Tue, Jul 13, 2010 - Page 20 News List

2010 FIFA WORLD CUP: Surprise as Forlan awarded Golden Ball

AFP , JOHANNESBURG

Uruguay striker Diego Forlan was on Sunday surprisingly awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the World Cup.

Atletico Madrid striker Forlan grabbed five goals at the tournament as his country finished in fourth place after losing Saturday’s third-place playoff to Germany.

The former Manchester United player polled 23.4 percent of the votes awarded by media covering the tournament, with Wesley Sneij­der of runners-up the Netherlands on 21.8 percent and David Villa of newly crowned champions Spain taking 16.9 percent.

“This is award which I won thanks to my teammates,” Forlan wrote on his Twitter account, a post accompanied by a photograph where the striker is standing with the other Uruguay players.

“It was taken before they threw me in the swimming pool,” he explained.

Forlan succeeds Zinedine Zidane, who was named top player of the 2006 World Cup despite his infamous red card in the final defeat to Italy.

Forlan’s victory was a surprise as five players who featured in Sunday’s final figured in the list of 10 nominees.

Thomas Mueller was given two reasons to celebrate after the German starlet was named Young Player of the World Cup and picked up the Golden Boot for the tournament’s top scorer.

The 20-year-old Bayern Munich forward finished the tournament with five goals, the same number as Forlan, Sneijder and Villa.

He was awarded the Golden Boot because he had supplied three assists, which was more than any of his rivals.

Mueller was elected the tournament’s outstanding young player by FIFA’s Technical Study Group, beating off competition from Ghana winger Andre Ayew and Mexico forward Giovanni dos Santos.

Spain’s Iker Casillas was voted the best goalkeeper.

Casillas, who twice crucially denied Robben with the score at 0-0, gets FIFA’s Golden Glove award after conceding just two goals in seven matches.

Capping a fine night for Spain was the award for fair play for having the best disciplinary record.

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