World Cup Best Bits

Socceram.com's World Cup picks

Last Updated: 12/07/10 12:02pm

SoccerAM.com has been here throughout the World Cup to help guide you through the greatest show on earth!

For the last four weeks we've been looking back at the matches and picking out our favourite moments, players, goals, games and lots more.

Spain were crowned world champions on Sunday night but there are still lots of awards to be handed out (in name only of course) as we've picked out favourite moments from South Africa.

As well as your standard, goal, player, game we've also added a couple which Soccer AM viewers will enjoy including Unbelievable Tekkers, Showboat, Taxi and Kung-Fu!

So sit back, relax and reflect on what was a feast of football because you'll have to wait another 1429 days (give or take a few days) for the next one!

Best bits

GAME - Slovakia 3-2 Italy
A jaw-dropping result and a hugely dramatic game - this one had everything. In truth the beginning and the middle were pretty average but the end will live long in the memories of every single Slovakian, Italian and anyone else who decided to skive off from work, school, or anywhere else for that matter! The world champions were rubbish for 80 minutes but brilliant for the final 10. They never truly deserved the equaliser that would have sent them through to the second round but they came oh so close in the kind of game which comes along once every four years... if you're lucky!

TEAM - France
Les Bleus were far and away the most entertaining team at the World Cup - if you don't include anything they did on the pitch. First you had Florent Malouda trying to smack bonkers boss Raymond Domenech before a ball had been kicked - and then star striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for venting his spleen at Le Gaffeur. The whole squad then went on strike and the fitness coach threw a huge hissy fit after a training ground spat with captain Patrice Evra. After an intervention by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the team eventually limped out of the competition with one goal and zero wins to their name, returning home ignominiously on an economy class flight. When it comes to disastrous World Cup campaigns, this lot made England look like amateurs - and we bet every Irish football fan was laughing his head off as the shambles unfolded.

GOAL - Giovanni van Bronckhorst
There have been plenty of goals to admire at this World Cup, but quite frankly we can't think of a truer strike than Giovanni van Bronckhorst's stunning effort against Uruguay. It's doubtful the Dutch left-back has ever scored a better goal than his 40-yard belter in the semi-finals and we'd put money on him never doing it again (mainly because he's retiring)! His face said it all, pure ecstasy, jubilation and, well, disbelief!

PLAYER - David Villa
Diego Forlan may have officially been crowned player of the tournament, but there's no doubt in our mind that David Villa should've been the one making room on his mantle piece for the Golden Ball... you know to go alongside his World Cup winning medal! One of the few players to live up to his big-name billing at this tournament, he led the Spanish line superbly from the first to the last minute, as the European champions finally got their hands on football's ultimate prize. Scoring five of Spain's eight goals in the tournament, Villa showed just why Barcelona splashed out £34million on him before he flew out to South Africa and why that was a bargain at twice the price! Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Villa in the same team... good luck the rest of La Liga!

SHOWBOAT - Diego Maradona v South Korea
Forget Villa, Sneijder, Forlan and Paul the Octopus... Argentina boss Diego Maradona was the star of the show at World Cup 2010, no contest. The beard, the shiny suit and the cigars were the mark of the biggest character to grace South Africa and he gave us plenty of moments to remember. He vowed to run naked through the streets of Buenos Aries if his team won the trophy; in training matches he made the winning team boot balls at the backsides of the losing team; he hugged and kissed his players before matches - and then spoke in length about his staunch heterosexuality in press conferences. And he also provided our favourite Showboat of the tournament. In the second half of Argentina's game against South Korea, a wayward ball dropped into the technical area and El Diego casually backheel-volleyed it back from where it came. He may have a bit more belly than he used to, but he's still got the skills to pay the bills!

KUNG FU - Felipe Melo
The commitment to the martial arts discipline of Kung-Fu at this World Cup was impressive to say the least! Very few teams went out of the tournament without a fight, although some took the saying a little too literally, including Brazil and Felipe Melo! The Juventus star was less than impressed with Arjen Robben's six rolls every time he hit the deck during Brazil's quarter-final defeat to Holland, and put himself forward for the role of public enemy number one, hacking the Dutch star to the ground before stamping on his leg and ending Brazil's hopes of ever getting back into the contest. We're not sure if anyone swapped shirts with Robben afterwards but he did at least walk away with one memento... eight stud marks on the back of his left thigh!

UNBELIEVABLE TEKKERS - Diego Forlan v Ghana
Some tekkers are good, some tekkers are bad, but some tekkers are... Uruguayan?! We knew Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan was in the mood for free kicks when he took one on from fully 45 yards just minutes into Uruguay's clash with Ghana, and so it proved. The former Manchester United flop has come on leaps and bounds since he was booted out of Old Trafford. According to the 31-year-old he never played for United again after disobeying Sir Alex's orders to wear longer studs to stop him from slipping in front of goal. Naturally Forlan slipped and missed a sitter in the following game and his boss soon became his former boss! No longer is he a laughing stock though. With 51 minutes gone and his side 1-0 down Forlan stepped up to a free kick 25 yards out on the left-hand side of the area, smashed it with his in-step and watched the Jabulani go from left-to-right before nestling in the top right-hand corner. Andy and Wazza would've been proud!

TAXI for Yakubu
Now the obvious choice was Rob Green for that howler against the USA. Yes we would have had an easier passage in the knock-out stages had he got his body behind Clint Dempsey's daisy cutter, but as mistakes go it wasn't the most costly... just ask Yakubu! The Nigeria striker missed an absolute sitter against South Korea in their final group game starting an almost catastrophic (in footballing terms) chain reaction for Nigerian football. Had he tapped in from two yards with the goal at his mercy instead of missing the target Nigeria would have qualified for the knock-out stages. As it was, they finished bottom of a tight group and Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan decided to suspend his nation's football team from international competition for two years! Luckily Fifa intervened and President Jonathan rescinded the ban... Phew! Feed the Yak and he will score... we're not so sure!

CELEBRATION - Gabriel Heinze v Mexico
The African nations have led the way with some brilliantly choreographed celebrations but Gabby Heinze takes the award for 'angriest celebration' at a World Cup. It might not have been on the level of Temuri Ketsbaia's hatred for advertising boards, but it was close. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was all smiles as he congratulated Gonzalo Higuain for putting Argentina 2-0 up against Mexico but within a split second his mood darkened as a cameraman got all up in his face. Heinze ended up with a bump on his head, the camera felt the force of a pretty girly slap and we all got a chuckle out of it.