Updated FIFA World Cup power rankings after semifinals

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By ALEC KLEYER
XN Sports

Here are the World Cup power rankings before the final:

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World Cup power rankings before finals
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Updated FIFA World Cup power rankings after semifinals

1. Germany 

Germany is far and away the best team in the tournament right now. They are unstoppable. They have proved that even against the best they show no mercy. A 7 to 1 thrashing of host country Brazil placed Germany way up top as the number one team.

Their offense is flourishing. They have scored the most goals this tournament and boast the highest shot on goal per total shot percentage out of all 32 teams.

They have been second best with completing passes and are tied with Argentina for keeping the most possession.

Manuel Neuer has also been extremely solid in net, coming up with 24 saves the entire tournament. This is only second to Tim Howard with 28 saves.

Goals Scored: 17 (1st)

Goals Conceded: 4 (9th)

Completed Passes: 82% (2nd)

Attacks: 250 (4th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 73% (1st)

Possession: 58% (1st)

Completed Clearances: 85% (13th)

Saves: 24 (2nd)

(FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)

2. Argentina

Argentina is the only team to have won every game so far, however, not convincingly. They are a great team filled with great players, but they still haven’t played to their full potential. If Argentina wants any chance at taking down Germany, they need to step their pace up.

Observing their stats they are at the top for nearly every category. The most surprising stat, however, is the amount of attacks they initiated. They lead all 32 teams with 311 attacks. It proves that Argentina needs to learn to capitalize on their opportunities for they only scored eight goals.

Goals Scored: 8 (6th)

Goals Conceded: 3 (2nd)

Completed Passes: 78% (8th)

Attacks: 311 (1st)

Shot on goal per total shots: 64% (8th)

Possession: 58% (1st)

Completed Clearances: 86% (11th)

Saves: 15 (11th)

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

3. Netherlands

Their offense got them to the semi finals, and their offense knocked them out of it. They started off at a rapid pace with a five goal thrashing of defending champions, Spain. Then after the group stages they only managed to score two goals in three matches. Thus, resulting in their last two matches going into additional time and further into penalty kicks.

Holland surprised critics with solid defensive play as well. They have a fairly young defensive line, with an interesting 5 – 3 – 2 formation. However, manager Louis Van Gaal put it all together and got them to the Semi-Finals. Let’s see if he can get bronze on Saturday.

Goals Scored: 12 (2nd)

Goals Conceded: 4 (9th)

Completed Passes: 78% (8th)

Attacks: 246 (5th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 72% (2nd)

Possession: 51% (14th)

Completed Clearances: 89% (6th)

Saves: 16 (10th)

(AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)

4. Colombia

Colombia got off to a tremendous start but were unlucky and fell victim to the only day that Brazil decided to show up and perform.They have an incredibly young squad and to everyone’s surprise they did this all without their world class striker, Radamel Falcao. This nation has a bright future in their national team, and will be a big threat come 2018.

Goals Scored: 12 (2nd)

Goals Conceded: 4 (9th)

Completed Passes: 71% (27th)

Attacks: 156 (9th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 67% (3rd)

Possession: 47% (24th)

Completed Clearances: 84% (17th)

Saves: 22 (4th)

(Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

5. Belgium

All the critics lashed on their defense but stats do not lie. Belgium conceded the second least amount of goals, and completed the second highest percentage of clearances. On top of that they had an outstanding performance from young goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, with 13 saves.

Their offense was the talking point heading into the World Cup, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and other elite club players. However, as Belgium produced the third most amount of attacks, they only scored nine goals.

Belgium also has a very young team, and have a lot to look forward to in the next four years.

Goals Scored: 6 (9th)

Goals Conceded: 3 (2nd)

Completed Passes: 75% (17th)

Attacks: 266 (3rd)

Shot on goal per total shots: 64% (8th)

Possession: 53% (10th)

Completed Clearances: 95% (2nd)

Saves: 13 (13th)

(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

6. France

Once upon a time, France was my favorite to win it all. The French pulled off a decent World Cup; better than they expected. Four years ago they didn’t make it out of the group stages, so this is definitely a big step forward. Their offense was dominant, but their defense was the biggest surprise. They conceded only three goals in five games, an outstanding achievement.

Goals Scored: 10 (5th)

Goals Conceded: 3 (2nd)

Completed Passes: 79% (5th)

Attacks: 223 (6th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 63% (13th)

Possession: 53% (10th)

Completed Clearances: 82% (22nd)

Saves: 10 (22nd)

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

7. Costa Rica

I wouldn’t label their defense the best in the World Cup, but surely only allowing two goals in five games is an outstanding accomplishment. Costa Rica defied all odds with their dominance of the “Group of Death.” Nobody expected they would be quarter finalists, but they made it all the way to the final eight teams. Las Ticas proved that they can be dangerous simply by using counter attacks.

According to their stats, and by watching their games, Costa Rica is no dominant team. Their possession is abysmal and their shot conversion is one of the worst. However, they still managed five goals in five matches and only conceded one.

Someone once said that a good defense wins championships. While Costa Rica didn’t win the World Cup, they proved that an elite defensive display can get you very far.

Goals Scored: 5 (12th)

Goals Conceded: 2 (1st)

Completed Passes: 71% (27th)

Attacks: 130 (22nd)

Shot on goal per total shots: 47% (30th)

Possession: 43% (30th)

Completed Clearances: 77% (26th)

Saves: 21 (6th)

(AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

8. Brazil

Oh where to start.

Brazil entered the tournament as favorites by many. Their roster wasn’t nearly as good as Germany or Spain, but since the World Cup is in Brazil then the hosts have to win! Right? Wrong.

Brazil clearly felt the pressure of their fans expecting them to win. In their first game they struggled to find the net until Croatia finally broke down. Then against Mexico they couldn’t score once. Cameroon was an easy opponent and still struggled until they finally broke through.

In the first round of the knockout stage, Brazil had to go to penalties with Chile. That was a huge scare for the host nation, as the country was almost eliminated in the round of 16.

Their only good outing was against Colombia, where they dominated their South American rivals.

In the Semi Finals, they showed that with all the pressure building up they could not stand a chance against a really tough opponent. The seven goal thrashing they faced against Germany was laughable and pitiful.

Goals Scored: 11 (4th)

Goals Conceded: 11 (32nd)

Completed Passes: 75% (17th)

Attacks: 276 (2nd)

Shot on goal per total shots: 67% (3rd)

Possession: 53% (10th)

Completed Clearances: 80% (24th)

Saves: 9 (26th)

(Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Chile

Chile was a pleasant surprise in this World Cup. After beating Spain two goals to none they seemed like a tough opponent. They were unlucky to lose to Brazil in the round of 16 for they were the better team in regulation time.

Hopefully Chile carry on with their progress and make a deeper run in 2018.

Goals Scored: 6 (9th)

Goals Conceded: 4 (9th)

Completed Passes: 77% (12th)

Attacks: 150 (10th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 50% (27th)

Possession: 55.3% (6th)

Completed Clearances: 83% (19th)

Saves: 18 (8th)

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

10. Switzerland

Switzerland has a very bright future ahead of them. Another young team that went farther than expected. This team showed that they can win matches in tight situations and score important goals. Their roster has four years to improve, more than enough time to make this team a threat in 2018.

Goals Scored: 7 (7th)

Goals Conceded: 7 (25th)

Completed Passes: 77% (12th)

Attacks: 148 (11th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 62% (14th)

Possession: 47.8% (22nd)

Completed Clearances: 74% (29th)

Saves: 22 (4th)

(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

11. Mexico

El Tri was saved by their keeper, Ochoa,many times this World Cup. He made Mexico’s defense organized and responsible. They deserved to go on and advance to the quarter finals but Arjen Robben of the Netherlands dove in injury time to earn his country a penalty. Mexico needs to work on getting their shots on goal and further advancing their offense.

Goals Scored: 5 (12th)

Goals Conceded: 3 (2nd)

Completed Passes: 75% (17th)

Attacks: 136 (16th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 48% (29th)

Possession: 48.8% (21st)

Completed Clearances: 77% (26th)

Saves: 10 (22nd)

(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

12. USA

The Stars and Stripes did a very good job getting out of their very own “Group of Death.” Beating Ghana was a heart stopper and getting a huge point against Portugal couldn’t be predicted before the World Cup began.

USA did a great job on converting shots on goal, they just need to finish them off. Unluckily USA should’ve beat Belgium with a Chris Wondolowski tap in, but instead that didn’t happen and Belgium won in extra time.

Goals Scored: 5 (12th)

Goals Conceded: 6 (19th)

Completed Passes: 77% (12th)

Attacks: 131 (20th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 66% (5th)

Possession: 44.5% (28th)

Completed Clearances: 77% (26th)

Saves: 28 (1st)

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

13. Nigeria

Many will be baffled by this decision, but Nigeria performed really well this World Cup. Their defense was solid and they kept themselves in the game against France. Simple mistakes got them eliminated from the tournament.

Goals Scored: 3 (21st)

Goals Conceded: 5 (16th)

Completed Passes: 74% (22nd)

Attacks: 157 (8th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 64% (8th)

Possession: 51% (14th)

Completed Clearances: 90% (5th)

Saves: 21 (6th)

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

14. Bosnia

To my surprise Bosnia did not make the round of 16. The way the played was outstanding and they were unlucky to not progress further.

Bosnia’s pass completion percentage was the fourth highest of all teams. Their shot on goal conversion was eighth best. And their defense only allowed four goals. That’s a few outstanding number for a team that couldn’t qualify for the round of 16.

Goals Scored: 4 (15th)

Goals Conceded: 4 (9th)

Completed Passes: 80% (4th)

Attacks: 132 (19th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 64% (8th)

Possession: 54.7% (8th)

Completed Clearances: 72% (31st)

Saves: 13 (13th)

(Photo by Ibrahim Yakut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

15. Ecuador

Ecuador was unlucky in their quest to advance to the round of 16. They did all they could in the wake of Christian Benitez’s death … A very unfortunate loss to Ecuador and for his family.

Ecuador’s defense was a big talking point in this tournament. They surprisingly conceded only three goals in three matches and had the third highest clearance completion in the tournament.

Goals Scored: 3 (21st)

Goals Conceded: 3 (2nd)

Completed Passes: 68% (30th)

Attacks: 103 (26th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 62% (14th)

Possession: 45% (27th)

Completed Clearances: 92% (3rd)

Saves: 18 (8th)

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

16. Algeria

Like Nigeria, this African side threatened Germany in the round of 16. Other than that they proved they can outplay big countries like Russia, and pour on goals like they did against Korea.

Goals Scored: 7 (7th)

Goals Conceded: 7 (25th)

Completed Passes: 68% (30th)

Attacks: 103 (26th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 59% (17th)

Possession: 41.3% (31st)

Completed Clearances: 85% (13th)

Saves: 23 (3rd)

(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

17. Uruguay

If Suarez was healthy and not biting, Uruguay would without a doubt be in the top 10. However, Uruguay relied too much on the muncher and were lost without him. Edison Cavani was atrocious in this World Cup to say the least.

Goals Scored: 4 (15th)

Goals Conceded: 6 (19th)

Completed Passes: 71% (27th)

Attacks: 138 (14th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 59% (17th)

Possession: 46% (25th)

Completed Clearances: 82% (22nd)

Saves: 10 (22nd)

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

18. Greece

Greece was a surprise inclusion in the round of 16 with their late penalty win over Ivory Coast. They have a high-flying offense, having the seventh most number of attacks. However, three goals in four matches really tells you how productive those attacks are.

Goals Scored: 3 (21st)

Goals Conceded: 5 (16th)

Completed Passes: 75% (17th)

Attacks: 167 (7th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 52% (23rd)

Possession: 47.3% (23rd)

Completed Clearances: 78% (25th)

Saves: 11 (19th)

(Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

19. Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast showed its seniority in this tournament with a narrow escape of Japan and poor outings against Columbia and Greece. They did well passing the ball around and keeping possession, but their high shot conversion rate couldn’t get them any more goals that they needed. Their average defense couldn’t get them in the round of 16 either.

Goals Scored: 4 (15th)

Goals Conceded: 5 (16th)

Completed Passes: 79% (5th)

Attacks: 133 (18th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 64% (8th)

Possession: 55.7% (4th)

Completed Clearances: 85% (13th)

Saves: 8 (27th)

(Photo by Alex Livesey - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

20. Italy

Their ability to keep the ball away from the opposition and park the bus got them only so far. Narrow losses to Costa Rica and Uruguay saw them not qualify for the round of 16. Their lack of producing dangerous offensive attacks was the reason for this. They were almost dead last in producing attacks.

Goals Scored: 2 (26th)

Goals Conceded: 3 (2nd)

Completed Passes: 85% (1st)

Attacks: 100 (28th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 52% (23rd)

Possession: 55% (7th)

Completed Clearances: 73% (30th)

Saves: 12 (15th)

(AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, pool)

21. Spain

Having the second best passing completion percentage and possession only got Spain so far.

Having those stats that Spain did, its baffling how they didn’t qualify. Conceding seven goals and only producing one in their first two games was probably the reason … I don’t know, just a guess.

Goals Scored: 4 (15th)

Goals Conceded: 7 (25th)

Completed Passes: 82% (2nd)

Attacks: 131 (20th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 66% (5th)

Possession: 56% (2nd)

Completed Clearances: 87% (10th)

Saves: 7 (29th)

(Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

22. Russia

The 2018 World Cup hosts don’t have much to look forward to in four years for they simply don’t produce good young talent. Their team is old and tired, and they are relying on Fabio Capello to turn it all around. Ha.

Goals Scored: 2 (26th)

Goals Conceded: 3 (2nd)

Completed Passes: 74% (22nd)

Attacks: 134 (17th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 59% (17th)

Possession: 49.3% (17th)

Completed Clearances: 91% (4th)

Saves: 10 (22nd)

(Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

23. Croatia

Croatia needs a new keeper. Their defense completed 100 percent of their clearances but their goalie, Stipe Pletikosa, only had five saves all tournament. That’s the best record vs the worst. Croatia has a wonderful midfield pair with Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric, and having Mario Mandzukic up top instantly makes the offense dangerous. Besides those three players there isn’t much talent to work with.

Croatia needs to build up their youngsters and then they can definitely make an impact in their next international cup.

Goals Scored: 6 (9th)

Goals Conceded: 6 (19th)

Completed Passes: 74% (22nd)

Attacks: 123 (25th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 56% (20th)

Possession: 49.3% (17th)

Completed Clearances: 100% (1st)

Saves: 5 (32nd)

(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

24. Portugal

The one thing Portugal did well was pass the ball. Their defense was atrocious, considering Pepe was out for 1.5 matches and they lost Fabio Coentrao to a hamstring injury. Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t have even played on his knee injury if that’s the kind of performance he was going to give.

Goals Scored: 4 (15th)

Goals Conceded: 7 (25th)

Completed Passes: 79% (5th)

Attacks: 129 (23rd)

Shot on goal per total shots: 53% (22nd)

Possession: 50.7% (16th)

Completed Clearances: 67% (32nd)

Saves: 7 (29th)

(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

25. Korea

Korea doesn’t have much talent in their roster, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Coaches always tell their players to shoot when they have the chance, because you have a 0 percent chance of scoring the shots you don’t take. This Korean team got 65 percent of their shots on target, which is outstanding. If they placed the balls a little better they would’ve had a shot at qualifying for the knockout stage.

Goals Scored: 3 (21st)

Goals Conceded: 6 (19th)

Completed Passes: 75% (17th)

Attacks: 128 (24th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 65% (7th)

Possession: 52.3% (13th)

Completed Clearances: 85% (13th)

Saves: 12 (15th)

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

26. Ghana

Ghana was a mess. They had the worst shot on target conversion percentage and were terrible with keeping the ball. They are a very young Ghanaian team, and hopefully we can see more from them with time to come.

Goals Scored: 4 (15th)

Goals Conceded: 6 (19th)

Completed Passes: 73% (25th)

Attacks: 142 (12th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 41% (32nd)

Possession: 49% (19th)

Completed Clearances: 86% (11th)

Saves: 12 (15th)

(Photo by Dennis Grombkowski - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

27. Japan

Japan had much better expectations heading into this World Cup. Their offensive production was abysmal with only two goals in three matches. They kept the ball well and played around with it, but that’s where the mistakes piled up and resulted in them having a -4 goal differential.

Goals Scored: 2 (26th)

Goals Conceded: 6 (19th)

Completed Passes: 78% (8th)

Attacks: 141 (13th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 61% (16th)

Possession: 55.7% (4th)

Completed Clearances: 83% (19th)

Saves: 8 (27th)

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

28. England

England deserves this spot with the way they played. They were walking half the time and didn’t seem to care for what is going on.

Their defense was terrible and needs an entire line change. Roy Hodgson needs to get out as soon as possible, clearly he cannot manage anything in England.

England is a mess. But, they have tremendous potential to get better. In four years their young studs in Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Barkley will have plenty of time to gain valuable experience.

Goals Scored: 2 (26th)

Goals Conceded: 4 (9th)

Completed Passes: 78% (8th)

Attacks: 138 (14th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 49% (28th)

Possession: 54.3% (9th)

Completed Clearances: 83% (19th)

Saves: 6 (31st)

(Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

29. Australia

Australia’s only glimpse of showing fight was when they gave the Netherlands a scare. Tim Cahill’s wonder goal, unfortunately for him, proved to not be enough as the Netherlands rallied back to win the match by one goal.

The Socceroo’s couldn’t keep possession and had very few attacks to manage any danger in the opposition’s half.

Goals Scored: 3 (21t)

Goals Conceded: 9 (30th)

Completed Passes: 76% (15th)

Attacks: 90 (30th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 52% (23rd)

Possession: 43.7% (29th)

Completed Clearances: 88% (8th)

Saves: 11 (19th)

(AP Photo/Jon Super)

30. Iran

Iran’s defense was a shockingly pleasant thing to watch as they almost ended up drawing with Argentina. Of course Messi was on the end of things to win it all once again, but still the effort was there. They only conceded four goals in three matches.

Their offense is what has them so far down though. One goal, 74 attacks, 64 percent of their passes completed, and 34 percent possession … yikes.

Goals Scored: 1 (30th)

Goals Conceded: 4 (9th)

Completed Passes: 64% (32nd)

Attacks: 74 (32nd)

Shot on goal per total shots: 55% (21st)

Possession: 34% (32nd)

Completed Clearances: 84% (17th)

Saves: 12 (15th)

(Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

31. Honduras

Nothing went right for this CONCACAF team except for their physicality. They could not score, and could not keep goals from coming in. Their shot on target conversion was dead last and they were second to least behind Iran in attack creation.

Goals Scored: 1 (30th)

Goals Conceded: 8 (29th)

Completed Passes: 76% (15th)

Attacks: 86 (31st)

Shot on goal per total shots: 52% (23rd)

Possession: 49% (19th)

Completed Clearances: 89% (6th)

Saves: 11 (19th)

(AP Photo/David Vincent)

32. Cameroon

Cameroon is last because they simply had it all. Their offense was poor, and so was their defense. They conceded the most goals after only Brazil. They scored the joint least goals with Iran and Honduras. They created very few attacking opportunities. They couldn’t pass or keep the ball in their possession. The only statistic that seems appealing is their clearance completion percentage.

Goals Scored: 1 (30th)

Goals Conceded: 9 (30th)

Completed Passes: 73% (25th)

Attacks: 100 (28th)

Shot on goal per total shots: 43% (31st)

Possession: 45.7% (26th)

Completed Clearances: 88% (8th)

Saves: 15 (11th)

(Photo by Clive Mason - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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