Five of probably the most iconic gamers from the 2006 World Cup


Each 4 years the watching world pauses for one among soccer’s biggest occasions, because the World Cup takes centre stage on the sporting calendar.

Every event has one thing to recollect and savour and the 2006 version was no totally different. After a debut within the Far East 4 years earlier, the World Cup returned to a conventional powerhouse as Germany proved nice hosts.

It was a breakthrough event for some illustrious names and a farewell on the foremost stage for a number of others. Forward of this 12 months’s competition of soccer, we keep in mind 5 of probably the most iconic gamers from the 2006 World Cup.

Andrea Pirlo

The orchestrator of the eventual champion’s midfield, Andrea Pirlo was the artistic centre-piece of an Italy facet who relied on a resolute defence and gifted guile to emerge as World Cup winners.

Pirlo led the event for assists and was the conduit of the Azzurri staff, successful three man-of-the-match accolades together with in each the semi-final and closing.

He was excellent within the final 4 win over Germany particularly, controlling proceedings in signature type and offering a second of actual high quality to settle the tie.

Within the closing seconds of extra-time he saved his cool on the sting of the world as German shirts swarmed round him, earlier than choosing out Fabio Grosso with a reverse go for the 119th-minute opening objective.

Instrumental in Italy’s fourth triumph on the world stage, he ended his worldwide profession with 116 caps and thought to be one of many most interesting midfielders of a era.

Midfield Magicians: The Architect, Andrea Pirlo

Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose burst onto the scene on the 2002 World Cup, scoring 5 targets – all of which had been headers – to complete as runner-up for the Golden Boot.

4 years later he was established as Germany’s main centre-forward and went one higher on house soil, ending because the World Cup’s main scorer as Die Mannschaft reached the final 4.

Klose bagged braces towards Costa Rica and Ecuador within the group levels, earlier than netting a vital late equaliser within the quarter-final win over a free-scoring Argentina facet.

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Klose ended the event with 5 targets and ended his worldwide profession as Germany’s file goalscorer. He additionally added an extra six targets throughout the 2010 and 2014 editions to turn into probably the most prolific goalscorer in World Cup historical past.

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane waved farewell to soccer following the 2006 World Cup, however not earlier than a unprecedented event from the France midfielder.

Zidane had been the hero of France’s World Cup win on house soil eight years earlier, earlier than starring throughout Les Bleus run to the ultimate.

France had been lucky to succeed in the knockout rounds after an unconvincing group stage, however Zidane’s brilliance carried Raymond Domenech’s staff right through to the Berlin showpiece.

He was the inspiration behind a comeback win over Spain within the final 16 and produced one among worldwide soccer’s most memorable particular person showings to see off Brazil within the quarter-finals.

Zidane scored from the spot to resolve the semi-final with Portugal, earlier than netting an audacious Panenka penalty within the closing.

His closing resulted in notorious vogue after a purple card for head-butting Marco Materazzi, a second which modified the course of the sport as France had been crushed on penalties.

It was a tragic finish after a event which may have ended Zidane’s profession with the final word glory, although he collected the Golden Ball accolade because the finals’ most interesting footballer.

Iconic Performances: The night time Zinedine Zidane dominated Brazil

Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro grew to become simply the third defender in historical past to win the Ballon d’Or in 2006, his recognition coming after captaining Italy to World Cup success.

Cannavaro was excellent all through the course of Italy’s event, because the Azzurri conceded simply two targets – an personal objective and penalty –  of their victorious marketing campaign.

The centre-back was at his imperious greatest to cope with opposition attackers, while his management expertise shone by way of as he marshalled the backline and bellowed orders to these round him.

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His efficiency within the semi-final win over hosts Germany noticed the defender dubbed ‘The Wall of Berlin’, a show which included a superb headed clearance and follow-up problem on Lukas Podolski that emphasised his defensive willpower.

Cannavaro’s positioning and anticipation noticed him stand tall towards world soccer’s most interesting forwards, cementing his standing as one Italian soccer’s nice centre-backs.

Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon was a part of Italy’s squad for 5 consecutive World Cups, with the goalkeeping nice one among simply 4 gamers to have achieved the feat alongside Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal and Rafael Marquez, and German icon Lothar Matthaus.

After the controversy of Italy’s exit in Japan and South Korea 4 years earlier, Buffon ensured little obtained previous the Azzurri defence as Marcello Lippi’s facet conceded simply twice on their approach to lifting the trophy.

Buffon may do little to stop both objective, however made some very good saves all through the course of the marketing campaign – proving a commanding and authoritative presence within the field – to say the Lev Yashin award because the event’s greatest goalkeeper.

The World Cup win was the spotlight of a global profession that noticed Buffon earn a nationwide file of 176 caps, along with his winners’ medal in Berlin including weight to his declare as arguably the best goalkeeper of all time.

Learn – Remembering the final 5 winners of the World Cup Golden Boot

Learn Additionally – Our writers’ predictions for the 2022 World Cup

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