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Team of the tournament

When trying to select a 'team of the tournament' I was wary of not focusing solely on players from two or three nations, but invariably, those teams who make it furthest do have the players who have displayed the most of the course of the tournament.

My overiding thoughts of the tournament are that it has been an enjoyable tournament (and far better than 2002) but not necessarily a great one. Big tournaments are usually the domain of strikers or attacking midfielders, but defence has been strong this time round. Not in a cautious, negative manner, but one where 'proper' defenders and defences have come to the fore.

It is also apparant that there hasn't been a true standout side. Perhaps the only one that threatened to dominate the tournament was Argentina, but their bid was derailed in the quarter-finals against Germany when they looked set to go down as one of the great World Cup sides.

Perhaps this is what helped both Italy and France make it to the final. Prior to the tournament, I thought neither side had it in them to make it to the final, that they lacked what a Brazil or Argentina could offer. But in a tournament where no one side shined above all others, it allows a side who are defensively strong and organised to make an impression.

So, taking players mainly from the winners Italy, and runners-up France, here is my 'all-star' team of the tournament, lining up in a 4-4-2 formation:

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

Gianluca Zambrotta (Italy)
Phillip Lahm (Germany)
Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
Lilian Thuram (France)

Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
Maniche (Portugal)
Juan-Roman Riquelme (Argentina)
Zinedine Zidane (France)

Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Lukas Podolski (Germany)