Mexico blogger Niall Goeghegan makes his FanZone picks of the World Cup.
Player of the tournament
Wesley Sneijder. To have scored five goals from midfield in six appearances is some record and while you can imagine Spain getting by without Villa, there's no doubt that Holland would not have progressed as far without their majestic midfielder.
Goal of the tournament:
Lampard's against Germany! Seriously, I assume a lot will go for Van Bronckhorst (and rightly so, it was a beauty) but I'll plump for Diego Forlan's free-kick against Ghana. Uruguay eventually progressing underlined the importance of Forlan's stunning equaliser against the Africans, and the brilliant striker deserves some sort of accolade this tournament as he was superb, so let's give him 'best goal'!
Game of the tournament:
Slovakia vs Italy. Even when Kamil Kopunek put Slovakia 3-1 up with three minutes remaining you still weren't convinced it was over. It very nearly wasn't, but the Slovaks held on to claim a fantastic 3-2 victory. A thrilling game, some great goals and an ultimate result of the holders finishing bottom of a group including New Zealand. Splendid.
World Cup hero:
Raymond Domenech. You've got to give credit to anybody who has to put up with the arrogant, egotistical bunch that is the French national team day after day
World Cup villain:
Wayne Rooney. Harsh, perhaps, given that a) he wasn't the only England player to bottle it and b) he wasn't the only supposedly world-class player to bottle it, but the nation's hopes rested on this young man's shoulders and while the Messis and Ronaldos at least offered some quality occasionally, Rooney was poor in all four matches.
Steven Gerrard's early goal against the USA. As he slid it beneath Tim Howard, the nation cheered and rejoiced in anticipation of the 'golden generation' finally realising their potential and bringing the World Cup home. Even Heskey did well in the build-up. Let's just ignore what happened from that point onwards...
Verdict on your team:
Mexico were, strangely, exactly as I had expected. Neat in possession, reasonably tight at the back, but lacking that cutting edge required to take them to the next level. As it turns out, losing to Uruguay in the final group game was the worst thing we could have done: it could so easily have been us playing Holland on Wednesday night had we won that game. Instead, we were beaten - arguably cheated - by a better Argentina team.
But, on the whole, we covered ourselves in more glory than the Argies and Brazil, and can only take heart from the way we played, particularly against France. If this young side can gain a bit more experience and a bit more ruthlessness in front of goal, they could be a force to be reckoned with in 2014.
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