And The Klinsmann Award Goes To...
We all know that at this World Cup a new award was instituted in the form of the Gillette Best Young Player Award, and the award's first ever recipient was Lukas Podolski of Germany. However, what many people don't realise is that there is another award at this tournament that is making its World Cup appearance for the first time in recorded history- the Klinsmann Award for Excellence in Diving, named after Podolski's national team coach Juergen Klinsmann. A world renowned diver, probably the best among all footballers to have graced the sport of football, Klinsi made the Beautiful Game even more beautiful with his graceful diving skills. And at this tournament, he has been chosen to hand over the trophy named after him to its rightful recipient, decided upon after not-so-extensive polling within the football community. And in today's article, this correspondent receives the honour of announcing the name of the first ever Klinsmann Awardee.
But first the nominees. And they are:
1) Marc van Bommel (Holland)- Words can't describe the tremendous ability of the Barcelona hardman to fall to the ground in a crumpled heap of skin and bones. The Dutchman has taken the art to a level not seen since Klinsmann's retirement. Rumour has it that MvB has 2 things on his agenda after he retires from football: to win an Olympic Gold in Diving, and then to start his own Football Diving School. A truly noble gesture from the man, an attempt to pass on his knowledge to others. [For further details about this diving school, please watch the documentary by clicking here ]
2) Fabio Grosso (Italy)- The Italian leftback has become a star at this tournament with his phenomenal twisting bursts down the left wing that helped take Italia to the trophy and Grosso to a dream move to Internazionale. It was one such run that helped win Italy win a crucial penalty against Australia in the final minute of the match to enter the quarterfinals, when Grosso twisted past Lucas Neill and then threw himself dramatically over the outstretched legs of the Aussie defender, making it look like Neill caught him with his raised elbow. It was truly poetry in motion to watch Grosso go down the way he did. And the subtlety in the dive was unmatched for the rest of the tournament, partly because the peerless Grosso decided not to go to ground after that, much to the disappointment of diving enthusiasts around the world.
3) Michael Ballack (Germany)- The German skipper did not go to ground as gracefully as Grosso or as consistently as van Bommel or Cristiano Ronaldo, but he will be remembered for his fantastic acting in the semifinal when he and Vincenzo Iaquinta clattered into each other with Ballack landing on Iaquinta's head and shoulders (Dandruff, anyone?), and then mysteriously grabbed his face as though someone had just ripped off the skin on his visage. Whether or not he wins the Klinsi, Ballack can take pride for he has since been nominated for an Emmy.
4) Thierry Henry (France)- Another one who may go unrewarded for not going down often enough, the scowling Frenchman earned this nomination after he wowed experts by going down clutching his face in agony after having his shirt pulled. However, it is feared that his contribution in winning the penalty for anticipating where and how to run into Carvalho to win the penalty in the semis may be cancelled out by his inability to dive in the final, and he may lose out on the award for not being able to perform at his highest diving levels in the final when it mattered most.
5) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)- 'Twinkle toes' has reached new depths in diving at this tournament, adding to his graceful style while on his feet by increasing his consistency in falling off them. So much so that referees now refuse to award Ronny free kicks even when he has been fouled. A referee survey recently found that to award a free kick to Ronaldo requires that he be clearly beaten up and badly bruised by a minimum of seven opposition players while an eighth player drives a knife into his abdomen. Ronny will be proud to learn that his efforts have been acknowledged by the men who truly matter, the ones in the middle.
And now, the moment everyone has been waiting for.
The first ever Klinsmann Award for Diving Excellence (drumroll, please) goes to...
MARC VAN BOMMEL OF HOLLAND!!!!!!!!!
The Dutchman has been rewarded for his great contributions to the art of football diving. However, it was a stiff competition, with Cristiano Ronaldo losing out on his second major award in a week, for the jury felt it was no good handing out an award to a player who will be shot by an MI6 sniper within the next 2 months (Oh dear, I've said too much. Must leave now before they get here! Too late! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please don't kill m...)
[Sorry for the delay... been having some unfortunate internet problems. Those in Delhi will know what I mean when I say "May Spectranet operators rot in hell..."
Anyway, keep coming back, for in my next post, we will give you the inside scoop on a new school for the refs...
See ya later!]