The first five days of World Cup football have produced 44 goals, controversy aplenty and some wonderful football – with the sorry exception of Iran vs Nigeria – and some exciting team and individual performances.
Ahead of the tournament we’ve teamed up with exciting new smartphone app OnePulse and asked its users which World Cup debutant would take the World Cup by storm and the results made for some interesting reading.
Some 33.3% of the fans who took part in the poll believed Brazil wonderkid Neymar would shine the brightest among the plethora of young stars taking their World Cup this summer.
The Barcelona striker got his World Cup campaign off to an excellent start, netting twice as his side overcame Croatia in a controversial opening game and if Neymar is bothered by carrying the weight of a nation on his shoulders, he definitely did not show it.
Brazil continue to divide opinions, with some considering the hosts as firm favourites to lift the trophy, while others believe the wheels will soon come off the Selecao’s bandwagon.
However, a win against Mexico today would all but clinch a place in the round of 16 for Brazil and Neymar, who was lucky to escape a red card in the opening fixture and who will again be asked to deliver.
If tipping the Brazilian to be the youngster – or indeed the player – of the tournament might seem predictable, Raheem Sterling, the second player on the list, wasn’t an obvious choice until Saturday night.
The survey found that almost 28.4% of fans believe the Liverpool and England starlet will be the best young player of the tournament and, if England’s opening game is anything to go by, they might well be right.
Sterling was England’s outstanding performer against Italy, repeatedly beating his man and offering the sort of creativity and pace he was brought into the side for. Roy Hodgson’s men fell to a 2-1 defeat in Manaus, but it’s hard to fathom Sterling won’t be in the starting line-up against Uruguay on Thursday, when Adam Lallana could also find himself in the starting XI.
The Southampton playmaker was chosen by only the 5.8% of fans as the potential surprise of the tournament but with Wayne Rooney’s performance against Italy coming under intense scrutiny, Hodgson might give Lallana a chance on Thursday.
While Neymar and Sterling were runaway leaders in the poll, votes were generally evenly spread among the other candidates. With the 10.3% Paul Pogba was behind the leading duo, while Eden Hazard and Jackson Martinez were left just off the podium with the 9.8% and 7.3% of votes respectively.
Pogba cut a frustrated figure as France cruised to a 3-0 win over Honduras and was lucky to escape a red card for petulantly kicking out at Wilson Palacios, while Martinez was one of the stars of the show as Colombia ran riot against Greece.
The Monaco midfielder was instrumental in Los Cafeteros’ success, scoring one and assisting another as Colombia showed no signs of missing Radamel Falcao got their campaign off to a flying start with a resounding 3-0 win.
Agree? Disagree? Download OnePulse now from iTunes for free and get PAID CASH for your opinions on the World Cup!