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From Argentina to T&T: the stars who have shone brightest

Shaka Hislop Trinidad & Tobago

The West Ham player was within seven minutes of completing two clean sheets for the country ranked 47th in the world. He did it after being brought into the line-up unexpectedly when Kelvin Jack injured himself in the warm-up for the first match. Hislop made four impressive saves in the draw with Sweden. He did not catch the eye so much on Thursday evening because England failed to keep the veteran goalkeeper as busy as the Scandinavians had last Saturday.

Zdenek Grygera Czech Republic

The defender’s adaptability probably made him enticing to a club of Ajax’s philosophy. He is stolid enough to play at centre-half sometimes but his country used him at right-back. His sort of reliability creates an environment in which the Czech Republic can afford to include a few veterans. Grygera contributes to the build-up as well, crossing for Jan Koller’s opening goal in the 3-0 win over the United States last Monday.

Fabio Cannavaro Italy

Ghana unleashed a flood of energy and the fact that Italy were not washed away owed much to the captain, who positioned himself immaculately in central defence while raising the side’s spirits with confident, decisive challenges. His country caught the eye in this early phase of the World Cup but it Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Dresses Uk is Are Prada Nylon Bags Worth The Money much easier for them to attack when the Italian tradition of defending is in such capable hands.

Iván Hurtado Ecuador

His side have put all the pressure on Germany and will win Group A if they even draw with the hosts. Goals from men like the former Southampton forward Agustín Delgado are riveting, if only because of the curiosity quotient, but it matters as much that the defence is yet to be breached. With 132 appearances Hurtado is the most capped player in Ecuador’s history and the 31-year-old has set the tone for the rest of the side.

Philipp Lahm Germany

He epitomises the surprise his team has caused with their bright start. Germans tended to believe that his knee problem Authentic Prada Bags Online Singapore at Bayern Munich would limit what he Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Sale Uk could do in the World Cup but the attacking left-back was full of self-belief once he struck that pleasing opener against Costa Rica. His reputation has prospered so fast that Poland then took steps, of limited effect, to keep him pinned back.

Andrea Pirlo Italy

It has been intriguing to watch Milan and his country employ this playmaker in the defensive midfield area. Italy may reckon that their centre-halves can cope without much shielding. Pirlo not only has excellent technique in his passes but shows keen vision replica prada cosmetic bags, too, when springing Italy onto the counter-attack. The 27-year-old is also useful when he does get up with the forwards and hit a splendid goal against Ghana.

Michael Essien Ghana

Terrific manager as Jose Mourinho is, there are a few players who have an air of liberation when appearing for their country. Chelsea’s Essien is one of them. He enjoyed an advanced position, showing dynamism and exuberance as he powered his way towards the Italy back four. Other opponents would have buckled. If the shooting of Essien and his team-mates had been a little sharper a goal would undoubtedly have come.

Juan Román Riquelme Argentina

Those Bicester Village Prada Bag Price who wish to be Argentina’s playmaker face fierce competition and must withstand the expectations aroused by the country’s heritage. So far, so good for Riquelme. England remember him almost as Authentic Prada Outlet Online Usa much as their victory in last year’s friendly. Despite his lack of pace, it seems beyond opponents to pin him down and the Villarreal Bicester Village Prada Refund midfielder is rarely prevented from sending passes through to the right areas.

Tomas Rosicky Czech Republic

Considering the fillip his side received at this World Cup, it is a bit parochial to treat Rosicky’s two goals against the United States as a trailer for Premiership delights to come. All the same he looks a bargain for Arsenal at £6.8m. Scoring is not even a speciality and it was more an indication of his depth of ability that he was so effective when told by Karel Bruckner to get close to the attack.

Arjen Robben Holland

As with Essien, he is more relaxed Agatha Ruiz Prada Online Shop away from Chelsea. Superstars, with their dubious traits, are barred from Stamford Bridge but Robben has the skill and speed to make him one of the best players in the world. His winner against Serbia & Montenegro in his country’s opening game was a matter of pace and calmness after he had gone into the middle but the Dutch Are All Prada Products Made In Italy forward is just as likely to outstrip defences on the flanks and make chances for others.

Fernando Torres Spain

The 22-year-old is always supposed to be one the verge of both great things and a glamorous transfer from Atletico Madrid. Neither has quite happened yet. As with Spain at major tournaments, it is never sensible to depend on anything much from him, but Torres’s gifts are unmistakable and he did complete a beautiful move by volleying the closing goal in the 4-0 win over Ukraine.

Flops of the tournament: with heroes come villains…

Some players in Germany have impressed with their skill, flair and toughness but here are those who have let the side down.

Mark Schwarzer Australia

Even if there was a foul in there somewhere the Middlesbrough goalkeeper was still embarrassed by Shunsuke Nakamura’s goal for Japan.

Gary Neville England

A top-class full-back but he immediately gave the ball away against Paraguay and never really recovered. Let’s put it down to injury.

Abdoulaye Méïté Ivory Coast

It’s no fun defending against Argentina but the Bolton-bound centre-half fared worst of all.

Vladislav Vashchuk Ukraine

While the side was overrun by Spain, his team-mates still can’t have missed him too much after the red card.

Roberto Carlos Brazil

Even that guru of a coach Carlos Alberto Parreira will struggle to explain the presence of an attacking full-back who can’t run any more.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal

If Sir Alex Ferguson and Luiz Felipe Scolari fail to eliminate his pointless tricks he must be immune to education.

Anders Svensson Sweden

Despite the misery of the goalless draw with Trinidad & Tobago only one outfield player disappointed enough to be dropped.

Patrick Vieira France

Strolled into this line-up of disappointments, which is the pace at which the former Arsenal midfielder does most things now.

Ebi Smolarek Poland

His team was punchless and opposing defenders looked more relaxed when this Authentic Prada Wallet For Sale Philippines nominal attacker was around.

Ronaldo Brazil

If he felt dizzy, it can’t have been motion sickness. He barely budged against Croatia. He wouldn’t get fit even for the World Cup.

Thierry Henry France

Performed badly, without the excuse of being old. Had the gall to criticise team-mate Franck Ribéry for making a mistake.