Top 10: Players of Korea/Japan 2002

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6) Michael Ballack

If Oliver Khan was Germany’s undoubted key man as his side conceded just one goal on a miraculous march towards the final, the Germans did at least need a little bit of ability outfield in order to function – and Ballack was streets ahead of his team-mates. He bullied Saudi Arabia and Cameroon, and scored the lone goals required to eke past USA in the quarter and Korea in the semis, as Khan repelled relentless waves up the other end. Heartbreakingly yellow carded in the semi, he missed the final against Brazil, where his verve and drive was fatally missing.
Michael Ballack