Best Player Name
Siphiwe Tsabalala. Period.
Worst Marketing Campaign
Nike destroyed the future with it’s ‘Write the future’ ad.
Ronaldo, Rooney, Ribery, Cannavaro all had horror World Cups.
Ronaldinho din’t even make it to the squad.
H: I’ve always thought this is subjective. Pretty much all of Forlan’s goals, Van Bronckhorst’s rocket, some fantastic free-kicks, but for me, the goal that stood out – Quagliarella’s 25-yard chip against Slovakia. It was unpredictable, it was unexpected, it had an element of magic attached to it – and most importantly it came in the 90th minute, when Italy were 2 goals down when this guy was making his world cup debut. Unbelievable.
A: Van Bronckhorst’s stunner. Never seen anything like that, never will – especially with a ball that no one knew how to control.
Oscar Tabarez of Uruguay.
Because he utilized Forlan like no other, built his team around him and ensured Forlan got the best out of himself and his team-mates. He made Forlan play a more withdrawn role and asked him to work more as a playmaker than a striker and it worked.
One might argue that he was lucky (Suarez’s handball), but that’s just winner’s luck and comes down to how you look at it. Paraguay’s missed penalty against Spain and Melo’s own goal and red-card against Brazil were just about the same for Del Bosque and Van Marwijk. Loew deserves a mention, but he got it COMPLETELY WRONG against Spain. He allowed his team to let Spain play their game and waited till Spain were deep into his half for his players to win the ball, which meant their counter-attacks were eventually unfruitful – keeping in mind that was probably the only way they were going to score, his plan backfired.
In a World Cup that really (A: really really) lacked celebrations, South Africa’s after their first goal against Mexico stood out.
H: Endo’s against Ghana. Because it gave the keeper no chance. It was perfect.
There some other decent free-kicks, including Forlan’s and Honda’s, but Endo’s was simply a class apart.
A: Forlan’s stunner against Ghana. It bent to the right and back to the left and then swerved to the left before moving right on its way down. Unless a keeper can dive full stretch three times in two seconds, there is no way that would have been saved.
H: There were some good penalties, taken by the likes of Donovan and Gyan, but Sebastien Abreu’s winning penalty against Ghana stands out. He calmly chipped it right into the centre. His team-mates apparently used to call him insane in the dressing room….well someone clearly took their tag a little too seriously!
A: Agreed. And taking it that way right down the centre after three of the previous four attempts had missed, insane.
H: We saw Quagliarella, Casillas, Sneijder et all crying(for various reasons), but one man’s tears is what the World Cup is all about – Jong Tae-Se of North Korea wept his way through his country’s national anthem, as they prepared to face Brazil. Iconic.
A: Especially in a World Cup where people weren’t even from the country they were playing for (Prince Boateng), true patriotism was touching.
H: Netherlands doing it the hard way against Brazil. Even the most optimistic of Netherlands’ supporters thought this game was over already (A: Not me!). Brazil had trampled all over them in the first half and were somewhat unlucky to be a only one goal up.
But like they say, you never count your oranjes before they are umm… ripe? So, with a little help from Melo’s appallingly low IQ , Sneijder & co. showed great spirit to eventually win it 2-1.
US made a comeback against Slovenia, but that’s Slovenia, this is Brazil mate.
A: Also in terms of reviving your campaign as a whole, the Germans were pretty thorough in demolishing England (4-1) and Argentina (4-0) in what were supposed to be the matches of the tournament (at those stages). Especially after two earlier German games had finished 0-1 to Serbia and 1-0 against Ghana to Germany.
Hero-to-Zero Performance Award
Felipe Melo (v Brazil).
Assisted Robinho with one of the best passes of the tournament to put his team ahead against Netherlands. Then pressed one of the 50 self-destruct buttons he had on him, as he conceded an own-goal and then punctured Robben’s lungs to get sent off.
Best Karate Kid Impersonation
De Jong’s kick against Xabi Alonso. WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING?!?!?
(And in other news, Van Bommel and De Jong have been hired to replace Smith and Jackie Chan in Karate Kid’s sequel…)
Worst Refereeing decision
(Algorithm for choosing this award: Browse through any of the 64 matches. Randomly pick any one of the decisions made by the referees. And post it here)
H: Tevez’s first goal against Mexico(where in he was offside by 54,97,45,000 yards) and Howard Webb not sending off De Jong equally deserve this award.
A: I would say the De Jong thing is more a case of luck. Tevez + Lampard for me.
Emile Heskey’s step-overs: epic fail! He should have been sent home, right there and then.
H: Raymond Domenech. Yes, Lippi deserved it just as much, but remember Lippi performed rubbish with a rubbish bunch of players, where as Domenech performed rubbish with a bunch of world-class ones.
His French team had the maximum number of players who reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. Spectacular fail.
A: Also Domenech’s team got only one goal and zero points to Lippi’s 2 points and 4 goals.
Yakubu’s against Greece.
He had enough time to control the ball, take a smoke, call his missus and tell her he was about to score a goal, update his fb status as ‘just scored against Greece’, tell his followers on Twitter the same and then poke the ball into the net.
But he didn’t.
Best long-range goal
Van Bronckhorst against Uruguay. A defensive full-back trying that – and nailing it… WOW!
H: Sorry, none of the nominees are deemed worthy of this award. Simply because no one was even nominated.
A: I would actually disagree and say the referee in the USA v/s Ghana match was a revelation. Simply because he single-handedly made a football match all about the football. And for me it was one of the best spectacles in the tournament. By not falling for cheap dives and allowing play to continue at a fast pace, he made the game fun to watch and importantly eliminated diving from that game. A pleasure to watch.
Adidas– Because after all that technology and latex and roundest ball ever crap, they gave us something which was half as good as the average beach ball.
FIFA- Because after all that (read above), they said it was… the altitude!
French Football team- Because they made the impossible possible.
England Football team- Because they showed us they care more about the Community shield and the Carling cup than the World Cup. (A: And they finished second in their group to a struggling USA team!)
Best Substitute Performance
Fabio Quagliarella (Italy vs Slovakia)
Italy are 2 goals down in a match they can’t afford to lose.
Up comes Quagliarella, making his world cup debut.
His first shot is cleared off the line by Skrtel’s knee.
His deflected shot then sets up Di Natalie for Italy’s first goal.
He scores an equalizer, which is then controversially ruled out for being offside.
He then eventually scores a beauty of a goal in the 90th minute, with a 25-yard chip.
Italy would bow out eventually, but he alone showed more grit, determination and heart in 45 minutes than probably the entire Italy team over the whole World Cup.
Rob Green for dropping his balls (pun intended).
I mean… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
There’re mistakes, then there’s just being stupid, then there’s Green’s blunder… Atrocious!
Best World Cup joke
Why didn’t the chicken cross the road?
Because FIFA said it didn’t!
John Mensah of Ghana.
Was inspirational throughout and played his heart out on his sleeve. Mensah = REPSECT!
There was Kingson, Samir Handanovic, Stekelenburg, Eduardo(one of the only keepers who didn’t make any obvious blunder), but ultimately it’s Iker Casillas who wins this, simply because he made the saves that matter. Denied Robben twice, saved a penalty against Paraguay, made an unbelievable save to deny Postiga against Portugal – supreme clutch performance from the man they call Saint Iker.
Iniesta and Sneijder might have had a better World Cup, but Forlan came closest to what this World Cup really lacked – someone who really stepped it up, on the grandest stage of them all, a la Zidane in ’06, Ronaldo in ’02 et all.
In every match, Forlan made something out of nothing and by that I mean nothing. He led by example, inspired those around him, brought out the best in his team-mates, he played out of position and more or less played the role of 3 different players at one time. Would Uruguay have reached this far without him – not a chance!
Biggest waste of space
Jozy Altidore (USA)
He kept getting chance after chance and he was dedicated 100% to his mission to prove to the world that Adebayor on crutches would make a better striker than him. Didn’t score even one chance (and instead ‘cleared’ quite a few) USA would have fancied making the semis if they had a striker who could at least tap in the ball from the goal line. Sadly, they didn’t.