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World Cup honours

FCB quartet nominated for awards

They may have missed out on the World Cup Final, but Germany stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Miroslav Klose still have something to play for in South Africa. In addition to striving to win Saturday’s third-place play-off against Uruguay, the FCB trio are also in the running for personal awards. Schweinsteiger has been nominated for the Golden Ball, awarded to the player of the tournament. Müller is a candidate for Best Young Player, and Klose could still win the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. With Arjen Robben also nominated for the Golden Ball, a fourth Bayern player can hope to pick up a trophy - in Arjen’s case, that would be in addition to the World Cup winner’s medal.

The FIFA Technical Studies Group, which includes Christian Karembeu, Gérard Houllier and Holger Osieck, announced the three candidates for the Best Young Player award on Friday. Müller, who is favourite due to his sharpness in front of goal (4 goals, 3 assists), Ghana’s André Ayew and Mexico’s Giovani dos Santos are the three nominees. This award was originally open to 35 players, every starlet born after 31 December 1988.

“If I do win it, it will be a great honour, but at the end of the day, winning the World Cup would have been much better,” said Müller. This award takes a number of criteria into account, including points such as “creativity and inspiration”, “tactical maturity and efficiency” and “fair play”. The winner will be selected by the TSG on Sunday, and presented with the award after the World Cup Final at Soccer City in Johannesburg, the same applying to the player of the tournament and the top goalscorer. At that point, Müller and the rest of the Germany squad will be on the plane home.

Schweinsteiger in the top ten

Similarly, Schweinsteiger will not be present to collect the Golden Ball if the accredited members of the media select him as the best player at the World Cup. His rivals are Lionel Messi, Diego Forlan, Asamoah Gyan, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Xavi and Mesut Ozil, the second German nominee. The runner-up and third-placed players receive the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball respectively.