2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™

11 June - 11 July

2010 FIFA World Cup™

So close for Germany's Kroos

Toni Kroos of Germany shows his dejection
© Getty Images

With fellow Hyundai Best Young Player candidate and high-flyer Thomas Muller out suspended, the baton fell to Toni Kroos in Germany’s semi-final with Spain in Durban on 7 July. The former Bayer Leverkusen ace, 20, was brought on by coach Joachim Low just after the hour mark for the ineffectual Piotr Trochowski and he very nearly made an immediate impact when he connected well with a cross from Lukas Podolski, forcing Spanish keeper Iker Casillas into a fine diving save.

Kroos added pace and spark to the German attack, but in the end the force of the Spanish attack proved greater, with the unlikely Carles Puyol providing the winner in the 1-0 contest mid-way through the second half. As the Germans lick their wounds and face a third-place play-off with Uruguay in Port Elizabeth/Nelson Mandela Bay, their three candidates for the Best Young Player award – Kroos, Muller and Holger Badstuber – will be hoping to finish strong.

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