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FIFA World Cup Germany 2006



JPN-MEX (Match 3), Anheuser Busch Man of the Match: Zinha (MEX)

16 June 2005

Antonio Naelson Matiasar, better known as Zinha, shone as Mexico got off to a winning start in the FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 with a 2-1 victory over Japan and he had the honour of being selected as the Budweiser Man of the Match by the FIFA Technical Study Group Member Alvin Corneal.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but persuaded to take Mexican citizenship by national team coach Ricardo Lavolpe, Zinha gave plenty of evidence in the Group B game of his playmaking skills allied to his athleticism and ability to get around the field. What is more the midfielder who plays for Mexican club Toluca scored an eye-catching goal to cancel out Japan’s early strike before half-time.

“Zinha scored a very good goal which brought Mexico back into the game after they had gone behind but it was because of his all-round skills and work-rate that I named him the Anheuser Busch Man of the Match. He was not only the best midfielder on the pitch but his work in support of his team-mates was impressive over the 90 minutes. He was the complete player tonight – always willing to get forward when the opportunity arose.

”His goal topped off his performance, it was a very spectacular strike that was difficult for the Japan goalkeeper to keep out. Zinha took his opportunity and seized his chance. It was an exciting moment in the game."

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