While everyone and their brother have been bashing Fifa for their unrealistic ‘world rankings’ (as if a team ranked 2nd MUST beat every other team below it or else the rankings are absolutely bullshit), their Man-of-the-Match awards for the 2006 World Cup matches have gone uncriticised.
An example of their flawed analysis is the selection of John Terry as the MOM for England’s second round clash with Ecuador.
John Terry was, if you remember, solely responsible for the only real chance Ecuador had on the goal, his backward header landing so perfectly at the feet of the striker that he seemed almost surprised by the opportunity.
Terry was also responsible for several lapses of concentration in the second half which had to be covered up by Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard.
But apparently Fifa’s Technical Study Group was watching a different match:
Defender John Terry was named the Budweiser Man of the Match after he anchored an England back line that completely smothered Ecuador’s forwards on the way to a 1-0 victory.
Ecuador striker Agustin Delgado may be known for his prowess in the air but he did not have an attempt on goal during his 90 minutes on the pitch thanks to the solid work of Terry and fellow England centre-half Rio Ferdinand. In all, Ecuador only managed three shots on goal, none of them truly testing goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
The Chelsea captain, who took the armband from David Beckham when he was substituted, also contributed with his leadership, rallying his team-mates as Ecuador pushed for a late equaliser in the intense heat in Stuttgart.
“He is the Budweiser Man of the Match because he made few errors and had a perfect game in defence,” said FIFA Technical Study Group member Alvin Corneal. “He made up for his team-mates’ mistakes and he was the one who stopped most of Ecuador’s best chances.”
You can get the full list of the Fifa Man-of-the-Match Awards here.[tags]John Terry, Fifa, England, 2006 World Cup[/tags]