- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - Imagine having World Cup standouts Lionel Messi, Neymar, James Rodriguez and Arjen Robben all in the same team.

After two weeks and 48 group-stage games in what is widely considered the best World Cup in a generation, there are already some players who have shone above the rest.

Below is a composite team of the tournament so far, in the heavily favored 4-3-3 formation, selected by writers covering the World Cup for The Associated Press:

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GOALKEEPER: Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico

Briefly punctured the euphoria in an expectant host nation by producing a series of stunning saves to secure Mexico a 0-0 draw against Brazil. One particular save, from Neymar’s header, will go down in World Cup folklore. The only goal he conceded was a late consolation by Croatia in the final group game. Is currently a free agent and will surely get snapped up after the tournament.

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RIGHT BACK: Serge Aurier, Ivory Coast

One of the few positives in an otherwise disappointing campaign for Ivory Coast, Aurier has stood out for his marauding thrusts down the right flank and his crossing ability that set up goals for Wilfried Bony and Gervinho in the 2-1 win over Japan. Expected to seal a move to a big club from Toulouse this summer on the back of his displays in Brazil.

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LEFT BACK: Junior Diaz, Costa Rica

Who would have thought that tiny Costa Rica would get through a group containing Uruguay, Italy and England - and concede just one goal in the process? The whole Costa Rica defense deserves credit but the experienced Diaz gets the nod as he has complemented the attack, setting up Bryan Ruiz’s qualification-clinching goal against Italy with a superb cross from the left wing.

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CENTER BACK: Rafael Marquez, Mexico

He has lost his long-time ponytail but the 35-year-old Marquez has retained the technical, positional and organizational skills that have helped guide Mexico into the last 16. Scored one of the goals in the 3-1 win over Mexico and his qualities don’t appear to have diminished with age.

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