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Garth Crooks' team of the last 16

Garth Crooks
By Garth Crooks
BBC football reporter in Johannesburg

We're down to the final eight now but it's still unclear who is likely to come out on top. Brazil and Argentina have looked good but so have the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

Here's my Team of the Round of 16:

Team graphic

Netherlands keeper Maarten Stekelenberg

Goalkeeper
Netherlands

The Dutch keeper is having a blinder in this tournament. He made two telling saves from Robert Vittek before it was ruled that the Ajax player had conceded a penalty by impeding the Slovakian centre-forward. I'm not sure he did.

Netherlands defender Gregory Van der Wiel

Left-back
Netherlands

This kid gets better with every game. Lightning quick in recovery, confident on the ball and has an aggressive streak - all essential qualities for a defender. I'd be amazed if a Premier League club doesn't try to buy him soon.

Brazil defender Juan

Centre-back
Brazil

Has spent much of the tournament in the shadow of his captain, Lucio. Against Chile, however, I thought he was imperious. As for the headed goal, they don't come much better than that.

Spain defender Gerard Pique

Centre-back
Spain

Another clean sheet for ex-Manchester United defender Pique. I could have picked any one of the Spanish back four, they were so good against Portugal. Trust me, they will breeze past Paraguay.

Germany defender Philipp Lahm

Right-back
Germany

They reckon good things come in small packages. The pocket-sized Bayern full-back was excellent against England. He hardly gave the ball away throughout the 90 minutes and led his team to a famous victory against the old enemy.

Germany's Lukas Podolski

Midfielder
Germany

An erstwhile colleague recently said he would not have one German player in the England team. Well, here's one. Podolski may not have had a great season in the Bundesliga, but he has terrorised Australia and England.

Germany's Mesut Ozil

Midfielder
Germany

The former German Under-21 international has made the step up brilliantly. He always makes himself available to the man on the ball, can see the pass and score goals. Watch out Frank Lampard, I've seen the future.

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger

Midfielder
Germany

Much more comfortable in his favoured central position, here was another German who dribbled rings around our so-called 'golden generation'. No sulks about losing the Champion League final, altitude or fatigue. He just got on with it.

Netherlands winger Arjen Robben

Midfielder
Netherlands

He has waited to burst on to the scene and he has done that in spectacular fashion. Robben has given his team a dynamic they never had previously in this competition. Watch out Brazil, this is a very different Holland.

Brazil striker Luis Fabiano

Striker
Brazil

The finishing touch to a very good but defensive-minded Brazil team. Links beautifully with Kaka and Robinho and loves scoring goals. The boy from Sevilla is never afraid to have a pop at goal from anywhere.

Spain striker David Villa

Striker
Spain

Another top-class performance. He scored the best goal in the qualifying stages and has been instrumental in taking Spain into the quarter-finals.



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see also
Garth Crooks' team of the day
17 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Garth Crooks' team of the day
16 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Garth Crooks' team of the day
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Garth Crooks' team of the day
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Garth Crooks' team of the day
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Garth Crooks' team of the day
12 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Garth Crooks picks his team of the day
11 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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