After a fantastic World Cup run for Germany, that saw a young side full of inexperienced players defy the odds and reach the semi-finals of the world’s biggest football tournament, the team deserve all the praise Germany has to offer. Who, though, in Germany’s XI, has been most impressive?
I will short-list (in no specific order) and make a case for five players that I think have been key for Germany in their World Cup campaign. Then, you readers can vote on who you think has been the standout player for Die Mannschaft during the tournament.
Thomas Mueller – The young Bayern Munich starlet has caused quite a sensation at World Cup 2010. He has essentially come out of nowhere – having only been capped 7 times for the German national team and having only broken into Bayern Munich’s first-team this year – and has exploded onto the world’s biggest footballing stage. A star has truly been born in this young player, as we have seen time and again when he has played for Germany. Four World Cup goals and three assists at just 20 years old; the future certainly does look bright.
Bastian Schweinsteiger – Germany’s industrious midfielder, who played a much more attacking role in World Cup 2006, has matured into one of the best central midfield players in the world. His dynamism and ability to quickly win the ball in his own half and then immediately create a counter-attacking opportunity for his side has been a joy to watch. Schweinsteiger certainly seems to have taken the ‘Ballack role’ and made it his own.
Mesut Ozil – Germany’s attacking midfielder, who always seems so composed and calm, certainly does possess all the traits of a traditional trequartista. His flair and vision has been pivotal in Germany’s attacking moves, and his ability to play a killer ball or score a vital goal has been immense for a player as young as he is. Ozil, who plays his club football for Werder Bremen, is also new on the world’s stage and has caught the eye of many of the elite clubs across Europe.
Miroslav Klose – Germany’s World Cup veteran has once again been in fine form for his national side. Having won the Golden Boot in World Cup 2006, Klose was on course to write his name in the history books should he score 5 goals at World Cup 2010, and reach 15 all-time World Cup goals and be the tournament’s highest goal-scorer of all time, tied with Brazil’s Ronaldo. Klose has come off a shocking club season with Bayern Munich, but when his national side needed him he has performed admirably. Four goals for the experienced head in the side, and it could be the last we see of him in a German shirt.
Philipp Lahm – Germany’s World Cup captain, who took over from the injured Michael Ballack, has made crucial game-saving tackles and has marshalled his backline effectively. Lahm’s buccaneering style down the wing from his defensive position opens up another avenue in attack for Germany, and his pace and technique in attack compliment his defensive skills very well. He certainly is irreplaceable in Germany’s XI.
Who do you think Germany’s player of the tournament has been?
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