By Jeff Borzello
July 3, 2014
On paper, the Round of 16 went as expected. All eight group winners advanced into the quarterfinals, so on paper, there were no surprises. In reality, it was a fantastic four days of soccer. Two matches went to penalties, three more went to extra time, and one was decided in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time. If the ball bounces a few different ways in these past eight games, we could be talking about the most Cinderella group of quarterfinalists in a very long time.
As it stands, there are certainly some powerhouses left among the group. And while we did re-rank the 16 teams that advanced into the knockout stage, it’s time for an adjustment. Trends are beginning to take a shape a bit as we head into the quarterfinal stage, and we can start to really figure out how good each team is.
The following ranking isn’t simply based on how they’ve played in the World Cup or how they’ve played for the past year or even how good they are on paper. There’s no specific criterion. It’s a subjective ranking revolving around the question: Which team
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