World Cup: Race for the Golden Boot

World Cup: Race for the Golden Boot

words_Nick Engvall

For the first time since FIFA began awarding the Golden Boot Award to the top goal scorer of the World Cup tournament in 1930, a player has the chance to win the Golden Boot in consecutive tournaments but the competition for this year’s Golden Boot is fierce. With just a few matches remaining in the tournament, the winner is up in the air, especially considering the players that are still in it, and their abilities. If it comes down to a tie, FIFA uses assists as the deciding factor in rewarding the top scorer of the tournament.

Miroslav Klose of GermanyMiroslav Klose – Germany’s Miroslav Klose won the Golden Boot in his home country in 2006 with five goals, one more than his current total for this year’s tournament. However, Germany still has two matches to play, today’s semi-final and either the championship match or the runner-up match. What makes Klose’s run for the Golden Boot even more interesting is that he is just one goal shy of Ronaldo for the all-time top goal scorer in World Cup history. If Klose can overtake Ronaldo as the all-time top goal scorer and in the process become the first player in World Cup history to win back-to-back Golden Boot awards, it would be hard to argue Miroslav’s position as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Shot at Gold: Klose has the advantage of experience in high stress matches. The Germans have been one of the top four teams in the tournament in the last two World Cup tournaments. Klose was there, he has proven he knows how to get it done. For this reason Klose has about as good a chance as any to take home this year’s award.

David VillaDavid Villa – Spain’s David Villa is currently the top scorer of the tournament with five goals. Villa, like Klose, also has two matches remaining. The first of which is against one of the toughest defenses in the tournament, Germans. Villa is the not only the leader of the tournament, but the leader of his team. Shouldering an entire team through the tournament by scoring in each match thus far, including two 1-0 victories in which Villa was the only player on the field to score, Villa is under more pressure than most. This kind of pressure can take its toll, but Villa hasn’t faltered yet so he is still at the top of the list of probable winners of this year’s Golden Boot award. Spain doesn’t play high scoring matches, Germany does, which ultimately hurts Villa’s shot at gold.

Shot at Gold: Villa’s has handled the pressure well so far, however being the only scorer on the team can be tough, since Spain hasn’t been to the semi-finals since 1950, the pressure will only get worse. Villa is more than capable, but even with a one goal advantage he might have the toughest road the Golden Boot. The German defense shut down Lionel Messi and Argentina’s offense completely, if they come into today’s match with that kind of dominant defense, Villa may have a difficult time finding a way to score no matter how well he seems to be able to use the side posts.

Wesley Sneijder of NetherlandsWesley Sneijder – Sneijder may be the funnest player to watch out of the list. The Dutch mid-fielder has been a key in the incredible unbeaten streak that has led Netherlands into the final match against the winner of today’s Germany versus Spain match. Sneijder plays with an excitement level that seems to be above all others, as well as his play on the field. Netherlands current win streak has them just one victory away from going undefeated through both qualifying and the tournament. Only Pele and the 1970 Brazil team have accomplished that, ironically Sneijder scored two goals in an incredible comeback against Brazil earlier in the tournament.

Shot at Gold: Sneijder is no Pele, he is however the future of Dutch soccer and that future is bright. Sneijder currently with five goals and one match remaining might seem to be at a disadvantage, but what other player score two goals against a team like Brazil? Don’t rule out the future of the Flying Dutchmen just yet.

Diego ForlanDiego Forlan – This year’s long shot is Diego Forlan of Uruguay. Currently with four goals, Diego has been one of the few players that have shown to have power and precision at his disposal this year. Forlan added his fourth goal yesterday, but with only one match remaining for the Uruguayan, he’d need to have an incredibly dominant performance in his last match, and a lot of defensive help from other teams to land the Golden Boot for himself this year.

Shot at Gold: If finding the needle in a haystack is difficult, how about trying to find one in a field full of haystacks? Sorry, not going to happen.

Noteworthy – Thomas Mueller of Germany would have had a good shot at the Golden Boot, however sitting out against Spain will likely keep his goal total at four. He’ll have a shot in the Championship match or runner-up match, but with all the talent still battling for the Golden Boot, Thomas’ chances would be about as good as Diego Forlan’s, only finding the needle in the field of haystacks would need to be done blindfolded.

Bottom line, today’s match will likely decide the Golden Boot winner, Germany’s Miroslav Klose, or Spain’s David Villa. Who is your pick?

images via yahoo

World Cup: Race for the Golden Boot

World Cup Watch: Seeing Orange in South Africa

words_Nick Engvall

The final score may have been 3-2 but Uruguay really didn’t have much of a chance despite what the stat sheet says. From for minutes, the Dutch were on the offensive; Netherlands scored on a beautiful long-range goal from Giovanni Van Bronckhorst at the 18th minute, and consistently seemed to be on the attack from that point on.

Although Uruguay evened up the match just before the half thanks to a goal from Diego Forlan, Netherlands came out from the half attacking. In the 70th minute, Wesley Sneijder scored his fifth goal of this year’s World Cup, tying him with Spain’s David Villa for the most in the tournament so far. The Dutch were not even finished celebrating the goal, when three minute later Arjen Robben added a third goal, and all but assuring the team’s advancement into the final.

Uruguay didn’t give up, ever. They grabbed another goal in extra time and were attacking until the official blew the whistle signaling the Netherlands victory, and their spot in the final match for the first time since 1978.

adidas adipure IIIA Netherland player’s adidas Predator X.

Diego Forlan celebrates a goal in the adidas F50 adiZero.Diego Forlan celebrates a goal in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Dirk Kuyt in the adidas Predator XDirk Kuyt in the adidas Predator X.

Wesley Sneijder in the Nike T90 LaserWesley Sneijder in the Nike T90 Laser.

Arjen Robben and Martin Caceres both wearing the adidas F50 adiZero.Arjen Robben controls the ball in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Arjen Robben and Walter Gargano fight for the ball both wearing the adidas F50 adiZero.Arjen Robben and Walter Gargano fight for the ball both wearing the adidas F50 adiZero.

Wesley Sneijder and Giovanni Van Brockhorst celebrate, both wearing the Nike T90 Laser.Wesley Sneijder and Giovanni Van Bronckhorst celebrate, both wearing the Nike T90 Laser.


World Cup: Race for the Golden Boot

World Cup Watch: Germany & Spain Prevail

words_Nick Engvall

In what many thought would be one of the most competitive matches of the 2010 World Cup, Germany dissected Argentina’s defense with precision attacking to hand Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and team what could only be described as a humiliating defeat. The constant back and forth of trash talking built up the excitement in the days prior, but it seemed that only the German team came prepared to back up their words, scoring four times against the Argentinian team.

Miroslav Klose once again led Germany, this time scoring two goals, one at the 68th minute and a second as the final blow at the 89th minute to give the Germany their dominating 4th goal against scoreless Argentina.

The Germans will face Spain who narrowly defeated Paraguay 1-0. After penalties erased goals for each side around the 60 minute mark, David Villa, the star of the tournament for Spain this year had an opportunity to put the Spaniards ahead. Villa used as much of the goal post as he possible could, bouncing a shot off the right side post, sending it bouncing off the left post and into the back of the net. The only goal that counted was the only goal that Spain needed as Paraguay couldn’t muster much offense from that point on.

The Germany versus Spain match will take place July 7th at 2:30 PM EST in South Africa, the winner will face the winner of Tuesday’s Uruguay versus Netherlands match.

Lionel Messi in the adidas F50 adiZero Chameleon colorwayLionel Messi in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Maxi Rodriguez in the adidas Predator XMaxi Rodriguez in the adidas Predator X.

Lionel Messi in the adidas F50 adiZeroLionel Messi in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Thomas Mueller in the adidas F50 adiZero, defended by Angel Di Maria in the adidas Predator XThomas Mueller in the adidas F50 adiZero, defended by Angel Di Maria in the adidas Predator X.

Miroslav Klose in the Nike Total 90 LaserMiroslav Klose in the Nike Total 90 Laser.

Miroslav Klose celebrates in the Nike Total 90 LaserMiroslav Klose celebrates in the Nike Total 90 Laser.

Nelson Valdez of Paraguay in the adidas F50 adiZeroNelson Valdez of Paraguay in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Xabi Alonso gets some air in the adidas adiPure IIIXabi Alonso gets some air in the adidas adiPure III.

Edgar Barreto of Paraguay and David Villa of Spain in the adidas F50 adiZero.Edgar Barreto of Paraguay and David Villa of Spain in the adidas F50 adiZero.

David Villa of Spain in the adidas F50 adiZeroDavid Villa of Spain in the adidas F50 adiZero.

World Cup: Race for the Golden Boot

World Cup Watch: Into the Semi Finals They Go

words_Nick Engvall

You can doubt the Netherlands no more. With most critics as naysayers, Netherlands defeated one of the tournament’s favorites today to take the first of the four semi-final spots.

Five-time World Cup champions and expected finalists Brazil, scored a goal against themselves, and could not keep pace with the “Oranje” team.

The top ranked team in the world got on the board first with a goal from Robinho early. After that it was the heart of Netherlands team that proved to be stronger. Wesley Sneijder took a shot from quite a ways out that skipped off the head of Brazilian Felipe Melo to tie the match. In the 68th minute it was Sneijder again, this time heading a corner kick into the back of the goal to put Netherlands ahead for good.

Netherlands will face Uruguay who came away victorious in by far the most exhilarating match of the tournament so far. It came down to a shootout between Ghana and Uruguay and just as the Ghanaian team missed their very last opportunity of the extra time, their last shot in the shootout also came up disappointing.

Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty kick as time in the extra period expired, in what would have surely had the crowd at Soccer City Stadium going crazy, but instead the ball bounced off the crossbar. Ironically, the kick was rewarded to Ghana after a handball on the goal line by Luis Suarez. With the fifth kick in the shootout, after a stop from the Uruguayan goal keeper, Sebastian Abreu lightly tapped in a deceiving shot to give Uruguay the victory.

Saturday, Germany will face Argentina, and Spain will face Paraguay for the final two spots in the semi-finals.

Robhino of BrazilRobinho in the Nike T90 Laser.
Wesley Sneijder of NetherlandsWesley Sneijder of Netherlands in the Nike T90 Laser.

Nigel De Long of NetherlandsNigel De Long of Netherlands in the adidas adiPure III.

Arjen Robben of NetherlandsArjen Robben of Netherlands in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Dirk Kuyt and Mark Van Bommel of NetherlandsDirk Kuyt and Mark Van Bommel of Netherlands both wearing the adidas Predator X.

Diego Forlan of UruguayDiego Forlan of Uruguay in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Kevin Prince Boateng of GhanaKevin Prince Boateng of Ghana in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Sulley Muntari and Kevin Price Boateng of GhanaSulley Muntari in the Nike CTR 360 and Kevin Price BoatengĀ  in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Asamoah Gyan of GhanaAsamoah Gyan of Ghana in the adidas F50 adiZero.

World Cup: Race for the Golden Boot

adidas World Cup Player Tee Shirts

words_Nick Engvall

The World Cup has seen superstars come and go already, but whether your team is still or not, you’ll want to show support. You can do so with the adidas World Cup Player tee shirts. A few of the superstars available are Lionel Messi of Argentina, David Villa of Spain, and Kaka of Brazil, all of which will be leading their teams into quarter-final play in the next couple of days. Grab one now and be ready to cheer on your favorite player throughout the conclusion of the World Cup.

Available now: adidas World Cup Player Tee Shirts

Lionel Messi adidas Player Tee ShirtDavid Villa adidas Player Tee ShirtKaka adidas Player Tee Shirt