Iker Casillas: Spain
Casillas gets the nod because his side not only prevailed in the final, but the Real Madrid man was able to overcome the early criticism following that Switzerland loss and by the end of the tournament no defense was as impressive as a whole. Casillas stoning Robben on a one on one in the second half of the final was the critical save for La Furia Roja.
Maicon proved to be as critical on the offensive side of the pitch as the defense and the Inter man has to be disappointed in his side this summer, but certainly not in his own play. The defender is among the best players in the world and might be joining his former coach in Spain shortly.
Phillip Lahm: Germany
Lahm’s best World Cup performance was likely in that Argentina routing that not only saw his side shutout the offensive juggernaut, but also saw the backup captain set up a brilliant second half goal. The German also is currently on the transfer wish list and made the news when he recently expressed his interest in remaining national team captain.
Carles Puyol: Spain
Puyol was the captain of the defensive side of the pitch for the champions and the aging defender was their most relentless force on that half of the pitch. He was involved in that Switzerland fumble in their first match, but the Barca man played pretty much flawless after that and also scored arguably the biggest goal in national team history via the header.
Ryan Nelson: New Zealand
New Zealand was supposed to be the Kansas City Royals of the world Cup, but the Kiwi nation shined this summer and Nelson deserves much of the credit. The tough defensive man is the only top tier representative for the All Whites and the Rugby nation impressed this summer with a fierce defensive effort.
Thomas Muller: Germany
Did anyone have a better breakout performance then Muller. Not only did the guy finish the tournament in the joint lead in goals scored, but the midfielder was also extremely valuable in dishing the ball and setting up long runs. Muller shouldn’t have been given a yellow card in that quarterfinals match and the call will leave Germany fans wondering what could have been for many years if Muller played in the semifinal.
Xavi is the catalyst to Spain’s attack and the brilliant passing midfielder rarely makes the finish, but he certainly is loved by new league teammate David Villa. Xavi may just be Spain’s most valuable player and that is saying something considering the talent they champs possess.
Andres Iniesta: Spain
He’s right next to Xavi in the fact that he isn’t a huge name, but a guy that makes everyone else on the team better. Can you think of a more fitting person to score a game winner then Iniesta? The guy might be the most underrated player in the world.
Wesley Sneijder: Holland
If the Flying Dutchmen did win it all then Sneijder deserved the MVP. Not only did the little man score several goals, but his long passes are among the best in the world. I guess Real Madrid regrets dealing the guy last year in favor of Kaka because Sneijder is the real deal.
David Villa: Spain
Villa probably deserves the Most Valuable Player award due to his consistent solid performances and clutch performances match after match. With Torres still reeling with injuries it was Villa that became the decisive finisher for La Furia Roja this summer. Now the man can shine next season at Barcelona too.
Diego Forlan: Uruguay
Other then Muller no other player’s stock shot up as quickly as the Atletico Madrid man’s. Forlan was indirectly honored by Capello for having the best performance of any footballer this summer and did anyone score as many goals from outside of the box? Forlan might be the one man alive that likes the World Cup ball.
Five Key Reserves:
Miroslav Klose: Germany
Bastian Schweinsteiger: Germany
Arjen Robben: Holland