As is now the custom at the FIFA World Cup™, the most outstanding player in each of the tournament’s 64 matches walks away with more than just the satisfaction of knowing that they have done a good job. Thanks to the votes cast by fans the world over, they also collect the Budweiser Man of the Match award.
As the group phase draws to a close, a clear pattern has emerged, with goalscorers attracting most of the attention among voters. Proof of that has come with the two awards Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema have each picked up after scoring in both their sides’ first two games.
The trio are the only players to have collected two awards so far, though it is not only the men who score the goals who have been getting recognition. The keepers have also been turning heads, not least Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa, who made light of the fact he is without a club by putting in an inspired performance against hosts Brazil in Fortaleza, where his flying stop from a Neymar header drew comparisons with Gordon Banks’ so-called “save of the century” from Pele at Mexico 1970.
The other keeper to get the nod from voters was USA’s Tim Howard for his sterling display in the 2-2 draw with Portugal in Group G.
The list of other Budweiser Man of the Match award winners at Brazil 2014 is an impressive one, featuring as it does the likes of Neymar, Eden Hazard, Luis Suarez, Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure.
Make your vote count
To help your favourite stars win the vote all you have to do is visit the Budweiser Man of the Match section at the Global Stadium (available at FIFA.com, FIFA’s official Twitter account and the official Brazil 2014 app) at half-time and select the player you think has outshone the rest. You have until the end of the match to cast your vote.