The FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) has named Wayne Rooney Player of the Tournament at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008. Manchester United’s England international earned the adidas Golden Ball and the TOYOTA Award after crowning a fine performance in the Far East with the winning goal in United’s 1-0 victory over Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito. FIFA.com presents a review of all the awards at the tournament:
adidas Golden Ball and TOYOTA Award: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
The England international was the undisputed star turn at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008. Rooney arrived at the event nursing a minor injury and started his club’s 5-3 semi-final success against Gamba Osaka on the bench. However, after coming on as a 74th-minute substitute, he required just five minutes to notch up a brace and set his side on the road to victory. The robust striker gave further evidence of his class in the final against Liga de Quito, loosing off a series of long-range efforts, combining astutely with his team-mates, and posing a constant threat to the opposing goal. The icing on the cake came after 73 minutes when the England star accepted Cristiano Ronaldo’s lay-off before netting with a sublime and perfectly executed curler.
adidas Silver Ball: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
The Portugal winger showed just why he was recently named European Footballer of the Year with a number of breathtaking thrusts and skilful flicks. But it was more than just art for art’s sake, as his wizardry created pandemonium in the opposing penalty area and brought the crowd to its feet time and time again. Ronaldo added his name to the scoresheet with his side’s second in the semi-final, and he made a huge contribution to United’s triumph in the final with a perceptive ball into the box for Wayne Rooney to net the winner.
adidas Bronze Ball: Damian Manso (Liga de Quito)
The Argentinian playmaker and his team fell just short of overall victory at the FIFA Club World Cup 2008, but Manso at least goes home with the consolation of the Bronze Ball. The artful midfielder was the pivot and provider in both his team’s matches, instigating practically all the South Americans’ most dangerous moves both from set-pieces and open play. Manso was unlucky in the final when veteran United keeper Edwin van der Sar fished his late long-range effort out of the air to prevent the equaliser.
Fair Play Award: Adelaide United
Adelaide’s showing at Japan 2008 served up ample evidence of the growing power of Australian football. After overcoming Waitakere United 2-1, coach Aurelio Vidmar’s side fell by the tightest of margins in the quarter-finals, losing by the only goal of the game to Gamba Osaka. Adelaide then performed heroically in the fifth-place play-off to defeat favourites Al Ahly 1-0 and end the tournament on a winning note. The Fair Play Award was no more than the Australians deserved after their memorable performance in Japan.