Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 World Cup: The Cream of the Crop

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

As with every competition, the best are always remembered, and usually honoured. Likewise, I wish to put forth my list of the 'creme de la creme' of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is merely my humble take on things, so there's no reason for you to get uptight if your best team, player, coach etc is not featured. Enjoy reading!

Player of the Tournament: Wesley Sneijder (NED)

He played superb passes with inch-perfect precision and scored five well-taken goals that took him to the top of the goal scoring charts. His long ball to Robben in the game against Slovakia in the quarter-finals that led to their first goal was just unbelievable. Considering that he was the architect of Inter Milan’s treble winning squad too, it’s a pity he lost out to Forlan in the official ‘Player of the Tournament’ accolade.

Team of the Tournament: Spain

I had thought that Germany would be the team of the tournament, but being duly beaten by Spain, I guess Spain deserve this award. It’s not so much for playing beautiful football, but for the fact that they had the discipline to play as rigid as they did. With midfield maestros such as Xavi and Iniesta, they could keep long spells of possession that undoubtedly undid more fanciful teams such as Germany.

Goal of the Tournament: Lukas Podolski (GER vs ENG)

The second goal in this quarter-final encounter ranks as one of the best teams goals I have seen. Mueller had possession of the ball on the right side of the midfield, passed it short to Oezil who then played it to Klose. Klose deftly flicked the ball on to a rampaging Mueller’s path who took a touch and then chipped the ball across the goal to Podolski. And Podolski rounded off the move by volleying the ball between James’s legs. Perfect!

Coach of the Tournament: Joachim Leow (GER)

I mean, he thoroughly deserves this, doesn’t he? Almost all of Germany had written off their teams chances at the World Cup after their captain, Ballack, was ruled out due to an injury. But Leow assembled a rather inexperienced side that had an average age of only 25 and they swept to resounding tactical wins over Australia, England and Argentina before getting knocked out by Spain.

Match of the Tournament: GER vs ENG (Round of 16)

This match had all the ingredients of a classic. A ‘goal’ that never was, a triumph of youth over experience and a scoreline that no Englishman (or even a German for that matter) could fathom. The Premier League stars who earn truckloads of cash were undone by a German team that launched counter-attacks at lightning speed reminiscent of the Blitzkrieg. Had the ‘goal’ stood, the outcome of the match might have been different, but nevertheless a game to remember.

So what's your pick of the best of the best? Feel free to share by dropping a comment below.
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