Kiwi top of the world in fantasy World Cup

By Michael Dickison

The All Whites. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The All Whites. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A New Zealander has risen to the top of the World Cup standings - in its fantasy league.

The official competition, organised by Fifa, has participants pick players from World Cup squads to create "fantasy" teams.

The teams get points based on how successful their players are in the real tournament.

Participants must follow certain rules when picking their teams, such as a limit of only two players from a single World Cup squad, at least during the initial pool play.

Currently, of all the world's participants, Auckland's Peter Cui stands at the top of the table.

His team, "Chewy's 11", has 148 points, four ahead of a Welsh user's "Worlds Away" team and five ahead of an English user's "Palminos" team.

Another New Zealander, "dmwebb", is ranked 21st.

Mr Cui's team includes two New Zealand players on the bench, goalkeeper James Bannatyne and midfielder Leo Bertos.

His starting 11 includes two Spanish players, two Brazilians and two Germans, with Germany's Lukas Podolski as captain.

Mr Cui joined the competition together with a group of New Zealanders, said Scott Mitchell, who wrote in to nzherald.co.nz.

"One of the lads that joined up, Peter Cui, from Auckland, has been doing very well and currently sits at number 1 in the world, which I thought deserves a mention as further proof NZ is making their mark on the footballing world!" Mr Mitchell said.

Points are awarded to each player on a fantasy team based on such criteria as playing time, goals scored and conceded, yellow cards and penalties missed.

Some impressive prizes are up for grabs if Mr Cui can retain his top spot for the remaining three weeks of the tournament.

The overall winner of the competition receives a Kia Sorento car, while the runner-up will be invited to attend the FIFA World Player Gala 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland, with flights and accommodation provided.

Other prizes for place-getters and round-winners include signed jerseys and official FIFA artwork.

New Zealand face Italy in their second match at 2am Monday NZT, after getting its first-ever World Cup point in a draw against Slovakia yesterday.

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