Xabi Alonso's ability to switch play from one side of the pitch to the other and to prompt his team forward with his incisive passing was the main reason why the FIFA Technical Study Group selected him as their Budweiser Man of the Match at the Free State Stadium in Mangaung/Bloemfontein on Wednesday afternoon. Alonso's vision was crucial to Spain's 1-0 win over Iraq in the second round of games in Group A of the FIFA Confederations Cup.

"The way he kept changing the pace of the game was crucial to Spain's fine build-up play against a very well positioned defence," explained TSG member Abedi Pele of Ghana, who was present at the match. "Xabi gave a virtuoso display of long and short passing and also tested goalkeeper Mohammed Kassid with some fine shots."

The TSG (Technical Study Group) carries out in-depth analysis of the latest trends in the game and keeps FIFA's member associations fully informed of all tactical innovations. To find out more about the members of the TSG analysing the tournament click on the link in the right-hand menu.