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Brazil 2014 set to be one of the best, according to report

ESPN staff
July 3, 2014 « Bouchard makes history to set up Kvitova final | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Bigger stage, bigger nerves?

A report compiled by FIFA's Technical Study Group suggests that the 2014 World Cup has been one of the greatest tournaments of all despite eight games still to be played.

The panel, which includes former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, collates an in-depth report of the tournament as a whole and an early verdict suggests this summer's edition in Brazil has been one of the best.

Houllier is the most experienced member of the TSG which analyses every aspect of matches with coaches' "audacious" tactics, an unparalleled generation of attacking talent and intelligent preparation all catching the eye over the past three weeks.

"This has been the best one in terms of quality of football and entertainment," Houllier said.

"Some of the games, like the ones between Germany and Ghana, and yesterday between Belgium and the United States have been like basketball, end-to-end.

There has already been 154 goals in Brazil © Getty Images
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"There has been top quality drama right from the start of the group phase. Coaching has improved so much in the last 20 years, a lot of the rules brought in by FIFA and the International Board have really encouraged positive football and now we have a generation of outstanding strikers, top players really giving everything.

"The game is better and I expect it to continue. What has surprised me is the physical commitment of all the teams. Even in the last minute of the games in the last 16, for example the United States were giving everything and could have equalised."

The TSG have identified several key differences between 2014 and the last World Cup in South Africa with the increased tempo during games a clear contrast. The World Cup record of 171 goals is under threat and Houllier also remarked on the caliber of players on show.

"The record of goals is 171 at France 98; we are 154 with eight games to play and with an average of 2.75 goals per game, this record could be beaten. The football gets better each tournament.

"The report will detail all the great footballers that we've seen out here - Neymar and Messi, James Rodriguez and players like that."

The report, which is officially published in September, is sent to all the confederations and national associations that were involved in the tournament.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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