Recognition for Diego Forlan’s World Cup Contributions

Leônidas da Silva and Arthur Friedenreich, Bra...
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Very few people will argue with FIFA awarding Diego Forlan the Golden Ball award for best player at the 2010 World Cup Finals. He was instrumental in Uruguay’s run to the semi finals, and with 5 goals he finished joint top scorer. He is only the third winner not to have appeared in the final joining Brazil’s Leônidas da Silva (right) from 1938 and Italy’s Salvatore (Toto) Schillaci from 1990 in this select group.

The other awards were:

Golden Boot – Thomas Muller Germany

Golden Glove – Iker Casillas Spain

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Germany’s Reserves Edge Out Uruguay For 3rd Place

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Germany made 5 changes for this match compared to the team which played the semi final, but were still too good for a plucky Uruguay.

This was one of the more entertaining games in the tournament and with little to play for both sides opened up and treated the fans to some nice end to end football.

Germany opened the scoring on 18 minutes when the Uruguay keeper Muslera, who was not to have a great game spilled a long range shot, and Muller was the first to react stabbing the ball home. However this lead only lasted 10 minutes thanks to some nice Uruguay football starting with a great tackle on Schweinsteiger and ending with Cavani calmly slotting the ball into the net thanks to a lovely Forlan pass. Uruguay were now firmly back in the match and going into half time it looked like they could fancy their chances.

The second half which was played in heavy rain continued in the same vein and it was no surprise when possibly the player of the tournament Diego Forlan put the South Americans 2-1 up with a well taken volley. This put him level in the Golden Boot competition and with assists possibly counting in the event of a tie he could be in with a chance.

Victory would have been sweet for Uruguay who because of their early success are often thought of as a bigger team than they really are, but alas for them it was not to be and two bits of bad defending cost them dear as Germany took the third place medal for a second consecutive World Cup.

Germany’s final two goals came from Jansen in the 56th minute, when he headed in following a hopeless flap at the ball by Muslera and Khedira who pounced on some defensive hesitancy in the 82nd minute.

As per usual Uruguay refused to give up and with the last kick of the game Diego Forlan hit the crossbar from a free kick.

It has been a great World Cup Finals for both teams and Uruguay Manager Oscar Tabarez’s and his team can look forward to a heros welcome when they return to Montevideo while the German Coach Joachim Loew who was much maligned pre-tournament will probably be able to write his own salary cheque when renegotiating his contract

World Cup 3rd Place Playoff Final Score

Germany 3-2 Uruguay

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Attendance: 36,007

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Germany v Uruguay World Cup 3rd & 4th Place Playoff

This is not a game any country wants to play in, knowing they were so close but fell at the final hurdle. Still being the third best team in the world is no mean achievement and these games have often been more entertaining than the final.

This time round its the perenial appearers Germany against the pre tournament write offs Uruguay in what will be a replay of the 1970 3rd -4th play off match which Germany won 1-0.

Uruguay who have not had much success against European teams over the years must be thrilled to have made it this far and for a country of only 3.5m people its no mean achievement these days. They showed a lot of pluck against Holland and a never say die attitude which was refreshing after so many cautious matches in this years finals. In Forlan they have a player who can score from nothing and Suarez will be back from suspension, which will be a big help for them up front and possibly in their own penalty box should the “new hand of God” be called upon.

Germany seem a lot less botherd about this game with Lahm and Neuer both being dropped and seem to be treating this as a chance to give a few players a teste of the tournament. Its nice they are giving some of their second string a run out, and the experience will be of great benefit to them as Germany prepare for their assault on the 2012 European Championships, for which they will be close to favourites.

Overall this will be a close game and despite Uruguay never having beaten a European side in the World Cup Finals since 1970 I just have a feeling they will end their drought here and take them to win by the odd goal.

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Holland Edge Past Uruguay To Reach World Cup Final

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Holland v Uruguay World Cup Semi Final Preview

Diego Forlán
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The first of the World Cup Semi Finals Pitts the last remaining South American side Uruguay against the Dutch who sneaked into the quarter finals somewhat under the radar before announcing their intentions in no uncertain way with a battling win against Brazil. On paper this looks quite a one sided tie, but the beauty of these one off games is that anything can and often does happen.

Uruguay came into the finals largely written off being stuck in a fairly tough group with France, Mexico and the hosts South Africa. The only really recognisable member of the squad was Diego Forlan and although he has been a revelation in Spanish football he was best remembered by many as a Manchester United reject. Thus the expectations for them was an early trip home. However France decided to self destruct and Uruguay defied the critics with some nice compact defensive football capped off with great attacking flair from Mr Forlan and the hitherto little known Luis Suarez, who is suspended for this game.

To be fair Uruguay have had a pretty easy ride to the Semis beating South Korea and Ghana but they could only beat who is put in front of them so they remain something of an unknown quantity.

Holland who still have a 100% record in the 2010 competition, including winning all their qualifying matches have had things much tougher having to overcome a better than expected Slovakia side and then fighting back to beat then tournament favourites Brazil. On all form they should be good enough top win this match and probably the final too. However they will be without Nigel De Jong who although somewhat unsung has been a key part of their success.

Still despite this it will be a major surprise if Holland dont progress to their first final since 1978 where they will be hoping its third time lucky.

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Tale Of The Unexpected Uruguay v Ghana

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You would have to search far and wide to find anyone who predicted that these two would meet in the Quarter Finals of the 2010 World Cup. However here they are and both have played well enough to merit their place. So will it be a classic or another Paraguay v Japan insomnia cure? Well I feal the latter given that Ghana are lacking a bit up front and Uruguay like to keep things tight at the back. In the group stages Ghana had to rely on Penalty kicks to get on the score sheet, but did manage a goal from open play against the USA so maybe they have a goal in them for this tie but more than that looks unlikely.

Uruguay are very compact and despite playing from the back they have a big threat in the shape of Diego Forlan and if anyone is going to grab them a goal it will be him.

This is a hard one to call but if pushed I would go with Uruguay by the odd goal probably in extra time.

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Uruguay To Play Ghana In World Cup QF

At the start of the tournament you would have got very good odds for these two countries to be meeting at the Quarter Final stage of the World Cup. However thet have battled through both winning 2-1 in their last 16 matches against South Korea and the USA respectively. So the 2010 World Cup will be remembered for having at least one of the more unfashionable teams in the semi finals.

This is good to see for any neutral fan and probably indicates that the standards in international football are improving across the board, possibly aided by the opportunities offered by the increasingly cosmopolitan leagues in Europe.

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Easy wins for Chile and Uruguay in Good Day For Latin America

Chile & Uruguay both took big steps towards reaching the last 16 with wins over Honduras and South Africa respectively.

Uruguay all but booked their place in the second stages with an emphatic 3-0 win over host nation South Africa , who looked a shadow of the team who played so well against Mexico. Manchester United reject Diego Forlan looked awesome and on this form is on course to be one of the players of the tournament.  He opened the scoring with a lovely long range shot, and effectively killed off the game when smashing home a second half penalty awarded after the South African Goal Keeper Khune committed a foul which earned him a red card. With the home fans already leaving the stadium Uruguay rubbed it in with a third goal in the last minute of injury time. South Africa are now effectively out and a draw for Uruguay against Mexico in their final game should be enough to see them through.

South Africa 0-3 Uruguay

  • Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium
  • Attendance: 42,658

Chile won with considerably more ease than the 1-0 scoreline would suggest and with Spain losing to the Swiss are now in a great position to qualify providing they can avoid defeat against Spain and the Swiss. Suddenly Group H which looked one of the more predictable has become the group of death.

Chile 1-0 Honduras

  • Venue: Mbombela Stadium
  • Attendance: 32,664
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Uruguay 0-0 France

France looked disinterested and uninspired in this their opening game of the 2010 World Cup. There are rumours of conflict in the French camp and on this showing they will be on their way home much sooner than expected.

The game its self will not remain long in the memory with few real scoring opportunities being created by either side. The best ones fell to Uruguay who as expected look like being hard to beat, and with a bit of luck could sneak into the second stages of what looks like being a tight group.

There were 6 yellow cards and one red card in the game and if they both continue to play such niggley football then suspensions could cost them both dear.

Attendance: 64,000

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France v Uruguay World Cup Preview

The second game of the World Cup Finals tonight will be France v Uruguay and this one could be close as both will want to keep their chances alive, knowing a defeat will stack the odds heavily against them qualifying. France still have a team full of star names, but have looked pretty ordinary in their build up and only just scraped into the finals thanks to the infamous “hand of Henry” incident. It is really difficult to gague just how good or bad France are and this game will answer a lot of questions.

Uruguay also had to qualify through the playoffs and just squeaked past Costa Rica 2-1 on aggregate. However since then they have looked a half decent team and good wins against Switzerland and Israel in their last two games will send them into the game with some confidence. One worry is that they have conceded in both these games and if they let France score first then they will find it very hard to come back.

In their last four meetings it has been a win each and 2 draws so overall given the stakes here this could be a tight game and a draw would probably suit both teams.

Probably starting line ups

France (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Sagna, Escude, Gallas, Evra; Toulalan, Alou Diarra; Ribery, Gourcuff, Malouda; Anelka.
Uruguay (3-4-1-2): Muslera; Lugano, Godin, Victorino; Perez, Alvaro Pereira, Arevalo Rios, Gonzalez; Maxi Pereira; Forlan, Suarez.

Henry will probably be a second half substitute for France.

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