Zidane, who played his last international match in the final against Italy, received 2012 points in the voting tally, with Italy captain and influential defender Fabio Cannavaro coming second on 1977 points.

In the aftermath of the final and Zidane’s dismissal Cannavaro was widely tipped to win the Golden Ball after a series of stellar performances at the centre of an Italian defence which conceded just two goals in seven matches – one of which was a Zidane penalty.

Although the deadline for voting for the award is after the final, many journalists submit their votes early in order to focus on the match and the reactions afterwards.

In third place was Andrea Pirlo, Italy’s midfield playmaker, who received 715 points.

Meanwhile, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon won the Yashin Award for the best goalkeeper at the tournament, a prize named after the late Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin (1929-1990), who was named ‘World Keeper of the Century’ by FIFA in 2000.

The winner of the Yashin Award is decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group.

The FIFA Fair Play Trophy for Germany 2006 was shared by Brazil and Spain who had the best records of fair play during the tournament, with both nations receiving the FIFA Fair Play Trophy, a fair play medal for each player and official, and $50,000 worth of football equipment to be used for their countries’ youth development.