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WORLD CUP 2010: DIEGO FORLAN COLLECTS GOLDEN BALL AWARD

By NBF News

Golden moments from Forlan's World Cup
Uruguay striker Diego Forlan was named the winner of the Golden Ball as the best player of the World Cup.

The Atletico Madrid forward, 31, scored five goals and was a major influence as his team unexpectedly reached the semi-finals in South Africa.

German Thomas Mueller, who also scored five, was named by Fifa as the best young player of the tournament.

Mueller, 20, also won the Golden Boot for most goals – his three assists acting as a tie-breaker.

The German thus beat Forlan, Spain's David Villa and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands to the coveted prize.

Bayern Munich ace Mueller saw off Mexico's Giovani Dos Santos and Ghana's Andre Ayew http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/groups_and_teams/team/mexico/giovani_dos_santos http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/groups_and_teams/team/ghana/andre_ayew for the young player prize.

Forlan finished top of a Fifa shortlist for his award following a vote by international media.

The former Manchester United player polled 23.4% of the vote, narrowly beating Dutch playmaker Sneijder http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/groups_and_teams/team/netherlands/wesley_sneijder – second with 21.8% – while Villa was third.

“This is award which I won thanks to my teammates,” wrote Forlan on his Twitter account, a post accompanied by a photograph where the striker is standing with other players.

“It was taken before they threw me in the swimming pool,” he explained.

Uruguay's performance at the World Cup was the country's best in 40 years.

Forlan succeeds Frenchman Zinedine Zidane who was named top player of the 2006 World Cup despite his infamous red card in the final defeat to Italy.

It rounded off a fine year for Forlan who also won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid last season, with the striker scoring both goals in a 2-1 extra-time victory over Fulham.

Meanwhile, Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas – who twice denied Arjen Robben http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/groups_and_teams/team/spain/iker_casillas http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/groups_and_teams/team/netherlands/arjen_robben of the Netherlands with the score at 0-0 in the World Cup final – won the Golden Glove award for being the best keeper at the tournament.

Casillas conceded only two goals in seven matches.

Golden Boot winner Thomas Mueller