Attacking midfield: Mesut Özil (GER)
There's something about Özil that inspires dislike and derogation. Perhaps it's the expectations rested upon those slumping shoulders: if the majority of communication is non-verbal, his body language during the hard times speaks volumes.
But Özil was punching the air after a World Cup in which his feet had done the talking. Only Messi created more overall chances than his 17, of which only two were set-pieces. He made 365 passes, the highest of any attacking midfielder and 7th overall; an unsurpassed 210 of these were in the final third.
He may have only recorded one assist but it's hardly his fault if his team-mates missed 16 chances he set up. Germany's team ethic took them all the way and Özil, never the attention-seeker, was happy to be one of several good players. It's something Arsene Wenger will have noticed as he continues to rebuild Arsenal with the Emirates booty.
, World Cup 2014
, FIFA World Cup
, Bayern München
, Aston Villa
, Real Madrid