On the day of the Final, the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy outshines everything and everyone else. For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, Spain have laid hands on the most prized trophy in football. But away from the cup itself, a number of outstanding players have been recognised with individual awards, spearheaded by Uruguay superstar Diego Forlan, named Best Player at the tournament.
adidas Golden Ball: Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Diego Forlan has been named Best Player at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Uruguay striker topped the prestigious poll of accredited media representatives ahead of the Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder and Spain hitman David Villa. The 31-year-old Forlan took the starring role in his country’s heroic performance at the FIFA World Cup finals.
The striker's five goals propelled his team to the last four at the global showdown for the first time in 40 years, underscoring his status as one of the modern greats and the undisputed figurehead of his team. Forlan was the fulcrum and focus of all his team's best attacking moves. The South Americans fell 3-2 to the Dutch in the semi-finals, but their overall performance at the tournament holds out enormous hope for the future, and Forlan has been justly recognised for his stellar contribution to the diminutive nation's success.
adidas Silver Ball: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
adidas Bronze Ball: David Villa (Spain)
adidas Golden Boot: Thomas Muller (Germany) - 5 goals, 3 assists
Thomas Muller's opening goal for Germany against Uruguay in the third-place play-off proved enough to earn the Bayern Munich starlet the adidas Golden Boot. Muller finished on five goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but claimed the top scorer accolade thanks to no fewer than three assists, leaving him ahead of Spain marksman David Villa and Dutch hitman Wesley Sneijder, both of whom finished on five goals but with only one assist apiece.
adidas Silver Boot: David Villa (5 goals, 1 assist)
adidas Bronze Boot: Wesley Sneijder (5 goals, 1 assist)
adidas Golden Glove: Iker Casillas (Spain)
The Spain keeper has conceded just two goals at South Africa 2010. Under pressure after La Roja opened up with a shock defeat by Switzerland, Casillas has since answered his critics with a string of superb displays that have proved crucial to his Spain's progress to a Final they have long dreamed about. One of his most vital interventions was the second-half penalty save from Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo in the quarter-finals, the prelude to two more priceless stops in the closing minutes. Casillas was on top form again in the semi-final against Germany, making fine saves from Piotr Trochowski and Toni Kroos. With Spain failing to take more of the numerous chances they have created (five of their victories having come by a single-goal margin), the Real Madrid custodian's performances between the posts have taken on even greater significance. In this his third FIFA World Cup™ finals, the ice-cool and ultra-professional Spain captain has reproduced his very best form, showcasing his agility and fabled powers of concentration and confirming his status as one of the finest custodians in the world.
Hyundai Best Young Player: Thomas Muller (Germany)
The Germany forward rates as the biggest discovery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The Bayern Munich youngster has hit the headlines on and off the field, with five goals and three assists, and any number of quotable comments for waiting reporters. After just one season in the Bayern first team, the 20-year-old has become the darling of the German football scene, and provided all the evidence the FIFA Technical Study Group required to name him Best Young Player of the tournament. Practically the only blemish on Muller's record at the finals was his yellow card in Germany’s meeting with Argentina, causing him to miss his side’s semi-final defeat to Spain due to suspension. Muller succeeds fellow German Lukas Podolski as winner of the Best Young Player award, testament to the outstanding youth development programmes run by the German FA (DFB).
FIFA Fair Play Award: Spain
Spain have ended the tournament as both the best team in the world, and the fairest too: coach Vicente del Bosque's men collected only eight yellow cards in the course of the tournament. Korea DPR actually finished with just two yellow cards against their players, but the Asian side only played three matches at the finals. The FIFA Fair Play Award for Spain arguably comes as little surprise in the light of the fair play ratings from 2006, when the Spaniards and Brazil finished joint top.