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World Cup 2010 Winners : Spain
All it took was a goal from Andres Iniesta in the 118th minute of the match for Spain to create history and win their first ever World Cup. Spain who have long been bugged by the ‘underachievers’ tag took it upon themselves to set some new records. They are the only team to have won the World Cup after losing their first game and the second team since West Germany to be both European champions as well as World champions. The World Cup final may have been far from the goal-fest many had expected but it surely was a very intense affairs with both teams terrified of making mistakes and desperate to win. Netherlands came with a plan which took the term ‘battle’ a little to literally while Spain worked hard at staying unruffled by the Dutch. Spain waited patiently for an opening and Andres Iniesta one of the coolest players on the pitch found the solitary goal of the match.
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adidas Golden Boot: Thomas Muller (Germany) – 5 goals, 3 assists
If you haven’t heard of Thomas Mueller, get ready because you will be hearing a lot of the young Germany and Bayern Munich player who was quite rightly voted the young player of the tournament. This was Mueller’s first World Cup and he was tied on goals scored(5), with Spain’s David Villa and Netherlands Wesley Sneidjer. The 20-year-old however, led the tie-breaker on most assists (3) which won him the coveted adidas Golden Boot award. David Villa and Wesley Sneidjer won the adidas Silver boot and adidad Bronze boot. Muller is the third German player to receive the accolade after Franz Beckenbauer (1966) and Lukas Podolski (2006). He has walked into an exclusive club which boasts of the greats of the game like Pele and Beckenbaur.
“The honour will be with me for all time. It’s a terrific confirmation of the work I’ve put in over the last year, and it’s a huge honour to be part of a group including the likes of Beckenbauer and Pele. It also points to the excellent quality of our youth development work in Germany, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Bayern Munich and the Germany national set-up, and the coaching team, who have always kept faith with me. I’ve really enjoyed my football with the lads here,” said the overjoyed winner, although he confessed to one slight regret: “What I really wanted was to win the World Cup as part of a team.
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adidas Golden Ball: Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Uruguay’s Diego Forlan was award the adidas Golden Ball officially making him the “Best Player of the 2010 World Cup”. He beat Netherlands Wesley Sneidjer and Spain’s David Villa to win the prestigious award which is decided by votes cast by accredited media representatives. Diego Forlan’s leadership and attacking skills which saw him score 5 goals was one of the main reasons behind Uruguay’s successful World Cup campaign which saw the nation make it to the last four of the tournament for the first time in 40 years. Netherlands Wesley Sneijder and Spain’s David Villa won the adidas Silver Ball and adidas Bronze Ball.
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adidas Golden Glove: Iker Casillas (Spain)
Iker Casillas was overcome by emotion when Andres Iniesta scored the goal which would prove to be the winner and lead Spain to World Cup glory. The Spain captain has conceded only 2 goals in World Cup 2010 and made many stunning saves. Spain won five of their matches by a single goal margin and if it weren’t for great goal-keeping by Casillas, they wouldn’t be World Champions today. Casillas put in great performances against Germany and in the final against Netherlands but probably his most crucial save came in second-half of Spain’s quarter-final match against Paraguay when he saved a penalty by Paraguay’s Oscar Cardozo.
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FIFA Fair Play Award: Spain
It is a tribute to the beautiful game when the team that lifts the World Cup trophy also wins the FIFA fair play award and Spain have done both. Manager Vicente Del Bosque’s men collected only eight yellow cards in the course of the tournament, only Korea DPR had fewer yellow cards but the Asians played only 3 matches and went out of the competition quite early.