Russia may have retained their world title with victory over European champions Ukraine, but who made the organising committee’s final team of the tournament?
Kostyantyn Symashko (Ukraine) – Goalkeeper – FT7
The shot-stopper enjoyed a fabulous tournament, epitomised by his wonderful save in the dying embers of their victory over Brazil in the semi-finals. Wanderson’s wonder-strike and Russia’s world title winning goal are the only two to have beaten Symashko this tournament, further strengthening his claim to be the best goalkeeper in CP football.
Georgiy Albegov (Russia) – Defender – FT5
Albegov has been a rock for the well-fancied Russian side and has took on increased responsibility as the tournament progressed. Not only did he form the base of a Russia team that only conceded once, but he stepped up in big moments.
Jack Rutter (England) – Defender/Midfielder – FT8
Captain Jack marshalled the English defence superbly - pushing Ukraine all the way in the group stages and held his own against the Russians in the last eight, not to mention his six-goal haul against Japan in the opening game.
Jan Francisco Brito da Costa (Brazil) – Midfielder – FT7
Everyone who witnessed Jan Francisco’s marvellous exploits throughout the tournament will be slightly disappointed that he did not grace the final. He produced his own goal-of-the-tournament competition with each strike bettering the last. Efforts against Scotland and Argentina have justified suggestions that he is the finest player in CP football today.
Volodymyr Antoniuk (Ukraine) – Midfielder – FT7
Antoniuk’s goals were the defining factor in Ukraine’s run to the final. The Ukraine skipper is the only player to have reached double figures in terms of goals and scored the vital first goal in their 2-1 last four win over Brazil.
Artem Krasylnykov (Ukraine) – Midfielder – FT7
The leggy Ukrainian demonstrated unparalleled craft and guile in the tournament and dismantled every defence put before him, even the previously unbeaten Brazilians. His winning goal against the Samba Boys was typically elegant and worthy of the reward that reaching a final brings.
Dmitrii Pestretsov (Russia) – Forward – FT7
Russia’s striker not only occupied defenders and worked tirelessly in each game, he also produced some mesmerising pieces of skill and has an uncanny ruthless streak when presented with a sight of goal. He doesn’t often receive the praise he deserves, but he has, without question, been the stand out forward in this tournament.
Giles Moore (England) – Goalkeeper – FT5
Matt Crossen (England) – Defender – FT7
Lasha Murvanadze (Russia) – Midfielder – FT8
Gary Messett (Republic of Ireland) – Midfielder – FT7
Alexei Borkin – (Russia) – Midfielder – FT7
Wanderson (Brazil) – Striker – FT8
Iljas Visker (Netherlands) – Striker – FT7