Florent Malouda –
France had a slight chance of making the first knock-out round but did not make it as a result of such a poor performance against the hosts, South Africa. For this match Florent Malouda was dropped. Rumours had circulated that he was involved with an attempted coup against the coaching staff. Nobody knows if this is true. What is known is that Florent Malouda came on against South Africa for Andre-Pierre Gignac and contributed to the French effort with a goal. He worked hard when he came on the pitch although he did not show the same skill that he did at Stamford Bridge during the last campaign. Still, he was not involved at all in the knock-out stage of the competition and that is what we are basing these scores on so unfortunately Florent Malouda has to score zero. He did not contribute at all to the second round.
Wayne Rooney –
England were guilty of an abysmal defensive performance against Germany and were rightly eliminated from the tournament 4-1. After the following round when Germany also defeated Argentina Phillip Lahm, the German captain, insisted that England were better offensively than Argentina because they had at least scored (twice). We should not however take the remark as a compliment for Wayne Rooney. An obviously very talented player Wayne Rooney himself would not deny that he did not play well at this tournament. Fabio Capello’s tactical decisions did not help Wayne Rooney. Rooney was either supported by the diminutive Jermaine Defoe or the gigantic Emile Hesky but neither has the type of touch or movement that allows Wayne Rooney to perform at his best. Still, Jermaine Defoe did manage to score and Wayne Rooney did not come even close in the knock out round.
Fernando Torres –
Spain won the World Cup but if there is one Spanish player who might have genuine feelings of regret at his performances it is Fernando Torres. An exceptional striker Fernando Torres started the matches against Portugal and Paraguay but was not at his best in either. He did contribute to the team with a good work ethic and as a notable presence in the opposition penalty area he made David Villa’s life a little easier. In the final itself Fernando Torres contributed in injury time with constant running, which eventually resulted in an injury, and pressing. His touch was not as assured as some Atletico Madrid or Liverpool fans know it can be but he did put the cross into the box which Cesc Fabregas then controlled and passed onto Andres Iniesta to finish. Torres had an impact when it mattered most of all and as a result Spain won the World Cup.
Carlos Tevez –
In the two knock-out matches that Argentina participated in we saw the two opposite sides of Carlos Tevez. Incredible against Mexico, he scored two goals, and dismal against Germany. Some might like to point out that the opening goal Carlos Tevez scored against Mexico should in fact have been called for offside but that doesn’t alter the fact that the goal stood. Carlos Tevez played his cards and won. It was very unfortunate for Mexico, who clearly deserved better with a spirited and accomplished performance. Mexico had played very well up to that point and their exit was not in any way deserved. Carlos Tevez, scoring the superb goal from distance, pushed Argentina into the next round. Against Germany, however, Carlos Tevez barely featured. Argentina’s tactics helped him in no way at all. Tevez was starved of any meaningful possession as the Argentina side clearly missed Juan Sebastian Veron but a great player often finds a way to make something happen even when things are going against his team. Carlos Tevez had a mixed tournament with a genuine high countered by a subsequent low.
Premiership Part 2 Total – 14/40
World Cup 2010 Premiership Total: 29/80
La Liga 45/80
Neither league was as dominant as some might have expected before the tournament started. Other players from lesser renowned leagues like the Bundesliga, Eredivisie, Ligue 1 or Serie A (Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Luis Suarez, Asamoah Gyan) shared just as much of the limelight as the best and most famous players from the big two divisions.
All in all, thanks in large to the contribution from Xavi, La Liga faired better.