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FIFA World Cup: Who is shining, who isn't

Last updated on: June 19, 2014 08:42 IST

FIFA World Cup: Who is shining, who isn't

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Within just a week the FIFA World Cup has reached its pinnacle, and fans are asking for more action.

This World Cup the numbers of goals has gone up, as has the mass hysteria around the month-long tournament in Brazil.

What is a World Cup without its stars? After just one or more matches we already have some clear winners in Robin van Persie and Lionel Messi.

These biggest stars of the game are finally shining where it matters the most.

The Netherlands' Van Persie scored two goals in the 5-1 victory over champions Spain and one in the next game against Australia which they won 3-2.

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Image: Robin van Persie
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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The 30-year-old Arjen Robben is playing like a man on a mission to prove himself one of the stars of the tournament. 

He scored twice against Spain in the Netherlands’ opening match and then opened the scoring in the 20th minute in the 3-2 victory over Aussies.

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Image: Arjen Robben
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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It took Messi three tournaments to find his feet, while some strikers seem to thrive on the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the World Cup from day one.

Nevertheless, the Argentine star got on the scoresheets, scoring a vital goal in the 2-1 victory over Boania-Herzegovina.

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Image: Lionel Messi of Argentina acknowledges the fans after scoring
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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Thomas Mueller, the joint-tournament top scorer with five goals in South Africa four years ago, grabbed a hat-trick as Germany hammered Portugal 4-0.

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Image: Thomas Mueller of Germany acknowledges the fans after scoring a hat-trick against Portugal
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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The host nation's expectations rest on the slender shoulders of the 22-year-old Neymar.

He scored two goals on his World Cup debut as Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in the tournament opener.

He, however, failed to score in the goalless draw against Mexico.

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Image: Neymar of Brazil
Photographs: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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Karim Benzema wasn't picked for France four years ago. This time around he's the star man.

He opened the scoring for France in the 3-0 victory over Honduras the penalty spot, and then played a major role in his side's second goal.

The Real Madrid striker rounded off a fine afternoon with an emphatic finish 18 minutes from time.

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Image: Karim Benzema of France celebrates with Patrice Evra, Mathieu Valbuena after scoring the first goal against Honduras
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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A cool-headed Mario Balotelli proved too smart for England, scoring two well-crafted goals and defending doggedly in the Amazon heat to grab a 2-1 win in Italy's opening World Cup Group D game.

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Image: Mario Balotelli of Italy celebrates after scoring
Photographs: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

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Meanwhile, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney of England were unable to find the form, just as they struggled four years ago.

While the former looked pedestrian as his team was thrashed 4-0 by Germany, the Manchester United star had hand in England's goal, tearing down the left and curling a cross which Daniel Sturridge connected into Italy's goal in the 1-2 defeat.


Image: A dejected Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal looks on
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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