Monday, 12 July 2010

Race over for the Golden Boot

After a month of solid football, the day we have all dreaded has finally come, the World Cup is over for another four years. The final two games were played over the weekend, and all the loose ends have been tied up. Spain are World Champions, Diego Forlan was voted the player of the tournament and Thomas Mueller won the Golden Boot.

In the end, four players all finished on 5 goals each, with Mueller winning the Golden Boot due to having the most assists.

  • Thomas Mueller (Germany) - 5 goals
  • David Villa (Spain) - 5 goals
  • Wesley Sneijder (Holland) - 5 goals
  • Diego Forlan (Uruguay) - 5 goals

The weekend’s results and scorelines were not all that surprising, and as is generally the case we got a free flowing and high scoring third place playoff match between two teams not under much pressure. Over the years the third place playoff has more often than not had lots more goals than the final.

1978 was the last time that more goals were scored in the Final than in the Third Place Playoff. The lack of pressure often means that the Third Place Playoff is a high scoring and entertaining game, if not all that important. This year’s Third Place Playoff, between Uruguay and Germany continued this trend by giving us five goals and plenty of exciting football. The game also took on a little more importance due to the inclusion of two Golden Boot candidates. Mueller and Forlan both grabbed a goal each to end the tournament with five goals.

David Villa and Wesley Sneijder were involved in a much more tense and tight match. Chances were limited and the best of them fell to other players such as Arjen Robben and Andres Iniesta, who got the winner.

There is a question mark over whether goals scored in the third place playoff should count in the race for the Golden Boot. Players who are knocked out in the Semi Finals get another chance, and play in a match which generally produces lots more goals. Would Mueller have won the trophy if Germany had made the Final? We will never know, but personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with the format of the World Cup, and another game to watch is fine by me.

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