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Ranked! All 32 World Cup teams based on their group stage performance

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9. Mexico

In three words: Good; good; terrible

Roared out of the blocks to cut open Germany, then beat South Korea easily. Against Sweden, needing just a point, El Tri seemed to get stuck on how to play – and fell apart. Can they rediscover their counter-attacking verve for the knockout round?

Next: vs Brazil (July 2)

10. Colombia

In three words: Jekyll and Hyde

Hindered by an early red card/penalty in their shock defeat to Japan, but looked back to their 2014 best in slicing open a hapless Polish defence. Then struggled past Senegal, not helped by James Rodriguez’s early injury. Inconsistent but still a danger in attack.

Next: vs England (July 3)

11. Switzerland

In three words: Not so neutral

For a team that regularly stink it up at major tournaments, the Swiss have shown real attacking flair. Failed to keep a clean sheet so far, but fired back to beat Serbia with two cracking goals. That one win sees them into the last 16 (where they will draw 0-0).

Next: vs Sweden (July 3)

12. Portugal

In three words: Get your goat

Portugal can be frustrating. They contributed to the best game of the tournament in a 3-3 with Spain, but have since underwhelmed in grinding out four points against Morocco and Iran, the latter coming close to knocking them out. Still, the No.7 looks decent. Who is he?

Next: vs Uruguay (June 30)

13. Russia

In three words: Not actually crap!

We were told that this was the worst host nation since the dawn of time, so it's some surprise that Russia can play football. Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin have looked classy, and while the 3-0 loss to Uruguay was a reality check, these lads have avoided humiliation and/or a stint in the Gulag. Superb.

Next: vs Spain (July 1)

14. Japan

In three words: Very well behaved

A pleasing surprise package in their first two games, this unheralded squad beating Colombia then drawing 2-2 with Senegal in an entertaining match. Less said about the 1-0 loss to Poland, the better. Please remember to start Takashi Inui in the knockout round.

Next: vs Belgium (July 2)

15. Senegal

In three words: Not mellow yellow

The best-performing side to be heading home. Beat Poland, led 1-0 and 2-1 before drawing with Japan, then just couldn’t get the goal or point they needed in an incredibly tight game with Colombia. Ludicrously, went out on bookings; even Scotland have never managed that one.

16. Denmark

In three words: Eriksen, Eriksen, Eriksen

Before the tournament, we were told that Denmark were largely Christian Eriksen dependent. That might have been underselling it. He’s provided the strike and an assist for the Danes' only two goals. That 0-0 with France was an abomination even he couldn’t save.

Next: vs Croatia (1 July)