World Cup 2014: Lambert backs skipper Vlaar for glory
Paul Lambert would love to see Ron Vlaar return to Bodymoor Heath as a World Cup winner - and he believes the skipper has every chance of glory.
Vlaar has enjoyed an outstanding tournament so far with the Netherlands, who are set to meet Costa Rica in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
He has been ever-present in the Dutch team's group stage wins over Spain, Australia and Chile, as well as the dramatic last 16 victory over Mexico.
Those results have put Louis van Gaal's team among the favourites to win football's greatest prize.
And Lambert hopes his captain can go all the way in Brazil.
"I think he has been playing exceptionally well," said the Villa boss.
"He has got every chance of winning it. It would be great for him if he can go as far as he can.
"He has got a great chance - one of eight teams left in it.
"They have got a really hard game against Costa Rica who are playing ever so well.
"But Holland are playing really well and Ron has had a brilliant World Cup in terms of the way he is performing.
"I think the World Cup is as open as it has been for a number of years."
Philippe Senderos and Brad Guzan are on their way home from the World Cup after Switzerland and the USA suffered extra-time elimination at the hands of Argentina and Belgium respectively.
But Lambert reckons the duo will be boosted by their experiences at the showpiece tournament.
"We've got two lads who have just been knocked out and Ron could potentially go and win it," he added.
"Brad has obviously been on the bench but the Americans, I think, have taken everybody by storm in terms of the way they've played.
"Switzerland obviously ran it close against Argentina. So for our three lads, it has been great experience."
Check out all the details about new season tickets.