Top 10 Players in the 2010 World Cup

Last Updated: June 26th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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With one round of play in the books at the World Cup, here at Bankroll Sports, we’re ranking the ten best players that are still in this field that you should be keeping an eye on in the knockout rounds of this tournament.

1: David Villa, Spain -Villa is going to be looked upon as the man that really needs to step it up for the Spanish once again to continue on the path towards the first World Cup that the country has ever won. He scored twice against the Hondurans in the opening match and followed that up with a strike against Chile that helped secure qualification into the second round after a rough loss in the opener against Switzerland.

2: Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina – All of Higuain’s damage in this tournament came in the match against South Korea, but my, what a match it was! The Argentine striker netted a trio of goals, notching what will probably be the only hat trick that this tournament sees. Higuain is a prime candidate for the Golden Boot Award, especially if Argentina can survive a quadrant of teams that includes England or Germany awaiting in the quarterfinals.

3: Landon Donovan, United States -The chosen boy of American soccer right now is really evolving into a national hero. Donovan scored the goal that set up the USA’s comeback against Slovenia to salvage a 2-2 draw, and he followed that up with the most important strike in American soccer history, a blast into the Algerian net that took the Stars and Stripes into the Round of 16 for the first time since 2002. If the USA is advancing anywhere in this tournament, Donovan is going to be the man to keep a very, very close eye on.

4: Diego Forlan, Uruguay – Uruguay was absolutely dominant in the first round of this tournament, and a lot of that was because of the play of Forlan. He struck twice in the group stages and was the biggest reason that the Uruguayans ended up outscoring their opponents 4-0 in the first three matches. Before this tournament, there was an outside chance of Forlan coming up big in Group A and being a candidate for the Golden Boot. Now that Uruguay is probably a favorite amongst itself, South Korea, the United States, and Ghana to reach the semifinals of this tournament, Forlan could be a prime suspect.

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5: Robert Vittek, Slovakia – If we really believed that Slovakia would be hanging around deep into this tournament, we would have Vittek ranked higher in our World Cup Power Rankings. There’s no doubt that he is a hero right now though, as he scored twice in the shocking upset of Italy in the final match in Group E to put the Slovakians through.

6: Lionel Messi, Argentina – Yes, Lionel Messi still doesn’t have a goal under his belt but he has been the biggest offensive threat arguably in the entire tournament. He set up all four goals in a 4-1 romp over South Korea. It only seems to be a matter of time until Messi ends up getting onto the score sheet, especially if the Argentines can make a bit of run. Manager Diego Maradona knows that Messi is going to be the one to carry this squad to the World Cup if it is going to happen.

7: Elano, Brazil – The Brazilians look like a finally tuned offensive unit right now, and Elano is one of the two men to thank on the squad. Perhaps Elano wasn’t the more aggressive of he and his fellow offensive teammate, but he has lit up the scoreboard twice in this competition and should be considered a real threat for to a number of lesser teams that are about to feel the wrath of one of the best teams in the entire world.

8: Luis Fabiano, Brazil – Perhaps Elano and Luis Fabiano should be 7A and 7B, because without them both, the Brazilians wouldn’t have ended up getting seven points in the first round of matches. Fabiano will be the aggressor of the bunch, as he ended up setting up a number of the five goals that the team put forth against Portugal, Ivory Coast, and North Korea.

9: Asamoah Gyan, Ghana – The Ghana soccer team wouldn’t be anywhere near the second round of the World Cup without the efforts of Gyan. Not only did he end up taking over half of the shots and half of the shots on target for his team, but he also buried both of the team’s goals as well. Unfortunately, both ended up coming from the spot area, and the Black Stars have yet to figure out how to score from anywhere aside from a penalty kick. Gyan is going to be the man that is going to have to score against the Americans in all likelihood, or the last African team standing will be eliminated fairly quickly.

10: Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal – The chosen boy of Portuguese soccer is going to have to step it up a lot more than he did in the first round of this tournament. He only scored one goal against North Korea in that 7-0 romp. However, Portugal didn’t score a goal against either the Ivory Coast or Brazil, which is setting up what could be a disaster against its neighbors from Spain in the first match of the Round of 16.

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Posted in Soccer - Last Updated on Saturday, June 26th, 2010 @ 10:49 am (EST)
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