With the world cup buzzing already and into the second day today, its time to review the best player of the first day. We will be bringing to you a player of the day/week, the man who stole the show and lit up the day for his team.
First day and Abou Diaby runs out as one correct decision has made in a while as coach of the French national team. Putting him in the starting XI ahead of Chelsea’s Florent Malouda who came to the tournament on a high following a double success with his club turned out good for the French team. Though both the matches ended up in draws, no single player stole the show.
Arsenal’s key man in the midfield, Abou Diaby was brilliant with his dribbling and getting better of the Uruguay midfield by winning balls and moving it forward. He was the initiator in many a moves for France. He linked up well with both the players on either side of him, Franck Ribery and Yoann Gourcuff. France needed a midfielder who could win the 50-50 balls and Diaby proved to be that guy playing well in the center of the park.
He was colossal in the first half, hugely powerful in possession, yet there was an edge of class to his game as he broke away from challenges and looked to make a telling pass.
A wonderfully athletic and powerful midfield all-rounder who has been hailed by many as the ‘new Patrick Vieira’, it is some billing to try and live up to. Neither defensive duties nor offensive action holds any fear for Diaby as he is just as effective centrally as in wide positions. A major drawback is a tendency to be injury-prone, so he will be hoping to stay fit for the duration of this tournament.
The leggy Diaby skippered the French under-19s to glory at the 2005 European Championships. Of Ivorian descent, he left Auxerre for Arsenal in January 2006 and has flourished under the guidance of compatriot Arsene Wenger, establishing himself as a force in the Premier League.
He began his career at hometown club Paris Saint-Germain, but needed some persuading to join them as his favourite side at the time was the Parisiens’ arch-rivals Marseille. He got his chance to prove he can step up a level in the World Cup finals and it’s an opportunity he dare not ignore and boy did he?
Amiya Sinha is a Special Sports Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and is covering the FIFA 2010 to get you the latest scoop.