To finish up the coverage of the 2009 Toulon Tournament, we’ll take a look at footballprospects’ team of the tournament, and some other awards, as it is still hard to clarify the deluge of trophies actually handed out on Friday night.
There is no official Team of the Tournament, but here’s a look at what it might have been:
Goalkeeper: Christopher Toselli (Chile)
Toselli came into the tournament with a big reputation having starred at the last Under-20 World Cup, and he played up to his billing with an outstanding tournament. He was a strong reason behind Chile conceding just one goal on their way to their first Toulon crown, and his agility, speed and decisiveness stood out amongst all goalkeepers:
Right Back: Garry Bocaly (France)
Bocaly had an outstanding fortnight, showcasing himself as a dynamic, modern-era full-back with great pace and skill, attacking instincts, but no shortage of talent in his own end. shutting down left wingers all over the place. He was always a threat from set-pieces despite his small stature, and the future holds big things for him.
Centre Back: Juan Abarca (Chile)
The Chilean captain was an absolute rock all tournament, and led his side to deserved glory. Physically strong, positionally excellent, technically classy, he is very much part of a very very talented Chilean generation who are beginning to make their mark.
Centre Back: Carlos Labrin (Chile)
It would be unfair on Labrin to select Abarca and not him, because as a partnership they were outstanding. Carlos provided the height in the defence, dealing expertly with anything coming his way, and picking up a winner’s medal at the end of the competition.
Left Back: Lukas Kruspky (Argentina)
One of the youngest players in the competition was one of the most impressive. Settling into a starting berth at left-back, his high motor kept him involved in the play during key incidents and he came out of the fortnight with a bolstered reputation and a bright future.
Centre Midfield: Theyab Al-Musabi (UAE)
Al-Musabi, along with Hamdan Al-Kamali (who earned centre back consideration), was the Emirates’ outstanding player in a competition they impressed in, perhaps moreso than expected. He showed flair, pace, skill and trickery, but also an impressive end product. He was at the heart of most of the UAE’s good play and looks like he could be a good player in a very good league.
Centre Midfield: Cristobal Jorquera (Chile)
For me, the player of the tournament. He was absolutely outstanding in every match, and he had a key impact on most of what Chile did going forward. His sublime assist against Qatar for Gerson Martinez to make it 3-0 was only bettered in the competition by his deft lobbed through ball to the same player for the winner in the Final. The assists given as examples were played with different feet, simply showing how technically breathtaking Jorquera can be, and, indeed, has been.
Centre Midfield: Moussa Sissoko (France)
A three-man midfield has been chosen in order to allow the selection of Sissoko, who after not being given a start against Qatar forced his way back into the reckoning and showed why he has become such a hot commodity after a great season at Toulouse. He is the modern day midfielder, with the stamina to go all match, the strength and defensive capacity in his own end, and the technique to have an effect at the other end. He ran the show for Les Bleus in midfield and he will go from strength to strength until he becomes the elite player he has the potential to be.
Left Winger: Diego Buonanotte (Argentina)
The only competition for Jorquera for player of the tournament, and indeed, the player who won the official award. Perhaps the shortest player to be making a major impact at a top level at just 5’3″ tall, he uses his stature to his advantage. He found space where many wouldn’t, and possesses undefendable dribbling as he combines it with a sneaky burst of acceleration which takes him past opponents with ease. He finished as joint top goalscorer, scoring spectacular goals, and was just a joy to watch.
Right Winger: Gabriel Obertan (France)
It’s hard to remember that Obertan is still so young, such are the strides he has already made in his career. His experience in the Champions League was evident during the tournament, as he was able to cause problems very few wingers could. His pace and skill was unmatched, and whilst he didn’t play as often as he might, when he was on the pitch France looked a more dangerous team. He was the official man of the match in the Final and was France’s best player.
Striker: Gerson Martinez (Chile)
So, a player who played just 116 minutes in five matches – an average of 23 minutes per match – gets the striker spot. Truth is, nobody deserves it more than Gerson, who won the top scorer award for managing to find the back of the net an unbelievable four times in these five matches. He scored stoppage-time winners against Portugal and France, added to his tally against Qatar, and capped his fortnight with the winner against France again with seven minutes left in the Final. His goals all followed the same trend, being released one on one with the defender after expertly playing on the shoulder of the last man, and showing composure to make the finish.
So there it is. To be fair to the teams not represented by a player, Fabio Coentrao stood out for Portugal with his lively performances and a hat-trick against Qatar, for whom Fadhi Omar was brilliant against France and continued to have a good tournament. Erwin Mulder was consistently superb in goal for Holland, and Salah Ibrahim was Egypt’s best player.
Whilst it’s still unclear who won what on Friday, we know Diego Buonanotte was Player of the Tournament and shared the Top Goalscorer Award with Gerson Martinez, who happened to win the Revelation of the Tournament Award. Goalkeepers Christopher Toselli and Agustin Marchesín shared the Best Goalkeeper Award, but from here it gets hazy. Etienne Capoue, Ever Banega, and Juan Abarca all won something or other, but for now, here’s some of our awards.
Player of the Tournament: Cristobal Jorquera (Chile)
Revelation of the Tournament: Gerson Martinez (Chile)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Christopher Toselli (Chile)
Defender of the Tournament: Juan Abarca (Chile)
Midfielder of the Tournament: Cristobal Jorquera (Chile)
Striker of the Tournament: Gerson Martinez (Chile)
Most Exciting Player of the Tournament: Diego Buonanotte (Argentina)
Unsung Hero of the Tournament: Erwin Mulder (Holland)
Goal of the Tournament: Mohamed Abdalla (UAE vs Egypt)
Assist of the Tournament: Cristobal Jorquera to Gerson Martinez (Chile vs France, Final)
Save of the Tournament: Christopher Toselli from Moussa Sissoko (Chile vs France, Final)