Gianluca Troiano (Italy)

Rank:01

Quote: "People ask me how can I do these things....I just have a good KO2 knowledge and I'm really focused on the match. I honestly think this year I achieved perfection, as soon I focused on KO2 the game seemed to slow down."
There is nothing one can write that could give you the slightest idea of what Gianluca did to win his third gold medal in a row. You just had to be there to see it. It is not a exaggeration to say that he was a level above everyone else. If the numbers can provide some indication, he won the Quarter-Final by 14-6, the Semi-Final by 15-6 and the final by 15-3. He also highlighted his performance by being the Top Scorer with 6.88 goals per game and the Best Defender with 1.79 goals per game.

Gianni Torchio (Italy)

Rank:02

Quote: "The second place was the best thing for me in 2005! I hope to make something a little bit better next year."

Gianni wanted to prove that he was better than what he had exhibited the year before in his hometown, and he most certainly did. He gave an excellent performance against Klaus before he knuckled under the champion's superiority. He had the 5th best goal average and the 8th best goal difference.

Alkis Polyrakis (Greece)

Rank:03

Quote: "In the first three world cups, I was left with the strong impression that a number of people could have won the title on a different day. This was not the case in 2004 and 2005; there was no way anyone could have defeated Gianluca."

A sad caricature of his old self, Alkis gave an uneven performance in his worst world cup ever. The disgraceful thrashing he was submitted to in the 1st semi-final was an eye sore. His numbers indicate that he was 3rd in goal average, 2nd in defense and 2nd in goal difference, but that's because he had the easiest route than all the semi-finalists. People are wondering when he is going to admit he is no longer worth anything and resign.

Klaus Loite (Norway)

Rank:04

Quote: ""

The Norwegian super-player came very close to the final, but just like in 2002 he was eliminated by a single goal, this time even on overtime. Even though his numbers were not as good as in the previous tournaments, he was the 7th scorer of the tournament with a 6 goal average.

Spyros Paraschis (Greece)

Rank:05

Quote: "I suggest FIFA hire Sascha, Panni and everyone else who helped with the organization to make the FIFA 2006 World Cup the best ever."

Spyros played very well in this 5th world cup but he was unlucky to face the champion in the quarter-finals. His highlight was a 1-6 win against the finalist Gianni. Always a reliable scorer, he was second in best goal average with 6.79 goals per game.

Michael Ortinau (Germany)

Rank:06

Quote: "This was a fantastic tournament and I am glad that i have been part of it. It was a great pleasure to meet so many people, who are also crazy about KICK OFF."

The German champion became the first player from his country to reach a quarter-final. In his very respectable first WC appeareance, he was the only one who faced Gianluca and wasn't thrashed. He was the 6th scorer and 7th defender of the tournament and we expect to see even more from him in the future.

Nikos Andreou (Greece)

Rank:07

Quote: "On the way back, I could tell that all three of us were thinking the same thing. Alkis just let it go in the airport: 'Can you imagine living in the same street with all these people?'. This summed up everything for me and I am sure for Spyros too."

Having had little to no practice before the tournament, Nikos reached the quarter finals undefeated and was out with only one loss to Klaus as he wasn't able to score enough goals against the Norwegian. He had the 3rd best best defense conceding only 2.46 goals per game, and he was 6th in goal difference.

Robert Swift (England)

Rank:08

Quote: "You know what, the World Cup is like Christmas. It only comes once a year, and it doesn't last long enough. You wish it could come every day, but it can't. The fact that it's only once a year and very short, that's what gives it it's special magic."

Although the numbers state that he dropped two places since Milan, this was a much harder tournament so we can safely say that this was Robert's best performance ever. Apart from a couple of hiccups in Round 1, he managed to play his best during both days. His 5.83 goals per game gave him the 8th place in the top scorers table. He was also 7th in overall goal difference.

Mario Fichera (Italy)

Rank:09

Quote: ""

Simply amazing performance by Mario. Although he was seeded 3rd, he didn't have any problems getting first place in his Round 1 group against the more experienced but less prepared Mark Poelstra. A veritable scoring machine with 6.58 goals per game (4th). He was 3rd in goal difference.

Alessandro Verrani (Italy)

Rank:10

Quote: "Hmm.... 10th in the world sounds good!"

Alessandro is a very consistent player. 2nd in his Round 1 group behind the favorite Nikos, the quarter finals were out of his reach but 10th place was very much deserved (he even lost the opportunity to finish one place above by losing to Mario on extra time). We should keep an eye on him as he has the perfect height to become a world champion one day.

Fabio Fichera (Italy)

Rank:11

Quote: ""

Perhaps the most improved player of the tournament as he finished 30 places higher than the previous year! He went from a 1.17 goal average to 4.42 and from conceding 4.58 goals per game to a mere 2.83. He also showed character when he had to come back from a home defeat against Nils in Round 2.

Stefan Vogl (Germany)

Rank:12

Quote: ""

Germany's #2 had a very good first world cup appearance. He managed to eliminate Nick from Denmark in Round 2 but couldn't keep up with the Greek Nick (Nikos). A reliable scorer, he needs to work on his Team B games to become more competitive.

Mark Poelstra (Holland)

Rank:13

Quote: "Meeting all those new German KOAers was great, most of them speak good English and they can sing, dance, drink and play Kick Off, so what more do you want?"

Mark's lack of practice was more evident than ever in Cologne. After a mediocre start, he showed a glimpse of his rare talent in Round 3 against Klaus, where he was eliminated in overtime.

Mark Williams (England)

Rank:14

Quote: "It seems that meeting you guys is getting more normal, its like you are friends who I have known for ever but who have been on an extended holiday, this is nice as it means we can pick up each year without all the awkward introductions."

Mark 'Durban' Williams always seems to play his best in world cups. By beating Alkis 3-2, he became a member of a very small group of foreigners who have defeated the Greek in a WC (the other ones being Rikki, Gianluca and Martin Jeffrey). He also made his country proud when he beat a German on penalty kicks.

Steve Camber (England)

Rank:15

Quote: "There's a reward available for anyone who can return my KO2 skills which were lost somewhere in Cologne city centre on the Saturday night. Biggest shaaaaame of the tournament.. No BEARDS!!! AGAIN!!! SHAAAAAAAAAME!"

Steve is one of the greatest contributors of the KOA; this tournament was played with the version of Kick Off 2 he had created by reverse engineering the disk. He had no problems on Day 1, but he seemed to underperform on Sunday. He is the most experienced player with 96 world cup matches.

Frank Fuhrmann (Germany)

Rank:16

Quote: ""

Frank finished higher than any other newcomer (meaning people with no other KOA tournaments played) in this competition. With a little bit more luck, he would have made it to Round 3. It seems the only way to go for him is up as soon as he improves his offense, as he was only 32nd in goal average.

Alex Brante (Germany)

Rank:17

He said: "I thought it was great that all places were played out on Sunday (equal amount of games for everybody) - no wonder I say this, because I beat all four opponents I then faced."

Alex possibly did as well as he could have in this tournament, finishing 3rd in his Round 1 group behind Gianluca and Michael and managing to top the 17-32 places classification matches against several good players.

Oliver Stender (Germany)

Rank:18

Quote: ""

Another player who came out of nowhere, Oliver 'Atari ST' Stender defeated experienced KOA players such as Rodolfo and Kees and even drew against Nikos.

Kees Van den Berg (Holland)

Rank:19

Quote: ""

Although Kees finished 2nd in his group in Round 1, he was unlucky to face his friend Mark Poelstra in Round 2, who was perhaps the hardest player out of the ones that had finished 3rd on the first day.

Giacomo Troiano (Italy)

Rank:20

Quote "I'm an excellent coach, Gianluca won everything… now my goal is training Marco Stox. I bet on him for the next world cup!"

Giacomo could not repeat in Cologne the excellent peformance he had exhibited the year before in Milan. It was a suicidal home defeat to Philipp that made him drop to 4th place in his Round 1 Group and the elimination against his brother was a normal aftereffect.

Marco de Laco (Italy)

Rank:21

Quote: ""

Another participant from Milan, Marco was very nervous in the beginning of the World Cup and gave away some points he should have normally won. He shaped up on Sunday and managed to beat some very good players like Nick, John and Rodolfo.

Rodolfo Martin (Spain)

Rank:22

Quote: "If we had paid a specialized agency to organize the tournament, it would not have been better."

The Spanish tried very hard to avoid the 4th place in his Round 1 group but he did not manage to beat Oliver in their crucial second match. My overall impression is that he was not in his best form in Cologne.

Nick Pedersen (Denmark)

Rank:23

Quote: "Robert S - Nick P 2-5! Yeaaaaaaaaah baby, it's gonna be 2-10 next year!"

Nick surprised everyone in his group as he had 9 victories, one draw and only one defeat in his first 11 matches (including the one he proudly mentions in his quote). It looked like he was going to get 1st place but Robert's experience resulted to an easy away win in their second match. Nick's confidence appeared to be shattered as he didn't play as well in the rest of the tournament.

Marco Stoller (Italy)

Rank:24

Quote: "My first World Cup states that 23 players do resist but 39 players are susceptible to my multiple psychological tricks... not bad after all!"

A good first WC performance by Marco. It looked like he blacked out in his rematch against Alessandro in Round 2, in which he probably expected to do better as he had only lost the first match by 4-3. He needs to work on his Team B games as he only defeated weak players away.

Thomas Krämer (Germany)

Rank:25

Quote: ""

Thomas is a good player who was unforunate to find himself in Group E with two very strong unknown (and therefore unseeded) guys. Just like every other player who finished 4th in the first round of any of the five world cups, he didn't get through the first Playoffs round but he did give Steve Camber a very hard time before he got eliminated in overtime.

Andreas Bezner (Switzerland)

Rank:26

Quote: "Great world cup, really well organized, great people... the WC 2005 was my first world cup but definitely not my last one. I was very happy for reaching the final round against so many great players. See you next year!"

The first Swiss participant ever was 4th in his Round 1 group but only 4 points below the 2nd. His fate was determined by a 0-2 loss to Gunther. I'm sure he will remember his away victory against Steve Camber for a long time.

Glenn Loite (Norway)

Rank:27

Quote: ""

Glenn has built a tradition on eliminations on 1 or 2 goals in the three world cups he's been in, and that didn't change in Cologne. 7-9 to Frank on overtime, 4-5 to Rodolfo, 5-7 to Andreas.

Jörg Panhorst (Germany)

Rank:28

Quote: ""

Jorg was the co-organizer of the WC and deserves a fair percentage of the praise. All he needed to gain 3rd place in Group C and avoid a favorite in the 2nd Round was an away win against Peter, but he was stuck to 0-0.

John Hogstrom (Sweden)

Rank:29

Quote: "I'm slightly amazed about the top caliber of many partipicants. To reach the Top Ten is nothing but brilliant performance."

John beat Klaus Loite; not many people can claim that in their first KOA tournament, and that's enough for him to be remembered as a strong player.

Nils Buckow (Germany)

Rank:30

Quote: "Saturday: I had the luckiest KO2-victory of my life (1:2 against Filippo). Fisher fished 500 shots. Sunday: I got lobbed to death. Whole Weekend: Great fun! Thanks to everyone!"

Niels is a very good Kick Off player with some good moves in his armory, including a killer corner kick. He almost qualified for Round 3 when he beat Fabio away but couldn't get do as well in the rematch.

Haydn Hamm (Wales)

Rank:31

Quote: "For the Game of Shame players to take the game in such good humour should make us all remember that the whole point of the weekend is FUN!!"

The Welsh did the best he could in Round 1 as he had three extremely strong players above him. In addition, all the matches he lost on Sunday were close results. Noticeable improvement compared to his performance in Milan.

Knut Loite (Norway)

Rank:32

Quote: ""

A shocking home defeat to Henrik sent the Norwegian against his brother Klaus in Round 2, who showed no mercy. Although he lost all his Sunday matches, he displayed some good skills, particularly on defense.

Filippo Della Bianca (Italy)

Rank:33

Quote: "It looks like the title will be won by an Italian again. I'm sorry, but we are just better."

Filippo had an obvious hangover on Saturday. As a result, he started very badly with only 4 points in his first 9 matches and didn't make it to Round 2. He was more serious on Sunday and managed to win the KOA Cup.

Jørn Flagtvedt (Norway)

Rank:34

Quote: "Cologne is obviously a good town for Sauna Clubs, but nothing compares to The Voodoo Bar. The biggest World Cup ever, and also the best. And I'd like some poleish."

The KOA's most tatooed man used the experience he had gained the year before and made it to the KOA Cup final against all odds. Excellent results in the semi-finals against Philipp who had defeated him easily in the first round.

Philipp Harnisch (Germany)

Rank:35

Quote: ""

Philipp would have perhaps made it to Round 2 if he had been in a less difficult group. He showed what he was capable of on Sunday by winning 11 out of his 14 matches.

Björn Persson (Sweden)

Rank:36

Quote (after losing to Marco with a last second goal): "This is definitely not my day."

The second Swedish of the tournament was last in his Day 1 group, not because he was a bad player but because inexperience cost him many close defeats. Although he finished 4th in Group I on Sunday, he got the confidence he needed in the first knockout round by beating Henrik on overtime and eventually made it to the top four.

Sascha Weigelmann (Germany)

Rank:37

Quote: "I have the feeling that a lot of the new players are really set on fire now and want to have other tournaments as soon as possible. I am sure that there will be a lot of Germans joining next year's World Cup - perhaps another record (most foreign attendants) we could break and take away from the Italians!"

Sascha worked day and night with Jorg and his girlfriend Desiree to make sure the Germans organized the best world cup ever, and he succeded. He got everyone's gratitude as all people needed to do was to sit on a chair and play; everything was thought of down to the last detail. Regarding his Kick Off results, his best moment was coming back from a 7-2 defeat to Maurizio to qualify with a triumphant 8-0.

Riemer Poelstra (Holland)

Rank:38

Quote: "I had a bad performance, although I must say the unknown unseeded German/Danish nightmares were quite good!"

Riemer probably didn't believe he would be out of the tournament so soon, but Group E proved too difficult for him. He was the logical favorite for the KOA Cup gold medal, however Filippo had a different opinion.

Sascha Falke (Germany)

Rank:39

Quote: ""

Sascha's best results were a victory against Riemer and a draw against Robert. He was a victim of Jorn's top form on Sunday.

Michael Mücke (Germany)

Rank:40

Quote: "This was my second WC and it was amazing. Must I really wait a whole year to meet all the KOAers again?"

Michael 'mosquito' Muuuuuuuu can beat Steve Camber and lose to Gunther Wening in less than an hour; he's obviously not a very consistent player. If he learns a few standard goals, his results will be better next year.

Maurizio Leparulo (Italy)

Rank:41

Quote: ""

Another participant from Milan, Maurizio did not do bad at all on Day 1 as he got four points of Glenn among other results. He was one of the favorites for the KOA Cup but the disastrous second match against Sascha Weigelmann (mentioned above) was the end of the tournament for him.

Patrick Doll (Germany)

Rank:42

Quote: ""

Patrick displayed some good defensive skills at times, with his 3-0 victory versus Oliver and a 7-4 versus Rodolfo being his most noticeable achievements.

Sandro Torchio (Italy)

Rank:43

Quote: "Next time i will be better! I'm going to be a lob machine!"

Sandro really wasn't that far away from qualifiying to the second round, but somehow Jens got 2 of his 3 points in the matches against him. Once his brother gives him a tip or two about offense, he will come back stronger.

Pascal Vermeulen (Holland)

Rank:44

Quote: ""

Pascal played his first WC in Groningen in 2003, but missed the 2004 one and therefore did not improve his game as much as he wanted to. He had some good results in the KOA Cup.

Niels Tijssen (Holland)

Rank:45

Quote: "I was at least a bit more experienced than some other players, so I could cope with the stress better. Still I was no match for a lot of players, so I need to practice more."

Not only did Niels manage to avoid the Game of Shame this year, he even got his first four WC victories! Well done to the smiling boy from Angeren.

Henrik Rasmussen (Denmark)

Rank:46

Quote: ""

The Danish player was quite effective as Team A, as apart from the games against Michael and Gianluca he never lost by more than one goal at home.

Martin Osada (Germany)

Rank:47

Quote: ""

A victory against Filippo was Martin's best result in this world cup.

Volker König (Germany)

Rank:48

Quote: ""

Volker only managed to beat Daniel Thomas in the competition; he did draw 3-3 against Thomas Krämer at home though, a result that cost his compatriot the 3rd place in his group.

Mark Bishop (England)

Rank:49

Quote: "You're DA MAN!"

The 2004 Shirt of Shame winner showed that the practice he had had during the year paid off. He improved both his goal scoring (1,50 last year, 2,93 in Cologne) and especially his defense (6,00 last year, 3,50 in Cologne). He was in the hardest KOA Cup group, he could have progressed further had he been in a different one.

Martin Barluschke (Germany)

Rank:50

Quote: ""

Another player who loses much of his powers as Team B, Martin beat Filippo at home and drew against people as good as Kees and Marco de Laco.

Peter Sommer (Germany)

Rank:51

Quote: ""

Not only did Peter not improve since his first world cup in Cologne, his numbers were actually worse. He does seem to enjoy playing against new people anyway.

Wolf Heyer (Germany)

Rank:52

Quote: ""

Wolf will probably never become a Kick Off world power, but his Shirt of Shame days are long gone. The clue of this tournament was the repetition of the 2003 Game of Shame against Niels, which he lost again by the same score (1-2).

Olaf Schümann (Germany)

Rank:53

Quote: "I arrived as a supporter and ended up on the Big Screen. I'll be back!"

It was very unfair for Olaf (a last minute entry) to be forced to play in the Game of Shame on Sunday, because some people who had done worse than him on Day 1 had left. An even worse punishment was when he had to blow the baloon trophy! He took it with a smile like a good sportsman, though.

Daniel G (Germany)

Rank:54

Quote: "Please Sir, no more than 9."

I have no idea what to make of Daniel. I'm pretty sure he knows how to play Kick Off but it's hard for anyone to play while consuming so many beers at the same time!

Gunther Wening (Holland)

Rank:55

Quote: "We started the "Dino Dini" singing at the restaurant and the German guy with the glasses jumped up and joined us. It was very funny by the time every KOA member was singing with us."

Gunther fought hard to avoid being in the Game of Shame and he was very relieved he succeded. He had a couple of very good results, like the away draw against Andreas and the impressive 4-1 against Michael Mücke.

Markus Herbertz (Germany)

Rank:56

Quote: ""

2 wins against Gunther were Markus' best results in the competition.

Fabian Kirma (Germany)

Rank:57

Quote: "Usually just a sparring partner, but now totally infected by the Kick off 2 fever. See ya next year guys!"

Another last minute entry, Fabian managed to get a couple of 1-0 wins, against Jan and Peter.

Jan Tijssen (Holland)

Rank:58

Quote: "Gunther, Niels and I may have started this site, but basically our KO2 skills are just awful! We do LOVE the game though."

The youngest player of the tournament. We thought we'd never see him against as he hadn't played since the first world cup, but he was there. His quote sums everything up so I have nothing to add.

Jens Thiel (Germany)

Rank:59

Quote: ""

Jens had the worst offense in the competition as he only scored 5 times in 14 matches, he did manage to get three draws though.

Tobias Bartmann (Germany)

Rank:60

Quote: ""

Perhaps Tobias is a better player than his results indicate, but he was the only weak player in a group with 6 good to excellent opponents. His 6-6 results against Giacomo seems to prove that point, but unfortunately he didn't compete in the KOA Cup to show what else he was capable of.

Olaf Stragalinos (Germany)

Rank:61

Quote: ""

Olaf's away draw against Pascal was his only positive result in this world cup.

Daniel Thomas (Germany)

Rank:62

Quote: ""

Daniel had the worst defense in the competition and he should have been in the Game of Shame, but he disappeared on Sunday.

Thorsten Butschke (Germany)

Rank:63

Quote: ""

Last but certainly not least, the smiling gentleman in this picture will enjoy the honour and responsibility of carrying the trophy of shame for a year. Germany became the only country with two trophies of shame, and the first one to win it at home.









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