Casillas was the right man for the job this summer and my pick of the Spanish keeper as the starter was right on the money. Cesar wasn’t bad either, but his side did disappoint at the most critical time. Buffon was disappointing this summer due to injury and the former champ is not completely to blame, but he did allow a goal in his only half of action. Maarten Stekelenburg of Holland deserves a shout out for his excellent form this summer too.
Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil), Maicon (Brazil), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia), Carles Puyol (Spain), Lucio (Brazil), Patrice Evra (France), John Terry (England)
Alves really isn’t an international defender although he is good enough to retain a roster position. Maicon is an excellent starting defender as well and hasn’t lost any respect. Vidic had a rough finale to the tournament by botching that handball in the box, but his side did outplay Germany. Puyol bounced back brilliantly from a shaky start this summer and played strong at the finish. Evra is French and that should be enough said about his summer. Terry was burnt toast this summer and no longer deserves a spot. Pique deserves the spot that was once Terry’s following the tournament.
Midfielders: Kaka (Brazil), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Xavi (Spain), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Steven Gerrard (England), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), Franck Ribery (France)
Kaka didn’t have a superstar type of summer and was not much of an offensive force although he did set up a few crucial goals. Fabregas deserves the honor for Best Six Man or in this case Best Reserve. Xavi is arguably worthy of the award for best midfielder in the tournament and Iniesta was of course the hero in the final and deserves a starting nod. Sneijder also deserves a starting bid and was probably the second best player in the World Cup behind Villa. Ribery is French too so enough said. And Gerrard and Lampard never were able to fully get on the same page. Arjen Robben and Robinho deserve some love though.
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Argentina), Wayne Rooney (England), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), David Villa (Spain), Fernando Torres (Spain), Alberto Diego Milito (Argentina)
Messi may not have scored, but the Argentine striker did set up more goals then nearly any other player in the event. Rooney not only played poorly, but the guy deserves the boot from the Ultimate 23 man roster. Ronaldo didn’t do much better and couldn’t be the leader that Portugal needed for a push into the later rounds. Villa was excellent and deserves the starting bid and possibly MVP trophy of the World Cup and Torres, well, he watched Villa do great things this summer. Milito wasn’t a factor at all and perhaps Luis Fabiano deserves one of the spots.
Here is the final starting eleven from the original 23 man roster.
Maicon Puyol Lucio Alves
Iniesta Xavi Kaka
Key Reserve Player: Fabregas