The Full 90

The best of the best from World Cup 2010 (and some of the worst)

Despite the best attempts of curmudgeons and contrarians, I’m of the mindset that this has been a really decent (not great, decent) World Cup. After all, we are guaranteed a new champion will be crowned, Ghana-Uruguay and Uruguay-Netherlands were both epic, Team USA vs. Algeria was too, the rise of the young and entertaining Germans was awesome, the high comedy of Diego Maradona was too, the soothing buzz of a vuvuzela gave our lives purpose , and, of course, Diego Forlan’s hair was just great. So, let’s start doling out some hardware, starting with The Full 90’s Best and Worst XI and then a countdown of the best goals -- with video!

The World Cup Best XI

• Goalkeeper: Fernando Muslera (Uruguay)

• Defenders: Maicon (Brazil), Carles Puyol (Spain), Philip Lahm (Germany)

• Midfielders: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Xavi (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain)

• Forwards: Diego Forlan (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain)No World Cup Best XI is without controversy. For instance, only one Dutchman makes my list, even though you could make an argument for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Maarten Steklenburg. I think you could make a case for Japan’s Keisuke Honda, Spain’s Andres Iniesta, Ghana’s Anthony Annan or Asamoah Gyan, the USA’s Michael Bradley or Landon Donovan or Slovakia’s Robert Vittek. I went with overall performance, thus overvaluing teams that advanced beyond the group and second round.

You can’t, however, find any argument with my Worst XI:

• Goalkeeper: Robert Green (England)

• Defenders: Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Aleksandar Lukovic (Serbia), Patrice Evra (France)

• Midfielders: Ricardo Clark (USA), Felipe Melo (Brazil), Frank Lampard (England), Jeremy Toulalan (France)

• Forwards: Wayne Rooney (England), Nicolas Anelka (France), Fernando Torres (Spain)

The Best Goals of the World Cup

1. The Goal of the Tournament (Giovanni van Bronckhorst vs. Uruguay) 2. Landon Donovan’s late miracle against (vs. Algeria)

Landon Donovan's Goal vs. Algeria - 2010 World Cup from estoban cruz on Vimeo.

3. Maicon’s “accident” (vs. North Korea) 4. It was never not going to go in (Carlos Tevez vs. Mexico) 5. David Villa’s unbelievable skill (vs. Honduras) 6. Diego Forlan is a heart-breaker (vs. Ghana)

7. My Left Foot starring Mesut Oezil (vs. Ghana)

8. The really long ball (Manuel Neuer to Miroslav Klose vs. England)

Germany 1-0 England

Simão | MySpace Video
9. Siphiwe Tshabalala opens South Africa’s account ( vs. Mexico) 10. Keisuke Honda masters the jabulani ( vs. Denmark)

Denmark 0-1 Japan

Simão | MySpace Video
11. The lone Italian highlight (vs. Slovakia)

Honorable mention

Sully Muntari ‘s long-range missile (vs. Uruguay) Gonzalo Higuain’s third (vs. South Korea) Villa’s 40-yarder (vs. Chile) The USA goal that wasn’t (vs. Slovenia)