Mueller, Ayew, Dos Santos nominated Best Young Player

Friday, July 9, 2010

JOHANNESBURG - World football governing body FIFA Friday nominated Germany’s Thomas Mueller, Andre Ayew from Ghana and Giovani Dos Santos of Mexico for the Best Young Player Award of the 2010 World Cup.

FIFA Technical Study Group member Jomo Sono announced at a press briefing that the three players have so far distinguished themselves at the World Cup.

“The future of the game is the youth. Teams like Ghana, Germany and Mexico and Uruguay have shown at this World Cup that they are already working toward the 2014 World Cup,” said Sono.

“The players were chosen for their efficiency on the pitch, positive attitude for fair play, tactical maturity and being role models,” added another TSG member, Christian Karembeu.

Eligible players for this award have to be born after January 1, 1989.

A fringe player at Bayern Munich just two seasons ago, the 20-year-old Mueller is with four goals and three assists among the leading scorers at the World Cup after only making his full international debut earlier this year.

“Of course I am happy to be considered. It’s an honour that a technical committee from FIFA recognised my game. But I would have rather had the World Cup title,” Mueller told a press conference Friday.

Giovani Dos Santos, 21, has shown great promise since his days with his country’s Under-17 team and underlined that at South Africa 2010 as Mexico reached the last eight of the tournament.

Ayew, son of the legendary Abedi Pele, was instrumental in Ghana becoming only the third African team to reach the last eight of the World Cup. He captained Ghana to win the FIFA Under-20 World Cup last year and at this World Cup, he recorded a successful pass rate of 85 per cent.

Lukas Podolski of Germany was the winner of the inaugural award four years ago.

This year’s winner will be announced after Sunday’s final at the Soccer city in Johannesburg.

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