Following the final of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012, the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) named Cassio as the player of the tournament. An outstanding display featuring a string of brilliant saves for Corinthians in their 1-0 victory over Chelsea ultimately sealed the adidas Golden Ball and the TOYOTA Award for the Brazilian keeper. FIFA.com reviews the post-tournament awards.
adidas Golden Ball and TOYOTA Award: Cassio (Corinthians)
Much of the credit for Corinthians’ second FIFA Club World Cup triumph, following on from a maiden success in 2000, goes to their goalkeeper. Cassio kept a clean sheet in the semi-final against Al Ahly, but topped that solid display with a brilliant performance for the Copa Libertadores holders against Chelsea. Even before half-time, the 25-year-old made a number of vital saves, bringing the crowd at Yokohama International Stadium to its feet with an athletic dive to tip a Victor Moses effort round the post. The keeper maintained his stunning form in the second half, excelling in the hectic closing stages as the Premier League side threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser. The best of the stops was a breathtaking reflex block to deny Fernando Torres from point-blank range. Cassio becomes the second Brazilian keeper to receive the adidas Golden Ball, following in the footsteps of Sao Paulo custodian Rogerio Ceni in 2005.
adidas Silver Ball: David Luiz (Chelsea)
Chelsea's Brazil international came off second best to his fellow countrymen in the final, but takes home the adidas Silver Ball as a consolation prize. Asked to fill an unfamiliar defensive midfield role in the semi-final against Monterrey, Luiz reaped a chorus of praise as the anchor of his side’s play, with fluid distribution, plenty of bite in the tackle and precise passing into deep positions. He returned to his normal position at centre back for the final, giving ample evidence of his reputation as one of the world's best defenders, although even he could not prevent his team slipping to defeat on the day.
adidas Bronze Ball: Paolo Guerrero (Corinthians)
The former Bayern and Hamburg striker turned match-winner not once but twice, initially heading the only goal of Corinthians’ semi-final meeting with Al Ahly, before going on to repeat the feat against Chelsea in the final. However, there was more to the Peru international’s game than mere finishing, as he skilfully held up the play, provided better placed team-mates with perfect lay-offs, and kept opposing defenders busy with a blend of physical robustness, dynamism and skill. Guerrero’s efforts are rewarded with the adidas Bronze Ball.
Fair Play Award: Monterrey
The Mexican team, winners of the CONCACAF Champions League, finished an excellent third at the FIFA Club World Cup 2012, and were also named the fairest team of the tournament: the Monterrey players collected only three yellow cards in their three matches in Japan. The Fair Play Award crowns a successful trip to the prestigious tournament in the Far East for the leading Mexican club.