Top Five - World Cup moments
So after 64 games, well over a hundred goals and plenty of nail-biting drama, the 2010 World Cup is finally over. While Spain were crowned deserved champions yesterday evening, the tournament hasn't only been about winning the ultimate prize.
With so many exciting, shocking and controversial moments to look back on over the last month, Football.co.uk's Joe Strange whittles them down to pick his five most memorable.
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1. Siphiwe Tshabalala's goal for South Africa v Mexico
It seems like an age ago since South Africa took on Mexico in the first game of the tournament. After surviving a Mexican onslaught, the hosts' Siphiwe Tshabalala fired in a spectacular opening goal to send an entire continent into pandemonium. A great celebration followed, as did a superb win over former world champions France - a special achievement for the host nation.
2. France and Italy come bottom of their groups
France have been in decline for the last few years but not many predicted they would fail to make it to the knockout stage, let alone come bottom of Group A. Not only did they fail to win a game, but Raymond Domenech's squad descended into anarchy with Nicolas Anelka being sent home and the squad refusing to train.
As the current World Cup holders heading into South Africa, Italy were seen as comfortable winners of Group F my most pundits. But after draws with Paraguay and New Zealand and a 3-2 defeat to Slovakia, Marcelo Lippi's side were sent packing at the first hurdle.
3. Luis Suarez handball v Ghana
Hero or villain? I'll let you be the judge. But whatever side you subscribe to regarding Suarez's goal-denying handball in the last minute of extra-time, you can't deny that it was one of the most enthralling moments of the entire tournament. The Ajax striker was sent-off, Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting spot-kick and ten-man Uruguay went on to seal a semi-final spot with a 4-2 penalty shootout win - exciting stuff to say the least.
4. Brazil 1-2 Netherlands
Perennial World Cup favourites Brazil strolled through Group G before comfortably seeing off Chile 3-0 in the last 16. In the quarter-finals they came up against the Netherlands, going 1-0 up early in the first half. Most teams would have crumbled at this point but Wesley Sneijder and co fought back to claim a famous victory over the five-time world champions.
5. Iniesta's World Cup-winning goal
It might not have been the greatest goal you'll ever see, but Andres Iniesta's extra-time winner dramatically secured Spain's first ever World Cup triumph late last night. Arguably one of the players of the tournament, the Barcelona man's instant control and neat finish means Vicente Del Bosque's side rightfully leave South Africa with the trophy they deserve.
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