Who was on your World Cup Best XI?

IkerCasillas (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

With the 2010 World Cup now in the record books, it's time to think about the players who stood out the most during the tournament.

Some of the picks for Best XI should be easy enough, such as Diego Forlan, Tomas Mueller and Iker Casillas, but opinions vary all over the field so I'm sure SBI readers have their own unique takes on who should have made the World Cup Best XI.

I offered my take on the World Cup Best XI for Fox Soccer, but it should be noted that these selections came before the Final and Third-Place Match. I would make a few changes to my Best XI, with Andres Iniesta, Sergio Ramos and Jorge Fucile on my revised Best XI in place of Arjen Robben, Phillip Lahm and Diego Lugano,

Give my Best XI a look, then it's your turn. Who makes your Best XI? Select three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards, and we'll compile a sampling and release the SBI Reader's Choice World Cup Best XI>

Share your selections, and your thoughts on my Best XI, below.

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51 Responses to Who was on your World Cup Best XI?

  1. Pete says:

    I’ll tell you who wasn’t on it, not a single african player.

  2. Matthew Eison says:


    Lahm——–Puyol——–Van Bronckhorst




  3. Jack P says:

    GK Casillas

    RB Maicon

    CB Puyol & Piqué

    LB Coentrão

    CM Schweinsteiger

    RM Müller

    LM Iniesta

    CAM Sneijder
    CF Forlán
    ST David Villa

  4. Kevin_Amold says:

    I don’t make Best XI’s, I only criticize Best XI lists…..

  5. ec says:

    Lahm——–Puyol—Ryan Nelson—–Coentrão

  6. Jimmy says:

    De Jong x11

  7. Kevin_Amold says:

    Having said that, Ives’ list is pretty good. I might try to squeeze Coentrao in as well, as well as Maicon. Hard to argue with the rest of the inclusions.

  8. Jason says:

    Good picks, but I leave Robben off, mainly for his persistent diving.

    Also, I play 4 in the back. I hate it when the all tourney team switches to 3 to get more middies and forwards in there.

    GK: Casillas
    RB: Maicon
    CB: Puyol
    CB: Lugano
    LB: Van Bronckhorst
    CM: Scheweinsteiger
    CM: Xavi
    RM: Mueller
    LM: Villa (more effective when he played here)
    CAM: Sneijder
    ST: Forlan

    Close but not quite:

    FB: Fucile, Lahm
    CB: Juan
    CM: Elano, Ozil
    LM: Rubinho,
    RM: Iniesta, Robben
    F: Klose, Saurez

  9. Brian S. says:

    This is a World Cup best Xl, not auditions for the Karate Kid sequel

  10. Gary says:

    Iniesta is on mine for best dives.

  11. jig says:

    casillas; ramos, lucio, lugano, coentrao; iniesta, sneijder, muller, ozil; villa, forlan

  12. Sean says:

    Gk: Stekelenburg
    Defense: Maicon, Sergio Ramos, and Puyol
    Mid: Iniesta, Sneijder, Xavi, Mueller, Kedhira
    Forward: Forlan, Villa

  13. BarcaGirl says:

    —-Lahm——Puyol——Van Bronckhorst
    —- Forlan—–Mueller——Villa——

  14. ZacIndy says:

    At least you didn’t embarass yourself like Alexi Lalas did by including Michael Bradley. Jr. had a good world cup but not that good.

  15. SBI Troll says:

    That team would get dirtied on the counter.

  16. john.q says:

    the Barcelona starting XI

  17. BD says:


  18. SBI Troll says:

    I’ve already posted my Best XI. But here is my all flop/worst XI team:
    ————-R. Clark————–
    Evra-Both Nor. Korea CBs-Otamendi

  19. DC Josh says:

    GK: Casillas

    Three defenders: Sergio Ramos, Pique, Coentrao

    five midfielders: Iniesta, Xavi, Schweinsteiger, Sneijder, Muller

    two forwards: Villa, Forlan

    Coach: Oscar Tabarez

  20. A.S. says:

    Why they have Best XI as a 3-5-2, when nobody plays that formation, puzzles me. Anyway:

    GK: Iker

    DF: Puyol, Fucile, van Bronckhorst

    MF: Schweinsteiger, van Bommel, Sniejder, Xavi, Mueller

    FW: Forlan, Villa

    I have to put van Bommel in there, as the story of the Dutch team was their rugged, ballwinning midfield, not their goal scoring.

  21. steveo says:





  22. DL says:

    GK – Villar
    DEF – Lugano, Juan, Lahm
    MF – Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Sneijder, Robben
    FW – Mueller, Forlan, Villa

    Close – Casillas, Puyol, Ozil, Honda, Suarez, Higiuan. Closest American would be Donovan in MF.

  23. AdamFromMich says:

    Alexi had a theme and he stuck to it. My complaint with his list is he included Van Bommel. Although Van Bommel certainly fit Alexi’s theme (toughness/guys you’d want with you in a bar fight).

  24. I <3 mls says:

    Buddle? Gotta give felihaber the nod here.

  25. soccerjohn says:

    It’s hard to argue with most of your “worst” selections, but I think Messi has no place on that team. Rather, I think his teammates wasted him. Whenever Tevez or other Argentine midfielders or forwards received the ball, they looked to dribble first. Messi showed in the same dangerous ways he does for Barca, but by the time he received passes, the defense had recovered and he had limited options. Messi wasn’t a failure; his touch was good, his passing inch-perfect as always. He was simply wasted.

  26. soccerjohn says:

    Okay, so there are a number of players who get included in the discussion for Best XI overall. Let’s say those players are the elite of the WC, the first-teamers. What “team” would Bradley, Donovan, and Dempsey be on? Are they second-teamers, guys who’d be in the discussion once the first-teamers were selected? Third-teamers? Fourth? How good were the USMNT’s best players?

    I honestly don’t know enough about half the teams to evaluate their players well. But if you allow that 3-4 wings and 3-4 central midfielders should be in the discussion for each “team,” my sense is that Donovan would be a second-team All-WC wing (as I’ve defined it above), Bradley would be a second- or third-teamer, and Dempsey would be a third- or fourth-teamer.

  27. dbag says:

    So true, its sad that the difference in the world cup was Robben not diving and Iniesta diving. BTW, I didnt know people fly forward when pulled back by the shoulder. It defies physics.

  28. Aquaman says:

    Outside looking in?

    GK: Neuer

    RB: Paintsil

    CB: Juan

    CB: Mathijsen

    LB: Fucile

    CM: Bradley

    CM: Honda (if counted as a mid)

    RM: Lee Chung-Yong

    LM: Podolski

    ST: Klose

    ST: Suarez

  29. Polish Wonder says:

    Messi was just okay. If he was some guy we never heard of playing for Argentina, no one would be talking about his performance. Maybe he didn’t get the help he needed, but he also didn’t seem to lift the team either.

    I agree Clark was awful. Where did all the guys pushing for Clark over Bradley the last year go?

  30. SBI Troll says:

    Messi is regarded as the best player on the planet. While he wasn’t garbage, he didn’t live up to expectations. He also had the most shots in the WC with zero goals, taking all the set pieces too.

  31. jake says:

    I think its a little strange coincidence that there are zero players not in the semis on this list. I certainly agree that it should mostly be guys whose teams went far, but probably not exclusively. Although, that being said I can’t think of anyone specific who should be added.

  32. DL says:


    If it was make a roster of 23, I think Donovan would definitely be on the bench for MF with his performance. Bradley and Dempsey would be in the group below that.

  33. war says:



    Gio Van B-Lugano-Pique-Maicon


    Honorable mention: Kevin Prince Boateng, Jerome Boateng, and Keisuke Honda.

    Nigel De Jong and Van Bommel as Security escorts.

    I don’t take babies on my team, so “Tommy Pickles” #11, Iniesta, Xavi and Ronaldo don’t make it.

  34. RS says:

    Trying a popular formation (4-1-3-2), and some names we shouldn’t forget for their hustle, productivity, and game-changing ability. Maybe not the best XI, but the ones I would want to send out for 90 minutes:

    ——-Xabi Alonso——


  35. Sensei says:

    I’d give Tshabalala the Hometown vote.

  36. Dinho says:

    Xavi is a baby? I’m confused. Dude is a man amongst boys controlling the game.

    And..Bradley and Landon…yes, they played well, but really?

  37. ChiTim says:

    Am I the only one that thinks Puyol is extremely overrated. The goal was great but he was badly beaten on the breakaway and was LUCKY not to see red.

  38. away goals says:

    For everybody who has been complaining about this for the past month: falling down is not the same as diving.

    Iniesta gets tugged on the shoulder. That’s a foul. If he still has an advantage, he stays on his feet and continues the attack. The referee won’t and shouldn’t stop the play. If iniesta sees there’s no advantage, he’ll go to ground. The ref’s decision to call the foul is now an easy one.

    Replace iniesta’s name above with any other player and the scenario is the same. There’s nothing wrong with leaving your feet once you’ve forced a defender to foul you.

  39. Andrew says:

    Players who deserve mention but were left off because they didn’t make the semi’s (HEY FIFA! THERE SHOULD NOT BE SEVEN SPANIARDS ON THE TEAM!, including the coach).

    Vincent Enyeama (look at the tape, he was everywhere and kept his team in every game)

    Kevin Prince Boateng

    Keisuke Honda

    Michael Bradley

    Lee Chung-Yong

    Asamoah Gyan (I know he missed that penalty, but he created most of the Ghana offense and scored to get them to the quarter’s)

    Players in the semi’s I liked

    Jerome Boateng

    Diego Forlan

    Diego Lugano

    Bastion Schwiensteiger

    Thomas Mueller

    Miroslav Klose

    David Villa

    Maarten Steklenburg

  40. JCP says:

    G Iker Casillas, Spain

    LD Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, Netherlands

    D Carles Puyol, Spain

    D Paulo Da Silva, Paraguay

    RD Maicon, Brazil

    LM Andres Iniesta, Spain

    CM Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands

    CM Xavi Hernandez, Spain

    RW Thomas Mueller, Germany

    S Diego Forlan, Uruguay

    S David Villa, Spain

  41. Brett says:

    I’m putting out in a 4-3-3:


    Subs: Landon Donovan, Asamoah Gyan, Mesut Oezil, Michael Bradley, Maicon, Per Mertesacker, Carlos Salcido

  42. Brett says:

    + Miroslav Klose

  43. JRK says:

    G – Casillas

    D – Ramos

    D – Lahm

    D – Maicon

    M – Sneijder

    M – Schweinsteiger

    M – Mueller

    M – Xavi

    M – Iniesta

    S – Villa

    S – Forlan

  44. WonsanUnited says:

    Mark Paston the GK for New Zealand gets no mention? He was magnificent. And everyone is also forgetting how great a WC Robert Vittek had for Slovakia.

    (SBI-Should we mention every single player who did well in the group stages? It’s a Best XI for the tournament, not a “Anybody who did well” team.)

  45. war says:

    maybe in controlling the game, but I hate sissies that go down when someone farts next to them, waving their hands around to get them booked. If not Bradley and Landon, I say Podolski and Kevin Prince. But, I’ll stick with Bradley. Landon did fade in and out of games, but, he was there in it mattered.

  46. jcd says:

    I like the way you’re thinking! So close for these guys.

  47. jcd says:

    GK: Iker
    D: Lahm, Puyol, Pique
    M: Sneijder, Iniesta, Mueller, Schweinsteiger, Xavi
    F: Villa, Forlan

    It has to be a 3-5-2 because this World Cup was dominated and dictated by the midfielders.

    Must haves for credibility: Forlan, Villa, Mueller, Sneijder, Iker, Schweinsteiger. All the rest have reasonable alternates.

  48. iDiveStevieG says:

    GK: Casillas
    D: Lahm, Puyol, Pique, Coentrao
    M: Sneijder, Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Iniesta, Mueller
    F: Forlan

    Subs: Oezil, Salcido, Neuer, Bradley, KPB, Lucio, Honda

  49. ThaDeuce says:


    Since I can only have 3 defenders, replace maicon with iniesta