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Mueller wins Golden Boot, Forlan best player, Casillas top 'keeper

By The Assam Tribune

JOHANNESBURG, July 12 (DPA) - Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller has won the Golden Boot award for top scorer at the World Cup and was also named best young player of the tournament.

Mueller was one of four players to finish on five goals, but won by virtue of his three assists, two more than his nearest rivals- Spain's David Villa and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands, who each had one assist.

Mueller, 20, has spearheaded a new generation of players that include Mesut Oezil, Sami Khedira, Jerome Boateng and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in a German team that finished third.

The Bayern Munich ace, who 12 months ago was playing in the German third division, succeeded compatriot Miroslav Klose, who topped the scoring at the last World Cup in Germany four years ago.

Mueller first gave notice of his huge potential during last season's UEFA Champions League as Bayern made it all the way to the final. It was his first full season at the Bavarian giants and he ended up scoring 19 times in 52 appearances.

He is a fast, composed and technically gifted attacking midfielder or second striker who scores and creates goals.

Ahead of the World Cup, Mueller was valued at about 10 million euros ($12.5 million), but there are now suggestions that on the back of his performance in Africa, he has more than tripled this valuation.

Mueller, who made his full international debut against Argentina in a friendly in March, is a product of a systematic and extensive German youth programme which began 10 years ago after Germany crashed out of the 2000 European Championships in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The German football federation DFB then chose to embark on scouting and developing new talent, a programme which was further enhanced when former captain Matthias Sammer was appointed sports director in 2005.

Since then the German Football League wand the DFB have invested some 500 million euros on youth development schemes.

All Bundesliga clubs were mandated to have their own junior training centres, while the DFB developed centres of excellence and talent-spotting programmes across the country.

The results have been outstanding - Germany were under-19 European champions in 2008, and then won the under-17 and under-21 European titles last year. Before that, Germany had gone 16 years without a European title at junior level.

In South Africa, Mueller extended the legend of the Germany number 13 shirt, which his namesake Gerd Mueller made famous during a distinguished career in the 1970s.

Forlan best player: Uruguay striker Diego Forlan was Sunday night picked as the FIFA Golden Ball winner as best player of the 2010 World Cup by journalists accredited to cover the tournament.

The 31-year-old Forlan was chosen ahead of Spain's David Villa, Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands and current World Footballer of the Year, Lionel Messi.

Nicknamed "Cachavacha" after a comic character, Forlan netted five goals and inspired Uruguay to the semi-finals in South Africa after the team failed to qualify for the last World Cup in Germany four years ago.

He scored seven goals in 13 matches as Uruguay booked their qualification ticket to South Africa to underline his status as a top marksman.

A once aspiring tennis player, Forlan is a skilful centre-forward who has featured for several top teams, including Manchester United, Villarreal and Independiente of Argentina.

Football runs in the Forlan family as his father also represented the South American country at two World Cups, in 1966 and 1974, while his grandfather, Juan Carlos Corazzo, was Chile coach in 1962.

A graduate of the Penarol youth teams, Forlan moved to Manchester United in early 2002 after an impressive performance across the border at Independiente, but he struggled to live up to expectations in England.

A switch to Villarreal of Spain in August 2004 helped him rediscover his goalscoring touch as he netted 25 goals in his first season to finish as La Liga's top scorer and also clinched the European Golden Shoe.

The former youth international has since extended his fine form in front of goal for both Atletico Madrid and the national team to make him one of the most feared strikers in the world game.

Casillas top goalkeeper: Spain skipper Iker Casillas has been named the best goalkeeper of the 2010 World Cup.

The FIFA Technical Study Group picked the Real Madrid shot-stopper after some outstanding performances which inspired Spain to win their first-ever World Cup trophy.

Previous winners of this award are Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) in 2006, Oliver Khan (Germany) 2002 and Fabien Barthez (France) in 1998.

The 29-year-old Casillas made several saves against the Netherlands in Sunday's final, which his side won 1-0. One of the saves was a point-blank block which denied Arjen Robben, who was clean on goal.

He also saved a penalty against Paraguay in a quarter-final match as Spain won 2-1 to reach the last four.

Casillas made history when he became the first goalkeeper since Italy's Dino Zoff in 1982 to lead a team to World Cup glory.

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Mueller wins Golden Boot, Forlan best player, Casillas top

JOHANNESBURG, July 12 (DPA) - Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller has won the Golden Boot award for top scorer at the World Cup and was also named best young player of the tournament.

Mueller was one of four players to finish on five goals, but won by virtue of his three assists, two more than his nearest rivals- Spain's David Villa and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands, who each had one assist.

Mueller, 20, has spearheaded a new generation of players that include Mesut Oezil, Sami Khedira, Jerome Boateng and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in a German team that finished third.

The Bayern Munich ace, who 12 months ago was playing in the German third division, succeeded compatriot Miroslav Klose, who topped the scoring at the last World Cup in Germany four years ago.

Mueller first gave notice of his huge potential during last season's UEFA Champions League as Bayern made it all the way to the final. It was his first full season at the Bavarian giants and he ended up scoring 19 times in 52 appearances.

He is a fast, composed and technically gifted attacking midfielder or second striker who scores and creates goals.

Ahead of the World Cup, Mueller was valued at about 10 million euros ($12.5 million), but there are now suggestions that on the back of his performance in Africa, he has more than tripled this valuation.

Mueller, who made his full international debut against Argentina in a friendly in March, is a product of a systematic and extensive German youth programme which began 10 years ago after Germany crashed out of the 2000 European Championships in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The German football federation DFB then chose to embark on scouting and developing new talent, a programme which was further enhanced when former captain Matthias Sammer was appointed sports director in 2005.

Since then the German Football League wand the DFB have invested some 500 million euros on youth development schemes.

All Bundesliga clubs were mandated to have their own junior training centres, while the DFB developed centres of excellence and talent-spotting programmes across the country.

The results have been outstanding - Germany were under-19 European champions in 2008, and then won the under-17 and under-21 European titles last year. Before that, Germany had gone 16 years without a European title at junior level.

In South Africa, Mueller extended the legend of the Germany number 13 shirt, which his namesake Gerd Mueller made famous during a distinguished career in the 1970s.

Forlan best player: Uruguay striker Diego Forlan was Sunday night picked as the FIFA Golden Ball winner as best player of the 2010 World Cup by journalists accredited to cover the tournament.

The 31-year-old Forlan was chosen ahead of Spain's David Villa, Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands and current World Footballer of the Year, Lionel Messi.

Nicknamed "Cachavacha" after a comic character, Forlan netted five goals and inspired Uruguay to the semi-finals in South Africa after the team failed to qualify for the last World Cup in Germany four years ago.

He scored seven goals in 13 matches as Uruguay booked their qualification ticket to South Africa to underline his status as a top marksman.

A once aspiring tennis player, Forlan is a skilful centre-forward who has featured for several top teams, including Manchester United, Villarreal and Independiente of Argentina.

Football runs in the Forlan family as his father also represented the South American country at two World Cups, in 1966 and 1974, while his grandfather, Juan Carlos Corazzo, was Chile coach in 1962.

A graduate of the Penarol youth teams, Forlan moved to Manchester United in early 2002 after an impressive performance across the border at Independiente, but he struggled to live up to expectations in England.

A switch to Villarreal of Spain in August 2004 helped him rediscover his goalscoring touch as he netted 25 goals in his first season to finish as La Liga's top scorer and also clinched the European Golden Shoe.

The former youth international has since extended his fine form in front of goal for both Atletico Madrid and the national team to make him one of the most feared strikers in the world game.

Casillas top goalkeeper: Spain skipper Iker Casillas has been named the best goalkeeper of the 2010 World Cup.

The FIFA Technical Study Group picked the Real Madrid shot-stopper after some outstanding performances which inspired Spain to win their first-ever World Cup trophy.

Previous winners of this award are Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) in 2006, Oliver Khan (Germany) 2002 and Fabien Barthez (France) in 1998.

The 29-year-old Casillas made several saves against the Netherlands in Sunday's final, which his side won 1-0. One of the saves was a point-blank block which denied Arjen Robben, who was clean on goal.

He also saved a penalty against Paraguay in a quarter-final match as Spain won 2-1 to reach the last four.

Casillas made history when he became the first goalkeeper since Italy's Dino Zoff in 1982 to lead a team to World Cup glory.