Not only for winning the thing but also having candidates for player of the tournament in every area of the pitch: Buffon; Cannavaro, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Pirlo; Totti (you could see how important he was as his fitness faded and Italy's attack became non-existent).
Germany and Franz Beckenbauer
Not only has he won the thing as a player and manager, he has also managed to run what could possibly be the best organised tournament of the lot. Not much went wrong, the fans were included, the policing was good and the stadia looked fantastic (even the one with the giant spider on the roof).
Germany and Jurgen Klinnsman
Everyone's favourite Spuz player ushers in a new era of positive German football and with it, a new found patriotism in the land. "Steh auf, wenn wir Deutscher seid" (stand up if you're German). Will he stay with it or has the slating he had received put him off? I think he may quit while he is ahead.
There was no way that the referee saw Zidane's headbutt. It looked doubtful that the linesmen saw it either. So it must have been the fourth official with a TV monitor. Which is technically illegal under FIFA rules (according to the bloke on the BBC this morning). But there is no way they could let that one stand.
Showed why Chelsea paid so much money for him. For the first time.
The greatest goal of all time? Definitely the goal of the tournament.
If today's ruling results in Juve and the others being relegated Chelsea will be able to buy a whole third team from Serie A. There's only Real Madrid, Inter Milan and possibly Barcelona that can even afford to come close to what Chelsea will be offering and they could only afford a couple of players apiece. Chelsea can buy the whole lot.
The German bar owners must have been gutted when we went out. Never have so many fat tattooed men drunk so much in such large numbers and not been attacked by water cannon.
Madrid here I come!
A fantastic tournament for the Socceroos. I guess it won't be called Wogball any more.
After a fabulous performance by the Resplendents on Friday night I commented that I thought this World Cup blog had been a success. Cheers Joe, a job well done.
I'm sure whatever Materazzi said was totally out of order. Especially with European race relations being what they are today (I'm guessing the words "dirty" and "arab" where used). But what a way to bow out of your last professional game. A billion people watching the greatest player since Maradonna (who like him won a World Cup single-handedly). And he blew his chance to outdo Diego in the worst way imaginable.
Sven Goran Eriksson
The knives are out. £25m and what do we get? Ignoring the positives of his reign (2.29 points per game, a quarter-final team when twelve years ago we could not even qualify), both Steve McClaren and Michael Owen (Michael Owen!) have openly criticised the Swede. Apparently Rooney and Fat Frank have books lined up to put the boot in. Gerrard is rumoured to have had a stand up blazing row with Eriksson and Beckham over long ball tactics. Overall, the "foreign experiment" will be deemed a failure.
This was his last chance to prove that he is more than the sarong-wearing fancy dan that we all suspected. He failed. And cried. The Real Madrid fans may love him for his tireless running and fifty yard passes but his time with England went out with a whimper.
Whether true or not, taking off Riquelme is regarded as the decision that cost Argentina the tournament. Of course, the mood in Argentina before the contest began was that Riquelme was too slow, a luxury and shouldn't even have been in the side.
Ruud van Nistleroy
Dropped to the bench for his club following alleged attitude problems. Dropped to the bench for his country following alleged attitude problems. Dutch strikers eh? Who would have 'em?
Big Phil Scolari
Not only has his reputation for genius substitutions been damaged (play one up-front, then take off your striker and effectively play none up-front against a ten man team?), but his reputation for good football has been damaged as well as Portugal belly-flopped their way through many of their games. It was a cynical ploy by a man who did not trust his attackers to score in open play and I'm pleased that the entire world has noticed (and disapproves of) Ronaldo's antics.
Ranked fourth in the world.
Bottled it. Again.