So here it is. The best World Cup XI. It is not the first nor the last you will see as South Africa 2010 draws to a triumphant close. These are the men who, for me, have starred in their given positions in a pulsating tournament. I’ve gone with a 4-4-2 formation with obvious bias towards the sides that progressed furthest in the tournament.
Oh, and I’ve selected the worst player at each position too. There are a lot of Englishmen in that team. And Nigeria's Yakubu (above). Yes, he missed from there against South Korea.
The highly-regarded Castrol Index suggests the best defense should consist solely of Spain’s back four—they’ve certainly been tight—but that would ignore the Brazilian talents of Maicon and Lucio.
In the midfield Castrol’s statistics point to Cristian Riveros of Paraguay and Sergio Busquets of Spain. But then what about his excellent compatriot Andres Iniesta and Holland’s superb Mark van Bommel? Where would the Dutch be without him?
Up front they choose Uruguay’s Luis “Hand of God” Suarez next to Golden Boot leader David Villa. But that would ignore Suarez's posturing after the Ghana travesty. Give me his teammate Diego Forlan any day.
Castrol’s World Cup XI, scientifically selected, looks like this: Manuel Neuer (Germany), Sergio Ramos, Joan Capdevila, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol (all Spain), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Gilberto Silva (Brazil), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Cristian Riveros (Paraguay), Luis Suarez (Uruguay) and David Villa (Spain).
I’ve stuck with Capdevila, Pique, Sneijder, and Villa. But the rest? No way. Where’s Thomas Mueller? And only one Dutchman? This isn’t science, it’s sport. And my side would give Castrol’s lot a right tonking.