(CNN) -

And so it comes to a close. With 64 games, some huge shocks and 171 goals scored over a month of great football, the medals have been presented and the trophy lifted. Now it's time to look back, and to recognize some superlative performances from some of the world's best players.

Here are our picks for the outstanding performers of the tournament.

Of course, every list like this is bound to be contentious -- no room for Thomas Müller, for example? You chose Howard over Neuer? It would have been easy to choose a tranche of German players in this list, but there have been some wonderful performances, both team and individual, over the course of the tournament.

Some players had exceptional tournaments, others had moments, or games, of sheer brilliance. Most wore their hearts on their sleeve throughout. All were hugely entertaining.

These XI, plus a few substitutes and one larger-than-life manager, are the players we think merited special mention.

Here's to a remarkable World Cup.