Who Is The Player of the Tournament So Far?

My wife and I moved into our new house over the weekend.  Turns out that moving is a lot of work and priorities must be set.  On Saturday morning with a house full of boxes, we navigated our new neighborhood and found a gigantic sports bar that was showing the game to very few people watching.  My wife was bitterly disappointed that Argentina showed so poorly (if I hadn't mentioned it, she spent a lot of time in Argentina while she was in high school and college so her second favorite national team after the US is Argentina) there wasn't much hope of breaking away from the moving chores for the later match.  This led to more text messages than usual between me and Jeremy over the course of Spain/Paraguay. 

Aside from the insanity of the two missed PKs and the one re-called make in-between, the conversation turned to the following topic..."Who is the man of the tournament thus far?"  We're down to four teams and unless someone who has played reasonably well to this point has an incredible "Final Four" then we probably already have our finalists.  In my mind, the obvious candidates are (in no particular order):

  1. Mueller, GER - He won't get to play in the semi-final but he's been in the right place at the right time all tournament.  He doesn't have the outrageous skill of a Ronaldo or a Messi but he always seems to be in the right place, make the right pass, strike the ball solidly, and make something happen in a way that neither Ronaldo nor Messi were able to do in this tournament.
  2. Sneijder, HOL - I can't say I love his game but it certainly has been effective for the Dutch thus far.  Maybe the Special One has rubbed off on him but he seems to be more able to stay in control and keep his team together than in years past.
  3. Forlan, URU - I think I've enjoyed watching him play more than any other single player in the tournament.  Uruguay haven't had a very difficult road to the semis but you can hardly blame that on Forlan.  He has been everywhere showing great passing, strong set pieces, orchestration in the attacking half of midfield, and a vicious strike from distance.  Tell me again why striker-shy ManYoo let this guy go.
  4. Villa, SPA - Spain hasn't been all that impressive really but they've won and he's scored the goals so hard not to put him in the conversation.
So, who is my pick for my man of the tournament so far? One of this blog's favorite gunners (not to be confused with Gunners) from last season's Premier League Fantasy season.  That's right, Mr. Kevin Prince Boateng.  What you say? You're picking a guy who went out in the Quarterfinals to a back water South American team? Yup.

Why KPB? His has been by far the greatest impact in the tournament.  His influence on this tournament is so great that he started making it in May.  I'm referring, of course, to the tackle that crocked Michael Ballack and left Mueller and Ozil with the freedom to run wild in midfield.  If you think that the confidence and flair that those two are playing with for Germany would have come out with Old Man Ballack getting starts for Lifetime Achievement as opposed to current skill/capability then you're crazy.  Ballack's shadow would have been cast over the entire German side and I'm guessing they would have gone out early.  With Ballack gone, Mueller and Ozil could take control and not worry about sharing the spaces in the center of the midfield with the now-plodding, toothless veteran. 

Oh yeah, outside of his unintentional influence on the tournament, Boateng also scored a critical goal that helped Ghana into the Quarterfinals and provided a lot of the attacking impetus that the Black Stars were missing with Michael Essien unavailable due to injury/the Chelsea Curse.

So, for all those things, congratulate KPB for winning the 2010 Fantasy Blog Man of the Tournament Award (at least until someone does something not to be believed in the semi-finals and/or finals).


  1. Gavin6:50 PM

    I'd put Sneijder as a close second, but my vote is for Schweinsteiger. For one, Ozil and Mueller would still be in the midfield even with Ballack playing. Khedira is the man who's been called in to replace Ballack, and he hasn't really done much of note. Schweinsteiger, on the other hand, has taken a position and a leadership role he's not used to and commanded the German team much more capably than the captain, Philip Lahm. Not to say anything against Lahm or Mueller or Ozil, as they've all had wonderful tournaments, but Schweinsteiger has held them all together with great organization, passing, and drive.

  2. I think that if schweinsteiger keeps doing what he has been doing and the germans win, or barely lose the final, he will be man of the tournament and take over top spot for best player in the world. there is no player in the world that covers as much ground as bastien, he is leading the defense, breaking down chances for the other team and then moving the ball up front, where he joins in. he is ten times faster than i ever thought, or maybe it is the zidane syndrome where husky players don't look, as fast as they are. his dribbling has looked sublime, and i can only remember a handle of wasted passes. his play for bayern in the champions league has continued.
    sneijder gets the nod if the dutch win or he scores in the final. if he gets up to 5 goals for midfielder is outrageous. he too will win the world player of the year if he gets the player of the tournament. i don't know how somebody can not like him. there are only a handful of players who play the same position as him, it is not a trequartista, because that person is further up. the only players i think play the same position are cesc, gourcuff, and diego, these players get lots of goals and assists because they roam most of the field. they come back on the defensive side and are the first outlet, they then dribble or pass to get up the field and follow the play, joining at the right moment.
    it would be good to see the two of them duke it out in the final!

  3. Tundra United Soccer Hooligans9:55 PM

    Basti...no doubt about it. On top of what Gavin and greginho wrote, he has a hottie girlfriend: