2010 World Cup Final has huge bearing on Golden Ball winner
List of 10 Nominees released – Villa and Sneijder head betting
Who is the best player at the 2010 FIFA World Cup? Think you know? Then you can you money down on the short listed 10 players for the Golden Ball Award. This award was won by the master Zinidane Zidane at Germany 2008, and there are some big shoes to fill in World Cup history. Between them, the World Cup finalists Spain and Holland have five players in the list of ten, with Spain edging things with three. Xavi, David Villa and Andres Iniesta are on the list, while Holland are represented by Arjen Robben and Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. It is likely that the winner is going to come from that shortlist of the shortlist, with the main candidates being Sneijder and Villa if you look at World Cup betting. Both have been pivotal in the success of their names, both netting five times in the tournament. This means that Sunday’s World Cup Final will be a shoot-out for the Golden Boot, the Golden Ball and the World Cup itself. It could be a very happy day for one of them. Villa’s goals have carried Spain, while Sneijder is the engine room and the creative spark for Holland, and can pretty much stand up and say that he has carried the expectations of the team.
But if you want to look outside of them, then the next likely candidate will be the master passer Xavi, who sits in the centre of the Spanish midfield, and pulls all of the strings there. He puts on master classes of passing, control and patience and most of the good work that Spain do, goes right through him. His team mate Andres Iniesta has also been shining, with his array of passing and movement skills, as well as showing some fantastic close control when taking the ball into tight space to create openings for others. He, Villa and Xavi are all hugely influential in their own way, so who would you pick out of them? Xavi is fully deserving and makes the best outside bet behind Villa and Sneijder, and it would be a second prestigious triumph for him after winning player of the tournament at Euro 2008. Holland’s Arjen Robben has made a major impact since returning from injury. His pace and trickery has ignited the Netherlands, and they really were missing him. Has he done enough though to win the Golden Ball?
Out of the remaining five nominees, there is one prominent name who is not expected to win. Argentina’s Lionel Messi played some fantastic football during the group stages, and was mightily unlucky not find the back of the net at least once. His dazzling talents were all there on display, he just could turn his performances into productive ones in terms of goals. That, and Argentina’s early demise will keep him out of the running. Other nominations, which are there to give recognition for having had good tournaments as opposed to being expected to win, are Germany duo Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Oezil, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan. Rightly they have all made a big impact at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in their own way, but anyone other than Xavi, Sneijder or Villa, really would be a surprise. The winner will be announced after the World Cup Final on Sunday, so the players have one big final chance to impress.
Golden Ball Outright Betting
Wesley Sneijder: 15/8 at Victor Chandler
David Villa: 15/8 at Victor Chandler
Xavi: 7/2 at SkyBet
Andres Iniesta: 10/1 at Victor Chandler
Arjen Robben: 14/1 at SportingBet
Mesut Oezil: 28/1 at Bet365
Bastian Schweinsteiger: 33/1 at Paddy Power
Diego Forlan: 33/1 at Bet365
Lionel Messi: 100/1 at Paddy Power
Asamoah Gyan: 100/1 at Bet365