The players chosen to represent La Liga, Xavi, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, recorded a combined total of 25 points out of 40 in the first part of this series. Now, for comparison, we will rate the contributions of four of the most important players in the English Premiership at this World Cup so far. The players chosen are Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, Carlos Tevez and Florent Malouda.
Wayne Rooney –
Lethargic and wasteful, this is not the same Wayne Rooney the world sees playing for Manchester United. Rumours persist that Rooney is insisting the English national side is developed and focused around him. If this is the case it is probably a sign of Rooney’s frustration with his team mates and his lack of belief in their combined ability as a team. Unfortunately, the case for the development of the team around him has not been advanced because of his own poor performances. With a big clash against Germany on the weekend, Wayne Rooney surely only has room to improve.
Fernando Torres –
The Liverpool hero started the tournament a little unfit, still trying to work his way back from injury. He appeared as a substitute in Spain’s opening defeat to Switzerland and then started in the victory against Honduras but he failed to impress in both matches. He was profligate and did not appear to have the confidence required of a top striker for a team competing for the World Cup. He is likely to feature again against Chile but Spain’s progression to the next stage is far from certain and should Torres not find form soon he might find himself featuring only as a last gasp substitute.
Carlos Tevez –
As Diego Maradona today insisted, Carlos Tevez is one of the best players of the tournament so far. His effort and tenacity has not been rewarded with a plethora of goals and assists but he has contributed and is with Lionel Messi the main reason why Argentina have played splendidly, and with such confidence, so far. Gonzalo Higuain might have the majority of the goals but Carlos Tevez has the hearts of the supporters, Argentinian and neutral. Argentina have a huge match against Mexico, and then perhaps against England, in the tournament to come. Carlos Tevez will expect to score a goal in one of those two matches, anything less will be a disappointment.
Nevertheless, very impressive so far.
Florent Malouda –
The best player during the past season for the 2010 Premiership champions Chelsea, Malouda arrived at the tournament expecting himself to be an integral part of France’s attacking set up. Before the first game the French coach Raymond Domenech stated he wanted to use Malouda, a flying winger, as a defensive midfielder. Malouda argued his case, as did a few other players who were baffled at some of the manager’s decisions, and eventually decided to strike and not train.
Florent Malouda arrived at the tournament as one of the players who were expected to have a great tournament, a few brief sporadic appearances later and he was returning home a villain. The only positive was his goal against South Africa.
English Premiership total – 15/40