Top 10: Players of Germany 2006

Nick Moore hails the men who lit up the 2006 World Cup – but who was the best of the bunch? 

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10) Maniche 

Nuno Ricardo de Oliveira Ribeiro – nicknamed Maniche after legendary 6ft 5in Danish Benfica battleaxe Michael Manniche thanks to his thunderbolt finish – stoked the Portuguese engine room as they chugged to the semi-finals. The tireless long-haired midfielder was a standout performer as they beat Holland 1-0 in the last16, and then eliminated England on penalties after a goalless quarter-final. France edged past them 1-0 to make the final in the end, but Maniche’s midfield majesty was enough to earn him a brief and unsuccessful move to Chelsea.