Blogs & Opinion


McInally's World Cup XI

Sky Sports expert names his star team of World Cup 2010

Features Posted 12th July 2010 view comments

Plenty of players shone at the 2010 World Cup, but just who were the pick of the bunch?

We asked Sky Sports expert Alan McInally to choose his team of the tournament - and with a wealth of talent to choose from, that was no easy task.

In the end he settled on a 4-3-3 formation with plenty of the World Cup's big guns earning a place in the line-up.

Speaking about his selection he said: "It's frightening to leave players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney out of a dream team, but I'm talking about the players who shone at this World Cup.

"And I can't believe I've left out players like Gonzalo Higuain, Thomas Muller, Xavi and Wesley Sneijder - who were brilliant.

"There were plenty of other players who could have sneaked in to this team, but I think the eleven I have picked were crucial - if not mandatory - for their respective countries.

"Mark my words, this team would win the World Cup..."

Alan McInally's World Cup Dream XI:

Goalkeeper:

Iker Casillas (Spain)

It's a tough choice, but I think you have to go with Casillas. I'm sure he should be about 52 years old by now because he's been playing for Spain for so long; I think he made his Real Madrid debut when he was about 10! But on the occasions he was called upon at the World Cup, he didn't put a foot wrong. A lot of the other goalkeepers looked amateurish, punching the ball instead of catching it, but Casillas was pretty good.

Defenders:

Phillip Lahm (Germany)

I like Maicon of Brazil, who played more as a right winger at times, but I'm going for Lahm. I don't remember anybody getting past him in the tournament and I think he's an unsung hero to a certain extent, even though he's the Germany captain. People have criticised him, but I think he was the best right-back at the tournament.

Fabio Coentrao (Portugal)

I don't think many people knew about him before the World Cup, but he really stepped up to the plate in international football. After Portugal's games, we weren't talking about the likes of Deco or Cristiano Ronaldo, we were all talking about this lad. He really impressed me and he's my choice for left-back.

Carles Puyol (Spain)

I don't really like Carles Puyol, but I've got to take my hat off to him in this tournament because he was outstanding as a defender. He's like Spain's Franco Baresi. He got the Spain players by the scruff of the neck and made sure everybody did their job. He's also a danger in the other box at set pieces - as he proved in the semi-final with the only goal against Germany.

Lucio (Brazil)

He can be a little bit undisciplined at times because he likes to get forward and make a nuisance of himself, but he's still a very good defender. You don't really associate Brazil with top-class defenders, but I think he was one of the shining lights of the World Cup for them.

Midfield:

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)

His performances against Argentina and England were first class. Germany don't panic on the ball and they like to keep possession which is massive at this level - and he's brilliant at doing that. Without him in the team, Germany wouldn't have got anywhere near the semi-finals. I think he looked a little bit tired against Spain, having won the domestic double with Bayern Munich, but he is almost a necessity in the middle of the park.

Mark van Bommel (Holland)

He'd be one of my middle men - because he's so dirty! He's somebody who says 'you ain't getting past me'. You need some steel in there and although he was lucky to not pick up a few more cards, I think he's a very good player. He had an unbelievable season for Bayern Munich and he can play a bit as well. He puts his foot in and sets the tone - and he would patrol my midfield, allowing more creative players like Andres Iniesta to do their thing.

Andres Iniesta (Spain)

He's got to be in the side after scoring in the World Cup Final. He can wake up every morning for the rest of his life, ask his wife for some paella and then remember who scored the winner in the World Cup Final! That's not any goal, that's the World Cup Final! I thought Xavi was magnificent, but Iniesta has got to get in the team for that reason.

Forwards:

David Villa (Spain)

I don't think Spain played well until the knock-out stages - they had to win their last group game to make sure they went through - but Villa warmed to the task. If anybody didn't think he was a £25million striker before the World Cup, he proved his worth. He's so clever, he's so direct and he's a good team player - and that's why I'd have him on the left-hand side where he played for Spain. He loves it out there because he can cut inside and do that right-footed curler that he does so well.

Diego Forlan (Uruguay)

His performances were quite unbelievable. About 10 of my best friends are Manchester United fans and when they were watching Uruguay's games I had to close their mouths about six times. He was scoring goals, he could play up front in a two or a three or even on his own. He was quite literally running the show for Uruguay, end of story and that's why he's in my team.

Miroslav Klose (Germany)

He had a disaster season, but when he gets to the World Cup he's just phenomenal. Maybe it's because he was as fresh as a daisy because he hardly played for Bayern Munich all year. There were some unbelievable strikers at this World Cup, but many of them didn't shine and Klose did. With Villa on the left, Forlan on the right and Klose up front, I reckon this team would win every game 10-0!

Do you agree with Alan's selection? Let us know using the feedback form below...

Comments (56)

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Ammar Mansoor (Real Madrid fan) says...

I dont get why people dont mention kaka enough he robinho and lucio where the main players for brazil

Posted 11:10 16th May 2013

Nick Dowling (Chelsea fan) says...

Casillas Maicon Pique Mathijsen Bastos Ozil Messi Iniesta Sneijder Forlan Defoe

Posted 07:01 2nd August 2010

Dan Attwood (Aston Villa fan) says...

casillas, lahm, puyol, lucio, bastos, schweinsteiger, xavi, iniesta, robben, ozil, villa

Posted 22:16 26th July 2010

Jim Murphy (Celtic fan) says...

In my opinion the player who really impressed was Schweinsteiger of Germany,I am 65 years of age and I am having a job,trying to think of any player who mad such an impression on me.

Posted 08:10 13th July 2010

Preggy Shanmugam (Manchester United fan) says...

casillas, lucio , puyol, lahm, maicon. iniesta , xavi ,schweinsteiger , robben, villa , forlan

Posted 07:45 13th July 2010

Preggy Shanmugam (Manchester United fan) says...

as usual with cup finals , play was absorbed with tactics and i have to say , spain were very patient .from a fans point of view the game was a boring advert, of all the wonderful, skillful, players that was on display.there were lots of individual skill coupled with great composure.i am very happy for both countries they deserved to be in the finals.thank you , netherlands and spain.long live 2010 in sa

Posted 07:42 13th July 2010

Rajan Rajendar (Arsenal fan) says...

Casillas, Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Bastos, Messi, Xavi, Sneijder, Iniesta, Villa, Forlan.... This is a best team in the worldcup2010....

Posted 05:41 13th July 2010

John Sillah (Liverpool fan) says...

I am so happy my team have won the world Cup , I really love the way Spain played all his game in this World Cup in South Africa. I am sure that we will win the next World Cup as well 2014 in Brasil . because we are so good we are the wold champion , we are so proud off .

Posted 04:38 13th July 2010

John Son (Bayern Munich fan) says...

I agree with most it tbh, might not play the best football but it would get the result at the end of the day, mark van bommel is dirty player but because of him spain couldnt play well so i can see why he would be in the team, and klose is a class striker prolfic at world cups

Posted 03:43 13th July 2010

Aaron Cannon (Manchester United fan) says...

my best 11: casillas, ramos, puyol (heart of spains defence), lucio, lahm, sneijder, iniesta, xavi, scweinsteiger, villa, forlan second best 11: stekelenburg/eduardo, maicon, friedrich, lugano, coentrao, mueller, khedira,robinho (outstanding for brazil), ozil, klose, messi (who i am not a fan of as commentators talk him up better than he is, flops in massive big games such as inter milan semi final last season and germany in the quarters there are more occasions as well though is talented, voted worlds best player so has to be included as i was stuck for another outstanding performer) in regards to mick turnball, forlan won palyer of the tournament a great world cup every1 talks bout sneijder carried holland well forlan was uruguay

Posted 02:30 13th July 2010

Stephen Peddle (Hamburg fan) says...

Casillas Lahm. Pique, Mathijsen, Coentrao Schweinsteiger Inesta, Sneijder Muller Villa Forlan

Posted 02:22 13th July 2010

Mitchell Miranda (Barcelona fan) says...

I have to agree with some of the comments I've seen made by others. Eduardo did deserve a bit of mention for being an outstanding keeper, if it wasn't for him Spain would've beaten Portugal 5-0 or so. Van Bommel is also a surprise pick when Sneijder deserves a lot of credit for Holland's progress. I wouldn't mind putting Van Bommel and De Jong on the field to play the all blacks in rugby but the top XI should be pro-football players as opposed to the anti-football the dutch showed in the final.

Posted 02:12 13th July 2010

Gerry Larkin (Celtic fan) says...

Don't agree with your team Alan. I would go with Eduardo, Ramos, Lucio, Puyol, Lahm, Inesta,Sneijder,Xavi, Messi, Villa,Muller. Subs forlan, robben, coentrao,schweinstieger, maicon. I would be very happy with that squad at Celtic. Hail Hail

Posted 01:23 13th July 2010

Brady Dodd (Liverpool fan) says...

I'm actually quite suprised that Mesut Ozil of Germany didn't make this team. He was outstanding throughout the tournament and didn't show any weaknesses throughout. Same as Steven Gerrard, he showed inspiration and passion in a wretched England side, just like a skipper should! Keiyuke Honda of Japan also did amazingly. He plays for a small club, VV Venlo I think, and was never heard of before the World Cup now he's a hero in Japan all of a sudden, he's an Asian Ronaldo!

Posted 01:12 13th July 2010

Paco Nunez (Barcelona fan) says...

how you could put van Bommel with this soccer players, every game I saw in the WC he should be sent off, it is in insult to have him with them or to call him a soccer player.

Posted 00:59 13th July 2010

Jamie Williams (Chelsea fan) says...

GK: CASILLAS LB: LAHM CB: PIQUE CB: LUGANO RB: RAMOS CM: SCHWEINSTEIGER CM: INIESTA CM: SNEIJDER ST: VILLA ST: FORLAN ST: MUELLAR

Posted 00:53 13th July 2010

Sam James (Arsenal fan) says...

Cesar, Micon, Lucio, Puyol, Lahm, Sneider, melo, xazi, Iniesta, Villa and muller, The first three have been the best in their position all season while the others all shined at the tournement and melo adds a sstrong mid-field presents and likes a tackle

Posted 00:19 13th July 2010

Ronan O' connor (Manchester United fan) says...

i dont think this lad know much about football to be honest. for him 2 say that man utd fans were surprised by forlan is wrong. mvb in the team is wrong. sneijder should be in there and also muller. and how can he leave out xavi .................

Posted 00:16 13th July 2010

Thomas Mcdonald (Manchester City fan) says...

Eduardo Ramos Lucio Pique Coentrao Mascherano Messi Xavi Sneider Iniesta Villa

Posted 23:59 12th July 2010

Blair Johnson (Everton fan) says...

Ryan Nelsen was superb for New Zealand - who only conceded two goals - one of which was offside and the other a ridiculous penalty. Hail Lord Nelsen ... and Mark Paston in goal for the Kiwis was superb too. Future pub quiz question ... who were the only unbeaten team at the 2010 World Cup? Answer (amazing as it might be) ... New Zealand!

Posted 23:46 12th July 2010

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