World Cup 2010 Golden Ball: Sneijder or Villa?

So far in this World Cup, there have been many fantastic players who have taken to the pitch in South Africa. From Gonzalo Higuain and Asamoah Gyan to Diego Forlan and Mesut Ozil, players from every corner of the world have made great contributions to the World Cup.

However, there are two players who have gone above the rest to stake their place as the top two at the Cup. Those players are Wesley Sneijder and David Villa. Both players have scored five goals in this World Cup, and both have been the driving forces behind their team's World Cup finals appearance. Since we know the Netherlands and Spain will face each other in the World Cup final, here is my breakdown on each player, why each should win the Golden Ball, and who will win this prestigious award.

 Wesley Sneijder

The playmaker for the Dutch, Wesley Sneijder has had a career year as he has already won the Champions League, Serie A, and the Coppa Italia for Inter Milan before making the World Cup final. Sneijder has proven himself to be one of the top footballers in the world to date, and he has only gotten better in the World Cup. Sneijder has scored five goals, three of which were game winners with the other two being the tying goal against Brazil in the quarterfinal and the go-ahead goal against Uruguay in the semis.

Also, Sneijder (who has been known to tear apart locker rooms with his behavior) has matured, and is the main reason why the Dutch have made it this far. Without question, Wesley Sneijder has played his best football of the year in the World Cup, and he will be looking to close up his dream campaign with the Netherlands' first ever World Cup title.

 David Villa

After securing a big-money move to Barcelona right before the World Cup, the bar was certainly raised for David Villa to have a great tournament. And the Spaniard has really performed as he had a brace against Honduras before scoring goals against Chile, Portugal, and Paraguay, with the final two goals being the only goals of their respective matches.

Whenever Spain needed a goal or a big play in this World Cup, Villa was the man who supplied it as he has put together maybe his greatest international performance ever in South Africa. Also, Villa is only one goal away from tying Raul for most goals ever for Spain with 44, and Villa could do that after winning the Golden Ball before the World Cup final on July 11.

And the Winner of the Golden Ball Should Be...

Despite what David Villa has done, Wesley Sneijder deserves to win the Golden Ball.

The fact that a midfielder such as Sneijder has scored five goals (tied with Villa for tops in the tournament) is an incredible accomplishment. But add that in with how Sneijder has done it (four of the five being in the knockout stage), and he has also had a brace against Brazil when the Netherlands seemed they had little chance; there should be no doubt Sneijder should win.

But not to worry Spanish fans, as the last three winners of the Golden Ball (Ronaldo 1998, Oliver Kahn 2002 and Zinedine Zidane 2006) have all made a major mistake to hurt their nation in the final, and all three were not able to win the World Cup final.

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