Yesterday in my article I eluded to the fact that I thought that England players were often overrated and over-hyped.
However, I have also noticed a trend in the opposite direction. Some players produce fantastic performances and never get the credit.
There are a number of high-profile players at the World Cup who do not get the recognition at club or international level. Here are a few players who are underrated:
Miroslav Klose (Germany)
The veteran Germany striker equalled Ronaldo’s record of 15 goals at the World Cup with his vital equaliser against Ghana on Saturday. Ronaldo is acknowledged as one of the best players to ever feature at a World Cup.
However, 36-year-old Klose is not regarded as a superstar, but his feat of 15 goals is an incredible one. Klose has now played at four World Cups and has scored 70 goals in 133 appearances for his adopted country.
The Polish-born star is now Germany’s record ever goalscoring, having taken over from German football legend Gerd Muller. Klose won the golden boot in World Cup 2006 with five goals and is one of only two players to have scored five goals in two World Cups.
Klose is also the only player to have scored four or more goals at three different international tournaments. That is a lot of achievements for a player not considered to be a world superstar.
Maybe one of the reasons that Klose is not considered a superstar is because he is a goal poacher, rather than a player who will take on three players and score goals. He is an intelligent striker who finds space and is always in the right place at the right time.
Another part of it maybe that he has not enjoyed a particularly prolific record at club level, except a three year spell at Werder Bremen. Whatever the reason for him being underrated, Klose deserves immense credit for his achievements.
Thomas Muller (Germany)
Another player who is underrated is Klose’s international teammate Thomas Muller. The versatile Bayern Munich forward opened the World Cup with a hat-trick against Portugal in his country’s 4-0 victory.
If Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or unrealistically Wayne Rooney had scored that hat-trick people would be talking about the achievement for years, never mind weeks, but because it was Muller it almost seems to have been forgotten already.
Like Klose, Muller does not tend to catch the eye because he tends to score goals from within the penalty box and is not really one for the spectacular. However, in true German fashion he is ruthlessly efficient in front of goal.
Muller is also a poacher, whose clever movement and positioning allows him to score goals whatever position he plays in. One of Muller’s biggest problems maybe that he is regarded as a ‘Jack of all trades’ and it is hard to pin down his preferred position.
The 24-year-old has played in all the attacking midfield positions in his career, as well as a central striker, which means he is not regarded as a top player in any particular position.
Muller has made a superb start to the World Cup, with his three goals and one assist. The Bayern Munich star is odds of 5/1 to finish as the top scorer in Brazil. At just 24, he has scored 20 goals for his country in just 51 appearances.
Tim Cahill (Australia)
Former-Everton and Millwall star Tim Cahill has proved to be one of his country’s best players for over a decade. The 34-year-old has scored at three World Cup finals and is his country’s leading scorer with 34 goals.
Cahill scored a fantastic volley against Holland in his last international outing, which is being considered as one of the best ever goals scored at a World Cup.
Unfortunately Australia is now out of the World Cup and Cahill missed the Aussies 3-0 defeat against Spain through suspension. Cahill is a player that always gives his all and he has managed to fulfil his potential to the full.
Cahill was a loyal servant to Everton and had a good scoring rate from his attacking midfield position. He may never have won trophies or silverware at club level, but will he will always be a hero to Everton and Australia fans.
Muller and Klose are still very much at the World Cup with Germany and if they are successful then maybe they will get the credit that they deserve and will no longer be so underrated. With the Germans one of the favourites to win the World Cup it is very possible that the pair could become champions this summer.
Who are the most underrated players at the World Cup?