Sunday 11 July 2010

The World Cup Final 2010

Spain 1 Holland 0

The right team won, there's no doubt about that! The more the game went on the more I wanted Spain to win.

I've just had a look on the website of the Spanish newspaper MARCA. The first sentence of their main story reads:

'El sueño se ha hecho realidad. España ya es campeona del mundo de fútbol'

In English,

'The dream has become a reality. Spain are the football champions of the world.

It's such a fantastic moment for them.
It wasn't a great game and won't be remembered as being a classic, but to be fair World Cup finals rarely are great games to watch.

The only great final I can remember watching was Mexico 1986 with Argentina beating West Germany 3-2.

I'm so pleased that Spain managed to win, I think I've developed a real soft spot for the country. It probably began when I started learning Spanish around 10 years ago, before visiting the country on a number of occasions.

I read newspapers like MARCA and El Pais to help improve my Spanish, and I think over the years you do start to develop a certain connection through learning the language and visiting the country.

Even without having that connection I still wanted Spain to win purely from a footballing point of view. They've been the best team in the tournament and the best team in the World for the last couple of years.

They probably haven't scored as many goals as their overall football would suggest they should have, but I've still enjoyed watching all their games.

Spain are like an extension of Barcelona, which isn't surprising when you look at the number of Barca players in the Spanish starting line up.

Xavi and Iniesta must be the best midfield partnership in world football. Watching Xavi play tonight I just kept thinking, that's what you call a proper footballer.

If there was a downside to the game then it has to be directed at the Dutch. At times they played like total thugs.

Any football fan will have a certain level of respect and admiration for what Dutch football has represented and stood for over they years, starting with the great teams of the 70s. But their performance tonight was a betrayal of their footballing tradition and heritage.

The likes of Mark Van Bommel and Nigel De Jong were lucky to still be on the pitch at the end of normal time. Then in extra time after Iniesta's winning goal the way some of their players conducted themselves towards the referee didn't do the reputation of Dutch football any good at all.

I feel sad to say, that there's never been an occasion where I've disliked the Dutch more in international football. They can have no real complaints about tonight's result.

This shouldn't deflect anything from Spain's achievements. For so long the great underachievers of world football along with England, but they've finally started to get it right.

Spain's victory tonight is no coincidence. This victory has been developed over a number of years and the world is seeing the results.

They've invested in great coaching of young players, their big clubs have allowed young players to develop and come through the ranks, and they've stayed true to their principles of playing attractive, intelligent football with great style and technique.

In 2010 there couldn't be a more worthy World Cup winner.

Vamos Espana!

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