Budweiser Man of the Match: Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER (GER)
Bastian Schweinsteiger was the obvious choice for Budweiser Man of the Match in Germany's 3-1 victory over Portugal in the match for third place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.
The Bayern Munich midfielder was simply outstanding when his team needed him most with captain Michael Ballack out due to injury. Schweinsteiger was effective in both attack and defence throughout his 79 minutes on the pitch, but it was two moments of magic and perhaps one piece of good fortune that separated him from the other players on the pitch.
With the game scoreless, Schweinsteiger turned the match the hosts' way in the 56th minute. After receiving the ball on the left wing, he dribbled toward the middle of the pitch and released a swerving shot that wrong-footed Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo.
After seeing his 61st-minute cross result in an own goal by Portugal midfielder Petit, Schweinsteiger produced a goal that was even more impressive than his first. Again he received the ball on the left and dribbled infield, and again he fired a powerful swerving shot. This time the ball soared perfectly inside the far post, giving Ricardo no chance.
"In an intensive game in which goals were lacking, he opened the scoring with a thunderous strike," said FIFA Technical Study Group member Roy Hodgson. "Just a few minutes later he brought in a magnificent free-kick that was deflected into his own goal by a Portuguese defender, and he finished off his outstanding performance with another brilliant shot into the far corner which left the keeper helpless."