BEST PLAYER: INIESTA
WORST PLAYER: SZCZESNY
No, the la masia grad did not score a goal in the opener of Group C against Italy. But if there is one thing I’ve learned from watching Barcelona over the past 6 some-odd years it’s that strikers can win you games but midfielders win you championships. The pairing of Xavi and Iniesta might be the greatest international and club central midfield duo of all time and certainly the best currently. #6 was just on another level. The problem that I have when trying to describe why he earns the spot this week is that there is no goal or particular play that earned it for him. He plays on a molecular level, each pass part of a bigger picture; it would be like trying to break down a picture into individual pixels. Picking an individual play would understate his brilliance; watch the match from 0 to 90 minutes and you’ll see what I mean.
While I don’t like blaming games solely on goalkeepers and Poland’s tie was not his fault entirely, Wojciech gets to shoulder most of the blame for a game where the host should have come out on top. Two crucial mistakes were made that kept Poland from taking three points and capitalizing on the Greeks. The second half-horror show began with the polish keeper coming out of way out of his box in attempt to get the ball and instead giving Salpingidis a wide open net to shoot on. Now if that was bad, it pales in comparison to the tackle on Salpingidis later on that resulted in a straight red bringing the poles to 10 men. Szczesny faced a 1 match ban against Russia today in whichPoland held them to a 1-1 draw.