Soccer: In fantasy world, Herbert's in charge

By Michael Brown

Ricki Herbert is just waiting for the knighthood now after the plaudits continued to flow following New Zealand's unbeaten run at the World Cup.

The All Whites boss was named coach of the World Cup XI in the UK edition of 4-4-2 Magazine, England's No 1 football monthly, beating off the likes of Bert Van Marwijk, Vicente del Bosque, Diego Maradona, Joachim Loew and Oscar Tabarez.

In the world of fantasy football management, it would mean Herbert coaching players such as David Villa, Xavi, Wesley Sneijder, Mesut Ozil, Andres Iniesta and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

"That's incredible," Herbert said when informed of the news. "When it comes from somewhere like there, it makes it even better still. It's great for New Zealand.

"The All Whites going unbeaten is something people will talk about for years to come."

Captain Ryan Nelsen was named in a World Cup Best 11 picked by American sports television channel ESPN and was also goal.com's world player of the week during the World Cup for leading New Zealand to draws against Slovakia and Italy.

4-4-2 Team of the World Cup:

Villar; Pereira, John Mensah, Lucio, Coentrao; Sneijder, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Xavi; Forlan, Villa. Substitutes: Enyeama, Lahm, Ramos, Honda, KP Boateng, Iniesta, Muller, Higuain. Coach: Ricki Herbert.

- Herald on Sunday

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