The 2010 FIFA World Cup is over. 64 matches were played and Spain has emerged as the first time winner of the World Cup trophy. I watched nearly all the matches except those running parallel and since the start I have been making notes on who could be in my personal eleven for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
But such a selection depends on the system one chooses and as most coaches played the 4-2-3-1 system, I have tried to pick my team accordingly to this system and I only took players from teams who reached at least the quarterfinals as this is the toughest stage in such a tournament, while others had already gone home.
And still I had to leave out numerous players who would have fitted in like Andres Iniesta, Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos and Arne Friedrich to name a few.
GOALKEEPER - Iker Casillas (Spain, CF Real Madrid) - Captain of the successful Spanish side. Initially had a quite tournament, but then got into the act in the quarterfinals when he saved Cardozo's penalty and then twice denied Arjen Robben the chance to score the winner for the Netherlands. But Germany's Manuel Neuer and the Netherlands Martin Steckelenburg were close contenders.
RIGHT BACK - Philipp Lahm (Germany, FC Bayern Munich) - had a lot of burden on his shoulders taking over the captaincy from Michael Ballack just before the tournament. One has known for years that Lahm is one of the best right backs in world football, he proved it once more and also showed his leadership skills amongst a young German team. This kept him ahead of Sergio Ramos (Spain) and Maicon (Brazil)
CENTRE BACK - Gerard Pique (Spain, FC Barcelona) - Maybe not as often seen or heard in commentary as his colleague Carlos Puyol, but Pique like at Barca has become a key element in the teams play in starting of moves, but he wasn't the man to move forward, rather stayed back and ensure nothing happened. He only moved up for corners due to his height.
CENTRE BACK - Lucio (Brazil, FC Internationale Milan) - Brazil's captain is a real fighter and he kept the Brazilian back line together as their overall defensive set-up looked good, but it crumbled once put under pressure by the Dutch. Still Lucio tried to do something for the team, which just couldn't fight back.
LEFT BACK - Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Netherlands, Feyenoord Rotterdam) - The most difficult decision as no one really impressed me in the left back position over the duration of the tournament. Van Bronckhorst in the end was the best of the lot with Joan Capdevila (Spain) and Jorge Fucile (Uruguay) coming close.
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER - Mark van Bommel (Netherlands, FC Bayern Munich) - Off the field the most likeable guy, but on it Mark is the most rough, sometimes even unfair player who can win matches for his side as he sometimes systematically destroys his opponents. Often with fair means, but sometimes it can get ugly, still a key element why the Dutch reached the finals. If not him, then Xabi Alonso would have been my pick though Sergio Busquets would be a close second as he is more of a van Bommel kind of player.
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER - Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, FC Bayern Munich) - it was the breakthrough tournament for the young, but experienced German who like at the club has grown in stature. He was the midfield engine of the young Germans. Finally it wasn't Schweini anymore, but Mr. Schweinsteiger who controlled the midfield as if he hadn't done anything else in his life. Initially he concentrated on his defensive duties, but against England and Argentina played brilliant passes for the third goal in both games.
RIGHT ATTACKING MIDFIELDER - Thomas Mueller (Germany, FC Bayern Munich) - the find of the tournament! The German youngster not only won the "Young Player of the tournament" award, but also won the "Golden Boot" as top scorer with five goals like David Villa, Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan; but his three assists placed him above the rest. And what a tournament it has been for the boy from Pahl. After a great first season at Bayern Munich he continued his meteoric rise and was a key member of the young German side. He beat team mate Arjen Robben in this position, but at the club he will likely return to a more central position.
CENTRAL ATTACKING MIDFIELDER - Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands, FC Internationale Milan) - What a season he had at Inter Milan winning a rare treble after joining from Real Madrid and Sneijder continued at the World Cup where he left off at his club. The key Dutch player in offence, who also scored some crucial goals for his team.
LEFT ATTACKING MIDFIELDER - David Villa (Spain, CF Valencia) - Was more effective in this position on the left as he had the space to run in front of him. Is stronger if not the point man in the middle, chance to play on the wing and move up or take long range efforts. Played another strong tournament.
FORWARD - Miroslav Klose (Germany, FC Bayern Munich) - the comeback man in the German team. Has now 14 goals in World Cup history, only one less then Ronaldo and as many as the legendary Gerd Mueller. Most probably one of the most underrated strikers in football history. A team player, who does a lot of defensive work, sometimes overdoes it like against Serbia; but scored crucial goals for his team.
COACH - Joachim Loew (Germany) - My coach as he formed a team out of the young German in less then a month. And played them as per his philosophy which is attractive attacking football. Something new for Germany, but something which the world appreciated. And credit for that to Loew!
What do you think about my selection? Please do let me know...