany, where he at least scored Brazil's only goal.
[Brazil] David Luiz, 82 Overall
Key Attributes: Aggression (84) Tackling (82) Interceptions (77) Jumping (80)
Why He's Important: The unorthodox defender gets equal parts praise and criticism from pundits around the world, but will need to step up massively compared to the game against Germany. He failed to marshal the side, but is still a talented player who likes to step forward to steal the ball and has a brilliant range of passing for a defender. He's a key player for both good and bad reasons: on his day with Thiago Silva, other teams will find it impossible to score, but if the erratic version of David Luiz shows up instead, he puts the whole defense at risk. Oh, and he's capable of doing this.
[Netherlands] Arjen Robben, 91 Overall
Key Attributes: Dribbling (94) Sprint Speed (92) Agility (92) Attacking Position (89)
Why He's Important: The main danger man for the Dutch, Robben has been a threat through the entire tournament, providing dazzling runs and great goals for his team. As the attributes show, he's extremely quick and has elite control of the ball at pace--his quick cut inside is always coming, yet continues to deceive the opposition.
Some frustrating diving stains his game, especially the controversial penalty he earned to defeat Mexico, but any success his team has will likely come through the Bayern Munich star. Van Persie is a world class attacker as well, but it has been Robben driving this team to its respectable semifinal finish--he will need to do so again if Van Gaal's side want to claim third place.
[Netherlands] Ron Vlaar, 81 Overall
Key Attributes: Strength (90) Interceptions (86) Marking (84) Tackling (84)
Why He's Important: Vlaar made his most lasting impression in the semifinal against Argentina, standing out for his impressive defensive contributions. The centerback was seemingly everywhere, making blocks and tackles against the talented Argentinian attack. He kept Messi contained and is vital to the Netherlands' strength through the middle, as he'll need to be against Brazil. Without Neymar there isn't as dangerous a threat up front, but expect Vlaar to stifle the attack repeatedly if he's on his game.