There were some outstanding teams in this Cup. Some squads were stacked from top to bottom and some teams put the fate of their country on one player.
There was great soccer played and plenty of moments that people will not forget. Unfortunately, the Cup is coming to an end and we’re going to have to wait until 2014 to see games of this magnitude.
I know soccer is a team game, but let’s take a look at some players who came up big for their teams.
Some of these guys knew they’re name would be called, and others surprised the world with their play and produced when their teams needed it most.
This slideshow consists of five guys who put their teams in position to win. The outcome may not have been favorable for some of them, but these guys didn’t disappoint any of their fans.
I thought forwards Robin Van Persie and Dirk Kuyt would carry this team offensively. I would have never guessed that the Dutch would get the majority of their goals from midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
He surprised me and soccer fans from all over.
Sneijder has tournament-high five goals in six starts for Holland.
He’s taken twice as many shots as Kuyt and Van Persie, as the duo cannot seem to find the net with one goal on 17 attempts.
A team has to score goals in order to advance, and Sneijder has done plenty of that.
He has put his team in position to win the whole thing and he may be the best player left in the tourney.
Forlan has played as well as any player in the Cup.
If Uruguay had gotten past the Netherlands in the semifinals, he’d be considered the best player in the tournament.
Forlan’s efforts should not go unnoticed. He’s scored four goals in six games, and his 23 shot attempts is a clear indication that he’s not afraid to shoot.
An argument can also be made for forward Luis Suarez, who had three goals in five games. But Forlan showed that he is the man for Uruguay.
Higuain was the leading goal scorer on the team with the most dangerous attack.
Argentina had Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi, and Diego Milito up front, but Higuain emerged as the bright spot on the team.
Everyone thought that Messi would get the bulk of the scoring opportunities, but 22-year-old forward Higuain scored four of Argentina’s nine goals in the Cup.
Messi drew a lot of attention from defenders and he failed to put the ball in the net.
Argentina now has another proven scorer in Higuain, and he will be featured as a star player for this squad in the future.
Villa is the smoothest player in the cup. His footwork is unreal and he has amazing touch.
He is a product of his surroundings, and his team puts him in situations where he will succeed.
Spain is the best “team” in the tournament, and that’s why they are playing for the championship. This squad plays fluidly and it is loaded with stars from its backline all the way up to its strikers.
David Villa is the best player on his team, and he has stolen the show.
He has scored all but two goals for his country, and he is tied with Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) for the leading goal scorer in the Cup with five.
What more needs to be said?
Germany has several goal scorers in forwards Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose and midfielder Thomas Muller.
All of these guys have played well in the tournament, but Muller emerged a premier player.
I knew Podolski and Klose could do some damage to defenses, but I didn’t account for Muller.
I don’t think anyone did.
His four goals and three assists are team-highs, and he has been X-factor for Germany.
German fans won’t be watching their squad in the Final, but they will be watching Muller for years to come and he’s had an outstanding tournament in South Africa.