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Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

- Flops of the tournament as selected by Reuters journalists (4-3-3):

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Spain)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

...

Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

- The 2014 World Cup has produced several goals of outstanding quality. The following are five of the best so far according to Reuters.

- - - -

James Rodriguez (Colombia 2 Uruguay 0)

Rodriguez...

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker

- Argentina's Lionel Messi has looked "jaded" and "staccato" in a disappointing World Cup overall despite some magical moments, former England striker Gary Lineker said on Saturday.

The four-times World Player of the Year and...

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker

Modest Messi hails Argentina team spirit

Argentina's Lionel Messi walks on the pitch during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Switzerland at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Argentina's Lionel Messi picked up his fourth man of the match award in a row against Switzerland on Tuesday but he admitted the prize was barely deserved in a World Cup last-16 game was marked more by collective effort than individual brilliance.

"I don’t know whether I deserved this one or not but what is important is that we move on to the next stage which is what we wanted," Messi told reporters after team's 1-0 extra-time win.

"It was not an easy match and it’s been that way throughout the World Cup. What is important is that we won."

Messi was effectively shackled by a superb Swiss defense and had few chances to show the kind of form that won him four world player of the year awards in a row between 2009 and 2012.

But when he did get a chance to run, his contribution was decisive. With two minutes remaining in extra time he laid the ball off for winger Angel Di Maria to stroke the winner past Diego Benaglio.

"During that special play, a little bit of everything went through my head," said a smiling Messi.

"I thought maybe I should take a chance, then I saw Angel over there and I decided to pass the chance to him and fortunately we are able to celebrate."

Messi won man-of-the-match awards in Argentina’s three group games against Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria and scored four of Argentina’s six goals.

But he admitted the Swiss gave him and his team mates a scare at the Corinthians arena.

"I was nervous at times just like anyone else because we couldn’t score a goal and any mistake could have put us out, minutes were going by and we didn’t want penalties," he said.

"We wanted to define the game in extra time."

When asked how he felt with the clock running down, he replied: "Suffering, suffering, that’s what we felt. We know will go through times like this. That’s football. We had luck on our side and we have to take advantage of it and to move on.

"We know that all matches will be on equal footing. You win the match because of minor details. It’s a World Cup and when you are here you don’t have an easy opponent."

Argentina face the winners of the Belgium v United States match in the quarter-finals.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Pictures of the Day

Features

Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

- Flops of the tournament as selected by Reuters journalists (4-3-3):

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Spain)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

...

Reuters flops of the World Cup tournament

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

- The 2014 World Cup has produced several goals of outstanding quality. The following are five of the best so far according to Reuters.

- - - -

James Rodriguez (Colombia 2 Uruguay 0)

Rodriguez...

Five of the best goals from the World Cup

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker

- Argentina's Lionel Messi has looked "jaded" and "staccato" in a disappointing World Cup overall despite some magical moments, former England striker Gary Lineker said on Saturday.

The four-times World Player of the Year and...

"Jaded" Messi has disappointed at World Cup, says Lineker