Awards double for Ma Xiaoxu
She may have started the final on the bench and then watched her team experience a humbling 5-0 defeat to Korea DPR, but Ma Xiaoxu was at least able to lay claim to Russia 2006's two most prestigious individual honours.
China PR's captain had already been widely tipped to land both awards prior to the final, and though her influence on the climactic match itself was minimal, the press attending the match recognised that no-one else had been able to match the standard set by the 18-year-old's strong, skilful and intelligent play.
She was also the competition's leading markswoman, although in a tournament that produced an impressive 106 goals, it was something of a surprise that just five were sufficient to earn Ma the top-scorer award.
The tournament's outstanding players:
adidas Golden Ball - MA XIAOXU (CHN)
Her outstanding contribution throughout China PR's campaign at Russia 2006 made her an obvious choice for this award. The 18-year-old's unquestionable talent, already recognised throughout her confederation, has now thrilled a worldwide audience, while her forceful personality and winning mentality make her a natural leader on and off the pitch. Blessed with superb vision and ball skills to complement her natural physical power, the striker is deadly in one-on-one situations and is also able to dribble and make assists with style and precision.
adidas Silver Ball - ZHANG YANRU (CHN)
Despite conceding five goals in the final, the Steel Rosebuds keeper showed a rare talent between the sticks over the course of the competition. Her tall, athletic physique, impressive reflexes and nerves of steel make her an obvious standout in the women's game.
adidas Bronze Ball - DANESHA ADAMS (USA)
The USA striker has an obvious thirst for goals, but is not one to wait around the goalmouth for easy pickings. A scrapper and tireless worker, she has admirable ball control and dribbling skills for such a powerfully-built player. Tim Schulz's squad rotation policy meant that Adams didn't always start, but the USA always seemed to benefit from her direct, dynamic presence whenever she was involved.
The tournament's top scorers:
adidas Golden Shoe - MA XIAOXU (5 goals, 2 assists)
The China PR captain led by example at Russia 2006, scoring many of her side's most important goals on the road to the final. She had the composure to slot away the penalty in China's opening group game against Finland and followed that with a brace against Nigeria, enabling the Steel Rosebuds to secure three points from a very tough game.
Her subsequent goal against Canada gave the Asian side top spot in Group B and a place in the last eight. In the quarter-finals, Ma again got in on the act, finding the target in her side's rout of Russia . Furthermore, the Dalian Shide player was equally effective when she turned supplier, as her two assists, against Nigeria and Russia, amply demonstrated.
adidas Silver Shoe - KIM SONG HUI (5 goals, 1 assist)
The Korea DPR striker produced when it mattered most, having eagerly awaited the final so as to provide further evidence of the goalscoring ability she hinted at with her two strikes against group C opponents Switzerland.
In the torrential rain that lashed Moscow on the tournament's final day, the player overcame tired legs to fire a spectacular hat-trick and help her side lift the world championship crown. Seemingly everywhere in the area, she got on the end of a measured lay-off from Jon Yun Mi for her first, and was on hand to steer home two parries from Zhang Yanru to complete her hat-trick later on.
adidas Bronze Shoe - ANNA BLASSE (4 goals, 2 assists)
The Germany striker took advantage of an inspired performance by her side in their Group C match against Mexico to help herself to a hat-trick and stake an early claim in the race for the Golden Shoe.
Tireless in her efforts to cause damage in opposition areas, the starlet also showed herself to be very much a team player with her unselfish passing and vital assists to fellow strikers. A further goal against the Swiss kept her in the running, but the defending champions crashed out in the quarters and the player was unable to add to her tally.
FIFA Fair Play award - RUSSIA and KOREA DPR
The hosts did not leave 'their' tournament completely empty-handed after sharing the FIFA Fair Play award with champions KOREA DPR. As part of its campaign to promote fair play, FIFA awards this prize based on evaluations made by members of its Technical Study Group of teams' conduct on and off the pitch. The goal is to reinforce a sense of sportsmanship among the players, coaches and fans during competitions.
The KOREA DPR captain Hong Myong Gum and Russia coach Valentin Grishin jointly received the trophy on the pitch after the final. Players from both sides will each receive an individual medal and diploma to mark the award, while their respective federations pick up a monetary award to invest in adidas equipment, which will help support the development of the confederations' youth sides.