Spanish magazine Don Balon has announced is eagerly anticipated Top 100 Young Players List for 2010. All players listed must be born after January 1st 1989 and they are also shown listed at their current club irrespective if they are on loan or not.

A dream for FM players looking forward to this years game, or just for football enthusiasts like myself who enjoy lists.

Let me know what you think, have Don Balon missed anyone off the list, add your suggestions.

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The game that no one wants to play in, but seems the game that everyone scores in, averaging just under 4 goals in the 3rd/4th place playoff with the pressure off the players usually shack the shackles off and entertain the fans, Everyone was hoping for the same outcome tonight, the Underdogs Uruguay trying to finish off a wonderful World Cup with the bronze medal, and the Germans looking to emulate 2006 and pick up the 3rd place, I was just hoping for goals goals goals.

URUGUAY

2

 

GERMANY

3

Edison CAVANI (28′)     Thomas MULLER (18′)  
Diego FORLAN (51′)     Marcell JANSEN (56′)  
      Sami KHEDIRA (82′)  
         
1.Fernando MUSLERA     22.Hans Jorg BUTT  
2.Diego LUGANO     2.Marcell JANSEN OUT – 81
3.Diego GODIN     3.Arne FRIEDRICH- Y  
4.Jorge FUCILE     4.Dennis AOGO – Y  
7.Edinson CAVANI OUT – 88   6.Sami KHEDIRA  
9.Luis SUAREZ     7.Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER  
10.Diego FORLAN     8.Mesut ÖZIL OUT – 91
15.Diego PEREZ – Y OUT – 77   13.Thomas MULLER  
16.Maximiliano PEREIRA     17.Per MERTESACKER  
17.Egidio AREVALO     19.CACAU – Y OUT – 73
22.Martin CACERES     20.Jerome BOATENG  
         
Subs     Subs  
5.Walter GARGANO IN – 77   1.Manuel NEUER  
6.Mauricio VICTORINO     12.Tim WIESE INJ
8.Sebastian EGUREN     5.Serdar TASCI IN – 91
11.Alvaro Pereira     9.Stefan KIEßLING IN – 73
12.Juan CASTILLO     10.Lucas PODOLSKI  
13.Sebastian ABREU IN – 88   11.Miroslav KLOSE  
14.Nicolas LODEIRO INJ   14.Holger BADSTUBER  
18.Ignacio GONZALEZ     15.Piotr TROCHOWSKI  
19.Andres SCOTTI     16.Philipp LAHM INJ
20.Alvaro FERNANDEZ     18.Toni KROOS IN – 81
21.Sebastian FERNANDEZ     21.Marko MARIN  
23.Martin SILVA     23.Mario GOMEZ  

A good match, I must say I had it on but fleeted in and out of total concentration, Germany took the early lead, Schweinsteiger’s shot saved by Muslera but fumbled and Muller was first to react and placed the ball into the net, 10 minutes later it was 1-1 my man of the tournament Diego Forlan fed in Edison Cavani and he finished calmly his first goal of the World Cup and very well deserved. All square at half-time and the game was not disappointing.

The second half started even better, Arevarlo Rios made an uncharacteristic run down the right picked out Forlan with his cut-back and Forlan lashed the volley with his right foot and Hans-Jorg Butt could only watch it sweep past him, superb goal from a superb player. The Germans equalised from an unlikely source, Jerome Boateng playing at right back swung in a very tempting cross and Marcell Jansen rose highest caught Muslera flapping and he got his head on the ball and it glided into the empty net.

As good as it is to see goals, I don’t think anyone wanted Extra-Time and the Germans duly obliged, Ozil’s corner wasn’t cleared and Khedira got a head on it and it floated over Muslera and into the net.

Now I said a second ago we didn’t want ET, that was until with the last kick of the ball Uruguay won a free kick on the edge of the area, Diego Forlan stood over it, a goal and we would have another 30 minutes, however Forlan would have his sixth goal and would stand on top of the Golden Boot standings, the World held their breathe, Diego stepped up and…..smashed the crossbar, so close, the game was over, an exciting night, if only the final is as good as this.

MY THOUGHTS

Not going to pick out players on this game as it’s more like a pre-season friendly but over the tournament I’ll pick out some players.

For me Uruguay’s best players have been Jorge Fucile, Maxi Pereira, Arevarlo Rios, Diego Perez, Adriano Pereira and Diego Forlan.

Fucile and M.Pereira have been fantastic at full back, Fucile’s tackling has been on point, never looked vulnerable, Maxi has gotten forward at all times, but defended well also, Rios and Perez have been the bouncers in front of the Uruguay backline, not letting many people pass, I can’t remember any goal against them that has come from a break through the middle of the Uruguay midfield, mostly crosses or Muslera fumbles.

And of course Diego Forlan has just been superb, he has tamed the Jabulani ball, scored spectacular goals, set up his team mates, and just seems an all-round top top guy, if you’re on twitter you should follow @DiegoForlan7  for a lovely insight into a great player. 

For Germany: Friedrich, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Ozil, and Muller.

Friedrich at 31 probably playing his last World Cup Boateng and Aogo will be gunning for his spot, but he’s had a great tournament, not listened to the weak link thoughts of many pundits and just gone about his job, very solid.

Captain Lahm has been mercurial at right back, always calm on the ball, moving the game forward, maybe not as expansive as in previous years but just a quality defender.

Schweni and Khedira have impressed everyone, pressure on both of them with Ballack being ruled out and my have they rose to the occasion, both knowing when to sit and when to attack, Sami’s runs from deep have been impressive and Bastian’s reading of the game has looked World Class at times, having the skill and speed to escape danger, he’s still young and can only get better.

I had seen Mesut Ozil a few times before the World Cup for Weder and the German Under 21’s but he was still a relative unknown and at times he’s had a great tournament, disappeared against Spain which shows his youth, however I have nothing but high hopes for Mesut.

Surprise of the Tournament for me has been Thomas Muller, wasn’t convinced by him at Bayern, 20 years old and has announced himself to the World stage, 5 goals in 6 games, very athletic, powerful player, good on the ball, loves to break forward, can’t wait to see more of him for Bayern Munich.

Two teams that have surpassed pre-Tournament predictions, Germany at one point everyone’s favourite, my favourites for 2014 now, I’ve got high hopes for Uruguay too, Under 20 World finalists so there are players coming through I hope they can qualify for 2014 as they could shock everyone again.

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Day Two of the Last 16 and with three of the favourites playing, at least one of them was going out, but noone thought it would happen the way it did. Controversy in both games, Video technology would have completely changed the events of June 27th.

GERMANY

4

 

ENGLAND

1

Miroslav KLOSE (20′)     Matthew UPSON (37′)  
Lukas PODOLSKI (32′)        
Thomas MÜLLER (67′,70′)        
         
1.Manuel NEUER     1.David JAMES  
3.Arne FRIEDRICH – Y     2.Glen JOHNSON – Y OUT – 87
6.Sami KHEDIRA     3.Ashley COLE  
7.Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER     4.Steven GERRARD  
8.Mesut ÖZIL OUT – 83   6.John TERRY  
10.Lucas PODOLSKI     8.Frank LAMPARD  
11.Miroslav KLOSE OUT – 72   10.Wayne ROONEY  
13.Thomas MULLER OUT – 72   14.Gareth BARRY  
16.Philipp LAHM – C     15.Matthew UPSON  
17.Per MERTESACKER     16.James MILNER OUT – 64
20.Jerome BOATENG     19.Jermain DEFOE OUT – 71
         
Subs     Subs  
9.Stefan KIEßLING IN – 83   11.Joe COLE IN – 64
15.Piotr TROCHOWSKI IN -  72   17.Shaun WRIGHT-PHILLIPS IN – 87
23.Mario GOMEZ IN – 72   21.Emile HESKEY IN – 71

MY THOUGHTS

When this match was decided I had said, If England play 4-4-2 against Germany’s 4-2-3-1 then they would find it very hard to keep the ball in midfield and there would be space at the back, and this was one prediction I have got spot on.

3 of Germany’s 4 goals were scored from the fast break, exploiting the space in the wings overloading the English defence and using their pace, at times they ripped Upson & Co. apart.

The 4-1 scoreline in a way will water down the main talking point, at 2-1 Frank Lampard chipped the ball over Neuer’s head it hit the underside of the crossbar and I think the only people not to see it cross the line were the linesman and the referee, it was a foot over the line, and should have been the equaliser which would have changed the whole complexion of the game, the half time whistle seemed to stop England’s momentum and for me they never seemed to have the same drive in the second half after Lampard’s free kick smashed off the crossbar.

It was 2 goals in 3 minutes from Thomas Müller set up by Mesut Özil, both were superb the young turk cause so many problems finding space between the midfield and defence, then opening up gaps for his teammates, along with his goals it was Müller that set up Podolski for the second, the front four of Germany could have had 5 or 6 goals, David James coming to England’s aid on a few ocassions.

Question marks still hang over the heads of Mertesacker, Boateng and Arne Friedrich, in the air Mertesacker could not be beaten however when turned he finds it very hard to recover, players like Messi and Tevez will cause him problems, Boateng did a bad job in closing down James Milner, letting him cross balls in at will, Boateng is not a fullback and it really shows, I’m not sure Badstuber is a better option.

Not many England players to pick out for positive reasons, Lampard was the most effective that he’s been all World Cup, could easily have scored 2 goals, Milner delivered quite a few dangerous crosses, Defoe coming closest to converting them, David James the other England player to just about come out with pass marks, saves from Klose and Özil, should have been out faster for the first goal though.

Cole, Gerrard, Rooney, Barry and Upson had poor games, Upson was pulled out of position so many times by the German movement, Rooney as has been well documented played poor the whole tournament, bad touch, bad shooting even his movement was sub par.

Taking away all the controversy Germany were the better team and deserved to win, inflicting the worst defeat in a World Cup in England’s history.

ARGENTINA

3

 

MEXICO

1

Carlos TEVEZ (26′, 52′)     Javier HERNANDEZ (71′)  
Gonzalo HIGUAIN (33′)        
         
22.Sergio ROMERO     1.Oscar PEREZ  
2.Martin DEMICHELIS     2.Francisco RODRIGUEZ  
4.Nicolas BURDISSO     3.Carlos SALCIDO  
6.Gabriel HEINZE     4.Rafael MARQUEZ – C – Y  
7.Angel DI MARIA OUT – 79   5.Ricardo OSORIO  
9.Gonzalo HIGUAIN     6.Gerardo TORRADO  
10.Lionel MESSI     14.Javier HERNANDEZ  
11.Carlos TEVEZ OUT – 69   16.Efrain JUAREZ  
14.Javier MASCHERANO     17.Giovani DOS SANTOS  
15.Nicolas OTAMENDI     18.Andres GUARDADO OUT – 61
20.Maxi RODRIGUEZ OUT – 87   21.Adolfo BAUTISTA OUT – 46
         
Subs     Subs  
1.Diego POZO     7.Pablo BARRERA IN – 46
21.Mariano ANDUJAR     8.Israel CASTRO  
3.Clemente RODRIGUEZ     9.Guillermo FRANCO IN – 61
5.Marco BOLATTI     10.Cuauhtemoc BLANCO  
8.Juan VERON IN – 69   11.Carlos VELA  
12.Ariel GARCE     12.Paul AGUILAR  
13.Walter SAMUEL     13.Guillermo OCHOA  
16.Sergio AGUERO     15.Hector MORENO  
17.Jonas GUTIERREZ IN – 79   19.Jonny MAGALLON  
18.Martin PALERMO     20.Jorge TORRES  
19.Diego MILITO     22.Alberto MEDINA  
23.Javier PASTORE IN – 87   23.Luis MICHEL  

MY THOUGHTS

The second game of the day and FIFA would have been hoping for a quiet game with no controversy, not today Sepp.

After Mexico starting as the better team, Guardado came close and Salcido smashed the crossbar, I thought we could have been in for an upset. That was until the 26th minute, Messi played in Tevez his initial shot saved by Perez fell back to Messi he chiped it to Tevez and he headed it in, once we saw the replays it was clear Tevez was at least 2 yards offside, it got worse for Mexico as the teams were lining up for kickoff, the big screen showed the replay and all the Mexican players saw it, and quite rightly confronted the referee and linesman, they had also seen it, and looked embarrassed, of course there was nothing anyone could do now as the goal had been given, another massive call for video technology.

Things went from bad to worse for the Mexicans, Ricardo Osorio tried a little heel drag near his own box, mis controlled and Higuain was in on goal he rounded Perez and made no mistake with the finish, Mexico had gone from the better team to 2-0 down.

There was no way back from this, a Tevez wondergoal made it 3 and apart from Hernandez superb goal for Mexico Argentina never looked troubled again.

Otamendi looked loads more stable at right back than Jonas Gutierrez, Otamendi can also play at centre back so he knows how to cover the middle also, a solid performance. Higuain and Messi were very quiet, they never got many chances to trouble the Mexican defence, I only remember one run from Messi near the end of the match, but players can’t be brilliant all the time, and he has showed so far in this tournament that you need to respect his talent.

I can’t say it was a classic Argentina performance however it was a great victory and they roll on to the next round to face the Germans.

Mexico were very impressive and the much better footballing side in the whole match, sometimes decisions go against you that you can’t come back from and that was the case last night, Hernandez looks a good player Sir Alex has unearthed a gem there, along with dos Santos and the substitute Barrea they caused endless problems to Maradona’s men, I would have started Barrea he looked great against the French and Bautista was poor and was right to be taken off, Barrea looks to have bags of pace and the skill to match.

Shame for the Mexicans to go home, they have entertained us in South African and I hope they grow as a team for the future who knows what can happen in 4 years.

QUARTER FINAL – GERMANY v ARGENTINA

What a match this could be, Argentina weak down the flanks were Germany are so strong, you then have the midfield battles, Özil, Khedira and Schweinsteiger versus Messi, Mascherano and Rodriguez however I would not be surprised if Veron came back in, in a similar role to Schweinsteiger

I’m hoping for a thriller maybe a 5 goal thriller at that, it will not be boring.

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