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World Cup 2006 – Podolski is Best Young Player…What A Joke

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Lucas Podolski, the young striker who has just signed for Bayern Munich, was chosen as World Cup 2006′s best young player by FIFA this morning.

What has baffled me throughout the tournament is that FIFA’s Technical Study Group has apparently been watching a different set of games than the rest of us. Podolski has been good, no doubt, but he did not play as much a role in getting Germany to the semi final as Ronaldo did for Portugal. What has Podolski really done?

His first goal came courtesy of Klose, who gave up his own scoring shot to help his team-mate get on the scoresheet.

Podolski’s only good game came against Sweden, where he was the lucky recipient of two excellent passes that saw him score two goals.

His other major contribution? This one actually went unnoticed…

Podolski dove in the semi-final against Italy. Not once but several times. So did Phillip Lahm and Michael Ballack, although the media only seems to remember Totti.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, has had an excellent tournament. Before his first-half sub against Holland he was Portugal’s best player, and he has been their star player against France and England as well.

Without Ronaldo, France would not have had any threat to their goal. In fact, they could have scored 3 or 4 times and no one would have noticed.

Ronaldo has been shunned because of his much-publicised diving and his treatment by the crowds and the media after the Rooney incident. He is a diver, no doubts about that. But so his Podolski, and in an award where you select a player for fair play, impact and skill, Ronaldo wins 2 out of 3 from the whole list, and Podolski is NOT a clean player by any means.

I wrote yesterday that in giving these awards, FIFA had to avoid bias and partisanship.

They haven’t done it. They knew the Golden Ball was going to Zidane, and had Ronaldo and Podolski to choose from (Valencia is not high profile enough, plus Ecuador lost in the second round and Argentina in the quarters).

Podolski is definitely talented, but Ronaldo was the better player, in skill and impact.

Podolski just happened to be the politically correct choice.

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Comments (6)

  1. I think you will find you are in the pitifully small monirity here as even United supporters were disgudted at his behaviour throughout the World Cup.

    When Blatter has made such an issue out of Fair Play at this event it is inconceivable that Ronaldo could be seen to be rewarded when he was THE worst culprit on show.

    Podolski was the political solution. Valancia should have won it regardless of Ecuador not reaching the last eight. Although the age criteria for this award was rather too strict.

  2. As long as it wasn’t C.Ronaldo, I’m happy!

  3. FrogFish:

    true, but it’s a shame that Podolski’s constant diving in the semi-final (along with Ballack’s and Lahm’s…not to mention a host of other ‘stars’ including Ribery) did not mean that they were targeted as well. The media didnt pick it up either.

    I agree that what Ronaldo did is inexcusable, but if you are going to pick another diver in return, where’s the fairness in that?

    Valencia wasn’t the best ‘player’. Ronaldo was. Unfortunately for everyone involved, his diving got the most coverage as well (you’ll note it gets coverage in the France match the most – right after the quarter-final incident with Rooney).

    He’s diving, but shining the spotlight on him and ignoring other divers is ridiculous, hypocritical, and won’t solve the problem.

  4. Ahmed.

    A lot of what you say is true – unfortunately until Blatter (or FIFA after he has gone – hopefully Beckenbauer will get in at the next elections) accepts that retrospective video judgement is a necessity then there will be no change as it is far too difficult the vast majority of the time for referees to make that call.

    Once the players understand that retrospective video judgement means they will be punished any time the cameras catch them then the game of football will have evolved for the better.

  5. I went for Podolski, and there’s no way I am gonna vote for Ronaldo, though he can rival allen iverson in the nba with his crossover exhibitions.

    I ran a poll over at Sporati http://fifaworldcup.sporati.com/lu-lu-lu-kass-winsss.page and Lukas won.

    FIFA voted for them and it seems we are all watching the same game. :)

  6. Cristiano ronaldo is the best soccer player in the world get that through your head people that dont believe