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The World Cup 2010: All the Winners

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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.


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World Cup Golden Boot Award: Will it be David Villa vs. Wesley Sneidjer?

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While everyone is focused on the main plot, the battle between Spain and Netherlands  to lift the 2010 World Cup, there is a sub-plot making the clash even more interesting.  Although Germany’s Thomas Mueller leads the charts for the ‘Golden Boot Award’ with 5 goals and 3 assists, Netherland’s Wesley Sneijder and Spain’s David Villa will be aware that they are tied at 5 goals and 1 assist a piece behind  the Germany player whose World Cup campaign is already over.  Both of them will want to score today and win their personal duel for the ‘Golden Boot award’ and the ‘Golden Ball award’.  So far there is very  little to choose between the two and the winner of both the awards might just be decided by who scores for their team today. Spain go in to the final as slight favourites and therefore many will put their money on David Villa to win the Golden Boot, however, Wesley Sneidjer has proved time and again that he is never down and out. He was the man who scored the winner for Holland in their quarter-final clash against Brazil, making the Europeans the only nation in this World Cup to come back from behind to win. A comparison between the two players will show just how tight the Final and the Golden Boot Award can be this year.


David Villa

Wesley Sneijder






Inter Milan



Attacking Midfielder


2 x Spanish Cups

3 x domestic titles in 3 countries, 2 x cups, 1 x Champions League







International Honours:

Euro 2008 Winner


Tournament Stats




Minutes Played:









Pass Completion:



Distance Covered:

53.24 kms

59.9 kms

The award will be decided by either a moment of genius or a moment of madness and the tactics that each of the team’s coaches employ in today’s Final. In case, at the end of the match, both of them remain tied at goals scored, then the winner will be decided depending on which of the players provided more assists. If they remain tied in assists as well, then the one who played the least minutes will emerge with the prize.

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World Cup: Golden Ball Nominees

The adidas Golden Ball is the official FIFA trophy for the “Best Player of the Tournament”. The ten nominees are selected by the Technical Study Group (TSG), a FIFA-appointed group of top football coaches and analysts. After which accredited media representatives vote to determine the winners of the adidas Golden, Silver and Bronze ball awards. The winners will be announced after the final on 11 July.

The coveted award was won by Ronaldo in 1998, Oliver Kahn in 2002 and Zinedine Zidane in 2006. The nominees for this year are:

Diego Forlan (Uruguay)

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Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)

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Andres Iniesta (Spain)

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Lionel Messi (Argentina)

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Mesut Oezil (Germany)

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Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

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Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)

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Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)

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David Villa (Spain)

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Xavi Hernanzez (Spain)

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Strangely, in a World Cup which was dominated by teams with very good defenses, no real defenders or goal-keepers have made it to this list.

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World Cup: FIFA Announces Best Young Player Shortlist

At the beginning of every World Cup, talk is dominated by star players but  by the end of the tournament it is almost always the players we discovered  that gets us excited. The World Cup wave sees some players retreating into the vast ocean and others being brought into clear view courtesy a hi-tide. FIFA recognises young footballing talent on the World Stage through one of its official awards, the Hyundai Best Young Player Award. The award continues the tradition of officially recognising the positive impact made by young footballers and is open to all participating players born on or after 1 January 1989.  The nominees and the winner is selected by the Technical Study Group which is a FIFA-appointed group of top football coaches and analysts. TSG’s  director Jean-Paul Brigger is a former Swiss international, Swiss domestic league champion with FC Sion and was the country’s Player of the Year in 1992. He is also a five-time winner of the Swiss Cup and was named Swiss coach of the year in 1995. Other prominent members of the TSG are Christian Karembeu, Gérard Houllier, Holger Osieck, Kalusha Bwalya and Ephraim Matsilele “Jomo” Sono.

The winner of the award will be announced after tonight’s Final and will win thecoveted Hyundai Best Young Player Award trophy and a new Hyundai Tucson ix 35.

The Trophy is designed and created by United Kingdom-based company, Fattorini. It is made from solid steel and is 310mm high and 6.7 kilograms in weight. The spiral design symobolises the notions of a player running rings around opposition, the traditional African fashion accessory of jewellery bangles and the springs found on a car’s suspension system. thereby combining the three key elements: Football, Africa and Hyundai. The spirals also symbolize the football global part of the trophy, forming a strong link to FIFA’s claim: ‘For the Game. For the World.’

The three shortlisted players for the 2010 Hyundai Best Young Player Award include one player who was barely know outside of his country and another who was considered a weak link in his team at the start of the competition. However, if their performances at the 2010 World Cup are anything to go by, they’ll be the stars we’ll be talking at the start of the next World Cup. They nominees are:

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Thomas Mueller (Germany)

Thomas Muellar was a fringe player at Bayern Munich, just two seasons ago and won his first international cap in March 2010 in a friendly against Argentina. However,  German manager Joachim Loew, showed faith in the 20 year old striker who is undoubtedly one of the stars of this World Cup with 5 vital goals  and 3 assists.

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Giovanni Dos Santos (Mexico)

Giovanni Dos Santos announced his arrival on the World football scene at the age 16 when he lead Mexico to victory in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru in 2005. He has already caught the eye of big clubs in Europe. He was in FC Barcelona’s youth team and then moved to the English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur where he played as an attacking midfielder. He currently plays for Turkish giants Galatasaray. At just 21 years of age,  the experienced ‘Gio’ has become one of Mexico’s key players.

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Andre Ayew

The son of Black Stars legend Abedi Pele, “Dede” Ayew became a world champion with the U-20s in Ghana last year. His succesful pass rate of 85% was one of the reasons for Ghana’s success at this World Cup. Following in the footsteps of a father who has a record three African Footballer of the Year awards is never easy but Dede Ayew who has already faced a test of character and bounced back from adversity as his young career threatened to stagnate has handled all the attention and criticism with great poise.

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World Cup 1Goal: Education for Referees!?

Wayne Rooney’s explosive nature is what makes the England striker brilliant. His fiery temper is fast becoming a thing of legend. Unfortunately for Rooney, his big mouth usually begets hoards of attention from the referees. Attention that the England forward could certainly do without.

In what seems like an aftermath of Wayne Rooney’s antics at England’s warm up game against Platinum Stars when the England striker let fly a sizeable chunk of abusive language at the local referee Jeff Selogilwe, FIFA have taken it upon themselves to give the referees and his assistants for the Group C match in Rustenburg a crash course in English swear words.

Although the Brazilian referee in-charge of England’s match on Saturday Carlos Simon is a journalist, fluent in English; he and his linesman Altemir Hausmann and Roberto Braatz, have been given a list of 20 English swear words to study in preparation for the game. Surely, the 1Goal, education for all objective didn’t imply a compulsory 20 english swear words.

I wonder if the list includes the words, ‘soundrel, crook and a shameless bastard‘, famously used by Palmeiras president, Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo, to denounce Simon Carlos last November. Also, wouldn’t it make more sense for FIFA to train the referees better so that they improve their skills and become more proficient in spotting fouls. That way, we’ll get more reliable referees (not to mention swear-words free), who won’t make dumb calls and the players won’t have to ‘wax eloquent’.

Hausman said, “We have to learn what kinds of words the players say. All players swear, and we know we will hear a few ‘son of a…'”.

Braatz was quick to add: “We can’t do this in 11 different languages, but at least we have to know the swear words in English.”

Language is being taken very seriously and it seems ‘Respect the Referee’ campaign is still on. Though it does seem a bit unfair that only English abuses are being targeted. Looks like Wayne should listen to Jeff Selogilwe and “learn to control his temper” or maybe choose to get inventive in another language.

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World Cup Insured for £6.2bn

Football has never been bigger and this year’s World Cup is expected to smash overall viewing records owing to the growth of online TV and smartphones.

Due to the tremendous financial implications, football world governing body FIFA, broadcasters, national teams and other firms with a stake in the tournament’s success have taken insurance policies. According to Lloyds of London, the world’s biggest insurance market, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is covered by policies worth £6.2bn ($9bn).

Of this £6.2bn ($9bn), a combined total cover of £3.2bn is for the 10 stadiums which are an equal mix of old stadia and new ones specially built for the event.

The other £3bn are accounted for by various business opportunities linked to the event.

Chris Nash, active underwriter at Sportscover speaking to the BBC said, “Competitions, offers, prizes, sponsorship, broadcast rights – it’s impossible to know how many there are, but all companies with these financial implications need coverage.”

A Lloyd’s spokeswoman revealed that these indirect implications could range from broadcasting glitches caused by delayed matches to retailers offering freebies if a particular team won the competition.

“If the opening ceremony is delayed, that will affect the broadcasters, because they’ve got their advertising slots in place,” she said.

The total of £6.2bn ($9bn), however, does not include the value of insurance policies applying to individual players in case of illness or injury. This amount can vary significantly since not all players in a team are considered to be of equal value. The insurance cover against disability for a top footballer can be as high as £40m while the celebrity status of some players takes their insurance price-tag even higher.

Article first published as Golden Ball Insured for $9 Billion on Technorati.

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Controversial Simon Carlos to Referee England’s World Cup Opener

Carlos Simon Eugenio was appointed the referee for Saturday’s contest between England and USA in their opening Group C match in Rustenburg, South Africa. The Brazilian referee has caused controversy with some of his decisions in past seasons and was suspended last season from the national federation, amid accusations of bribery and incompetence.

The 44-year old journalist came under fire some 12 months ago when he sent off Flamenco striker Diego Tardelli for diving, although the striker appeared to have been fouled in a crucial match against Cruzeiro. Flamengo’s subsequent loss to their fierce rivals Cruzeiro cost them their place in the following season’s Copa Liberatadores. Flamengo were so furious at the official that they sent a DVD to FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke campaigning for Simon’s removal from the FIFA List of Referees for the 2010 World Cup.

In another incident, Simon disallowed a Palmeiras goal scored by Obina, judging the scorer to have fouled an opponent in the build-up. The incident lead to Palmeiras losing 1-0 to Fluminense. The Palmeiras president, Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo appalled at the referee’s performance described him as a “a crook, a scoundrel … just a shameless bastard” at the time. “He must be in someone’s pocket. If I met him in the street, I would slap him. What he did was unbelievable and he was helping Fluminense. He should be driven out of football.”,Belluzo added.

Both the incidents eventually lead to Simon being suspended by the Brazilian federation for “a repetition of mistakes committed during the competition”.

Simon recently made the news again when he refereed a domestic match between Vasco and Botafofo with both coaches complaining to the Brazilian authorities about his performance.

The South American official also failed to award a penalty for Brasiliense in the 2002 Brazilian Cup final when even the Corinthians players suggested it should have been given.

In the 2006 World Cup, the Brazilian was once again caught up in controversy when his decision to dismiss Teddy Lucic for two bookable offences against Germany was severely criticized. Simon had brandished the second card after German players waved imaginary cards for what they felt was a tug by Lucic on Miroslav Klose. The controversy was fanned further when German striker Lucas Podolski patted Simon on the back for showing Lucic a second yellow card.

Controversy it seems follows Simon and this might unnerve Fabio Cappello but it is worth noting that the veteran official was chosen by FIFA on the strength of his displays in international matches. He refereed England’s draw against Sweden in the 2002 World Cup and was spot on when he waved away Swedish appeals for a penalty when Rio Ferdinand pushed Marcus Allback, judging that the infringement occurred outside the box.

FIFA however continues to support Simon despite his controversial decisions. This will be a record third World Cup campaign for the experienced official who has been refereeing since 1997.

Article first published as Controversial Simon Carlos to Referee USA’s World Cup Opener on Technorati.

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