Ligue 1 Perspective: The 2010 FIFA World Cup (Part 1)By: Thomas | July 5th, 2010
The France based delegation in South Africa has been whittled down to one, namely Diego Perez representing Uruguay (don’t get me started…), and if my semifinal predictions are a little better than those for the quarters, we will soon be left with none. Thus it seems the time is right to evaluate the performances of these players and speculate on how this will effect their individual futures along with those of their clubs and the league.
The Desert Foxes didn’t have the best of campaigns, falling last in their group with only a single point and no goals, results that might have been due to suspect squad selections from manager Rabah Saadane. Although many Ligue 1 based players were part of the 23 selected for the tournament, only two made it onto the field. Foued Kadir, who played a bit part role in the Valenciennes midfield this season started all three games, while dynamic young Sochaux winger Ryad Boudebouz played the first 75 minutes in Les Fennecs scoreless draw with England, their best result of the tournament. Saadane’s selections excluded long time Algeria captain Yazid Mansouri, an important fixture of the Lorient midfield, and Boulogne defender Habib Bellaid among others. All in all, minimal effect will be had on the careers and transfer prospects of these players after an utterly boring World Cup performance.
One of Diego Maradona’s odd decisions left Gaby Heinze the one Ligue 1 player repping the Albiceleste in South Africa this month. Heinze kicked off the campaign in brilliant fashion, scoring the only goal of the game as Argentina picked up three points against Nigeria in their first match.
He continued to play all 90 minutes against South Korea, was rested against Greece, did well against Mexico, and then got repeatedly smoked against Germany. He basically reinforced his reputation of brilliance on set plays and utter incompetence defensively against dangerous opposition.
The Lyon-Brazil connection continued this summer when Michel Bastos cemented himself into the Selecao lineup at left back. Bastos played well as an attacking fullback and asserted himself on both ends of the pitch, creating goals and putting in good tackles. He started every game and played the full 90 in the first four. In Brazil’s loss to the Netherlands, however, he was substituted in the 62nd minute in a poor showing during which he failed to contain Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben. This World Cup has contributed to Bastos’s star status and has generated reports of a possible 25-30 million euro move to Inter Milan.