Spanish nationality determined which of 736 participating players emerged as world champions. FIFA.com Club members’ votes decided which XI made South Africa 2010's Dream Team.
And thanks to an agreement with Yingli Green Energy - a proud sponsor of the FIFA World Cup™ - WJARQUIN's selections earned him a fantastic trip to China PR! There, he will visit the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, and tour some of Yingli’s incredible solar projects, after being randomly selected from the thousands of complete entries. KAG022, ruicastro22, J_e_s_s_e_l, Alexandar81, and Lorhan, who finished from second to sixth respectively, will each receive a unique piece of solar artwork crafted from recycled scrap solar cells, while another 14 Club members will each receive a cool solar power charger.
FIFA.com presents the Dream Team from South Africa 2010.
Iker Casillas: The error for which Spain suffered defeat in their opener against Switzerland thrust ammunition into his critics’ pens. Six flawless performances thereafter definitively up their ink. Casillas saved a penalty and made two other excellent stops in their quarter-final win over Paraguay, while his reflexes were crucial to a fourth successive 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the Final. The adidas Golden Glove recipient received 41 per cent of the goalkeeping votes – 29 per cent more than his nearest challenger.
Philipp Lahm: The right-back’s impeccability as a footballer – and influence as his country’s stand-in captain – were paramount to Germany’s unforeseen run to third place. The 26-year-old right-back may fail to intimidate opponents with his slight, 1.70m frame, but he has a rare ability to steal the ball with class rather than clout. Lahm’s distribution was typically astute, and 43.81 per cent of the votes made him the only member of the last FIFA World Cup’s Dream Team to reclaim his position.
Carles Puyol: Perhaps not at his dynamic best in the group stage, the 32-year-old swiftly found the form that has helped Barcelona and Spain enjoy such rich success in recent years. He scored the only goal in the semi-final reverse of Germany, thumping a header he had no right to win past Manuel Neuer, while his indomitable defending was indispensable to La Roja keeping five clean sheets en route to gold.
Maicon: Struggling to break down Korea DPR on their curtain-raiser, Brazil needed something special. They got it from their No2, a goal from an impossible angle to kick-start their campaign. The 28-year-old’s rousing charges down the right flank were a persistent source of torment to opponents, while Maicon’s competent defending also earned him 31.45 per cent of the votes.
Sergio Ramos: Unyielding defensively and inventive offensively, the Spain No15 was the winner of the Castrol Index. He frustrated the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lukas Podolski, and provided a much-needed outlet down the right for Vicente Del Bosque’s side to collect 30.21 per cent of your votes.
Wesley Sneijder: A second-highest 60.60 per cent of the votes are indicative of the attacking midfielder’s output in South Africa. The 26-year-old incessantly demanded the ball and probed for openings when it was at his feet, while he scored an unsurpassed five goals, including both Dutch ones in the 2-1 win over Brazil in the quarter-finals. One exquisite, volleyed pass from the Inter Milan ace put Robben through on goal in the Final. The latter may have spurned that chance, but Sneijder certainly took his opportunity to dazzle at the FIFA World Cup.
Bastian Schweinsteiger: The 25-year-old came of age in South Africa. He covered 79.80 km – a total better only by Spain’s Xavi – made some decisive tackles and underlined what an effective passer he is. Giving out instructions and encouragement from the engine room, it was as he wore an invisible armband. Superb in emphatic victories over Australia, England and Argentina, and worthy of the 39.96 votes you gave him.
Andres Iniesta: Cometh the hour, cometh the man – that ‘hour’ was the dying embers of a goalless Final; that man was the Spain magician, who touched the ball perfectly into his path and dispatched it past Netherlands Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Iniesta has also excelled in Spain’s journey to the decider with his handsome skills and clever passes.
Xavi: The Spain linchpin covered more ground and made more passes than any other player in South Africa – and how sumptuous some of those through-balls were. The fulcrum of the Roja machine, he earned 36.96 per cent of the votes.
David Villa: The pressure was firmly on El Guaje throughout the tournament, and under it he thrived. He scored a joint-highest five goals, including the only ones in the Round of 16 against Portugal and quarter-final against Paraguay. The fact that he got 61.33 per cent of your votes tells its own story.
Diego Forlan: It was always going to take a Herculean effort for Uruguay to reach the last four. The 31-year-old forward was up to the role of playing Hercules. Five goals and some selfless, inspirational overall play earned him the adidas Golden Ball and a place in this Dream Team.
Vicente Del Bosque: Some of his decisions were questioned before the tournament and in the group stage. All of them were vindicated by that hallowed Trophy.
To compare your FIFA World Cup XI to the Dream Team and learn more about the prizes, just visit the Dream Team page by clicking the link to the right.