Most Valuable Players of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 World Cup. The first to be held on African soil. The World Cup which showed the world the power of tiki-taka and made everyone groove to the tunes of Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’. The World Cup that served as the zenith of Spanish football.
While the 2010 World Cup was one that was won by a true team, there were many brilliant individual performances through the course of the tournament. Here, we list the MVPs of the 2010 World Cup:
The driving force behind the impressive Dutch squad that finished second in the 2010 World Cup. The 2010 tournament, in many ways was Sneijder’s playground. Everything he touched turned to gold as the diminutive playmaker became a threat for defenders in the World Cup.
The Dutchman plundered five goals en route to the finals, with Japan, Slovakia, Brazil and Uruguay being the victims. He ended up winning the Silver Ball at the tournament and was named Man of the Match on four different occasions.
Having led Internazionale to a Champions League treble and then Netherlands to a World Cup final in 2010, it is still unfathomable as to how he did not win the Ballon D’Or.
Uruguay were the surprise package of the 2010 World Cup as they made an unprecedented run to the semi-finals. Their star man was then Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan who was one of the standout players of the World Cup.
Scoring long range and spectacular goals became somewhat of a habit for Forlan in the 2010 World Cup as he scored three from outside the penalty box in the tournament. One of his best goals was the free-kick against Ghana in the Quarter-Finals as well as the long-range effort against the Netherlands in the semi-final.
For his five goals and overall brilliant play, Forlan was awarded the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball award.
Germans have this knack of performing brilliantly at World Cup tournaments and 2010 was the year when a young German forward came to the fore.
The German squad which reached the semi-finals, were spearheaded by Thomas Muller in attack. The Bayern Munich youth academy graduate wowed fans with his attacking awareness as he scored five goals in the tournament. His creativity was also at display as he provided three assists in the tournament. Those three assists served as the tie-breaker for the Golden Boot award as Muller pipped Diego Forlan and David Villa for the award.
The Spanish midfield was much talked about in the 2010 tournament and for good reason. They were compact and their passing was as precise as it can get.
But a not of attention is paid to the Spanish defense which was instrumental in La Furia Roja’s victory.
Carles Puyol was at the heart of this solid defense which only conceded two goals in the entire tournament. Puyol formed a brilliant partnership with FC Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique as Spain made their way to the top of the world. For good measure, he also scored a bullet header in the semi-final against Germany. The goal that won them the match.