Goal.com takes a closer look at the stand-out competitors at the Confederations Cup...
Often the man who bore the brunt of the USA's underachievement on the global stage, Landon Donovan has finally matured in front of a worldwide audience. The United States attacker is already a veteran of 115 internationals, despite being only 27 years of age, and showcased his credentials throughout the Confederations Cup. Sublime passing, terrific technique and vision were all evident as Donovan made a startling impact on the South Africa showpiece. A player who has been portrayed in the past as possessing unfounded reputation and little substance displayed finesse and effectiveness from the opening game through to the final, dispelling lingering doubts over his suitability to high-pressure matches. His goal in the final, the product of a swift and deadly counterattack, gave a glimpse of the pace and composure of which the former Bayer Leverkusen player is possessed with. Donovan has tried twice to crack Europe without much success; the Los Angeles Galaxy playmaker could be ready for another shot at the big time on the Old Continent.
2. Felipe Melo - Brazil
At the outset of Dunga's reign in charge of the Brazilian team, much criticism was levelled at the coach for his decision to include two defensive midfielders in his preferred XI. However, with Felipe Melo in their ranks, Brazil have an added dimension in the centre of the field. The Fiorentina man's dynamism was key to the Selecao's progress in the Confederations Cup; Melo proved himself to be the tournament's number one midfielder with a mix of ruthlessness in the tackle and accuracy in his deliveries. He also supplemented his team's attack, chipping in with a well-aimed header in the group stage win over USA. A fine first season with Fiorentina has been matched by a seamless transition into international football for the 25-year-old. It's little surprise that some of Europe's heavy-hitters are beating a path to his door.
3. Luis Fabiano - Brazil
Two goals in the final meant that Luis Fabiano finished top scorer in the Confederations Cup. The Sevilla striker rattled in an impressive five strikes in five matches, including a brace against the world champions, Italy. Fabiano opened his account with an angled header against African kings Egypt before his double helped Brazil see off the Italians in a one-sided affair. Fabiano's value has sky-rocketed following his exploits in South Africa, with AC Milan said to be readying a €30 million bid. The former Porto man has established himself as the chief proprietor of Brazil's number 9 shirt, adding his five Confederations Cup goals to seven already scored in World Cup qualifying. On current form, there aren't many strikers who can hang with the 28-year-old.