My World Cup 2010 best XI!

The World Cup is now over. It wasn’t exactly a fantastic tournament as many teams came with the intention of not being embarrassed, rather than trying to make their mark. Also, many of the big name players failed to live up to their billing. Here’s what I consider to be the best starting XI for the 2010 World Cup (in a 4-2-3-1 formation)
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GK: Manuel Neuer (Germany): Hardly put a foot wrong all tournament. His distribution is excellent and was ever reliable, though this may have something to do with the Bundesliga having used the Jabulani in the latter part of the season. He was a relatively inexperienced keeper at the top level but played with great maturity throughout.
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LB: Carlos Salcido (Mexico): I’ve included him for his excellent displays against Argentina and France. His movement and crossing was excellent all tournament and he was one of the most relentless attackers in a refreshingly aggressive Mexican team, indeed, he had the most attempts on goal by any Mexican player. He just beats Portugal’s Fabio Coentrao to make my team.
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CB: Carles Puyol (Spain): Spain have an excellent back line and Puyol is their leader. Not a finesse player by any means but a rugged, inspirational leader, who is always reliable. He scored the goal that put them into the final too.
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CB: Antolin Alcaraz (Paraguay): He was the outstanding member of a solid Paraguayan backline that didn’t was solid throughout the tournament, conceding only two goals and one of those was to Spain. He scored against Italy and fans of Wigan Athletic must be very excited to see him next season.
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RB: Maxi Pereira (Uruguay): Uruguay were rock solid down their right all tournament long. Pereira was outstanding during Uruguay’s improbable run and made the semi-final interesting with an excellent late goal.
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DM: Xavi (Spain): The best midfielder in the world. He is the heartbeat of the Spain team. His passing is second-to-none and he seemingly never gives the ball away. He’s not a flashy, spectacular player but is the reason Spain has been so successful.
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DM: Bastien Schweinsteiger (Germany): This is a much better position for him to play in after playing on the right in 2006. He has the ability to win a tackle, pick out a pass and beat a man. He has also developed great positional sense, seemingly always in the right place at the right time. He destroyed Argentina in the Quarterfinals and would be hard to argue with as player of the tournament.
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RM: Thomas Muller (Germany): The golden boot and best young player winner, who hadn’t even played for Germany’s under-21 team just over a year ago. Muller has catapulted himself onto the world stage. He is creative with an eye for goal. It was a huge shame that he missed the semi-final against Spain, as it would have been a much different game had he played.
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AM: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands): Pretty anonymous in the final but finished as joint top-scorer, a tremendous achievement for a midfielder. He managed to carry his good form from the league season into the World Cup and he was instrumental in getting the Dutch getting to the final
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LM: David Villa (Spain): Spain scored eight goals all tournament. Villa got five of them. Villa provides the end product for all of Spain’s magnificent build-up play. Villa has been somewhat underrated throughout his career, but won’t be after this World Cup.
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FW: Diego Forlan (Uruguay): Simply magnificent. Not many people would have pegged Uruguay for a semi-final place and it was mainly down to the threat the Forlan provided up front. He finished joint top-scorer. He also became the first player to score three goals from outside the area in a single World Cup since Lothar Mattheus in 1990.
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Here’s my substitutes bench (naming a whole squad of 23 seemed like overkill so I’ve trimmed it down to a standard seven)
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GK: Samir Hamdanovic (Slovenia): Slovenia surprised many, including myself, by coming so close to progressing out of the group. Hamdanovic played extremely well against England and is regarded as one of the best keppers in Serie A.
DF: Ryan Nelsen (New Zealand): I don’t think anybody expected New Zealand to do as well as they did in South Africa and their success was based on a solid defence, anchored by Nelsen.
AM: Mesut Ozil (Germany): Stated the World Cup so brightly but his influence waned as the tournament progressed. Still deserves a place based on his early performances.
DM: Mark van Bommel (Netherlands): The master of destruction in the midfield. He manages to stop pretty much every attack that comes his way, not always fairly, but managed to get away without bookings time and again. I don’t think The Netherlands could’ve got past Brazil without him containing Kaka.
AM: Keisuke Honda (Japan): He stood out with his amazing free-kicks but he also displayed some of the most sublime skill demonstrated in this tournament, scoring two goals. He also seemed to be one of the few players that mastered the Jabulani in the way the designers intended. Expect a rush of clubs looking to sign him.
AM: Andres Iniesta (Spain): Not only did he score the goal that made Spain world champions, but he also lived up to his billing as one of the best midfield players in the world.
FW: Miroslav Klose (Germany): This man just comes alive in the World Cup. He moves onto 14 goals, with only Ronaldo ahead of him.
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What do you think?