11th of July 2010

Torres, Pedro, Navas and Javi Martínez lift with Spain the World Cup towards the South African sky (0-1)

Approximately six kilos of gold. That’s the weight of the World Cup which rewards the best football national team of the world. And Spain has conquered it. At last La Roja has its deserved star over the national coat of arms. We had to suffer till the 116’, in the extra time, when Iniesta made 46 million of Spanish people to get up. It was very, very hard to break the Dutch goal, which changed its historic style of fair play for a tactic and rough approach. But Del Bosque’s players didn’t give up their philosophy and at the end the ball rewarded not only the best, but the most courageous, the one which treats it better, a golden generation which has written the biggest page of the Spanish football. Although they were dressed in blue, they were La Roja all the time, and dressed in red they climbed to the box to lift the award which accredits them as the World Champions.

Pedro Rodríguez was again within the starting eleven, after his great match against Germany at the semi final. He fought till the 60’ against the Dutch defensive wall, working between the lines and looking for holes to slip in the area with some danger. Jesús Navas substituted him and he was a boost on the right touchline. In his boots was born the move which, in combination with Torres, ended in the decisive goal of Iniesta. Fernando, the Spanish ‘9’, substituted Villa in the extra time’s half time and devoted himself to the pressure and attack. The goal of his best friend since they were at the youth categories, Iniesta, came from a pass he made to the area. Fernando looked for Cesc at the front; the Arsenal player caught the rebound and found the player from Albacete who shot crossed with the right foot.

At the first quarter Spain was clearly dominating the game, but Holland broke it giving out beatings. The kicks overshadowed the ball and gave a lot of work to Howard Webb. Because Holland took something from Switzerland and Paraguay. They gave up their philosophy, their game to favour the kicks. More of the same at the second half, although Holland dominated the match in two opportunities. Casillas also had to work to win the game to Robben. Heitinga’s sending off at the extra time enhanced La Roja’s domination and Iniesta sealed the match. Now we can shout to the South African sky: Spain is the World Champion!

- Iberian football vs. tulip Kick.

For the Holland-Spain match, Del Bosque repeated the starting eleven which shined at the semi final: this is: Casillas at the goal, Puyol, Piqué and Ramos at the defensive line; Xabi Alonso and Xavi at the midfield, with Iniesta, Pedro and Villa at the front. The national anthems sounded and the game started at Johannesburg. The world roared when the game started and both teams played their roles as they were expected to. Quick game for Holland and beats to stop the Spanish passing game. Iniesta and Pedro, in combination between the lines. And the first goal could arrive in a clear opportunity. Free kick and Sergio Ramos head the ball straight towards the goal, but the shot was cleared by Stekelenburg. Kuyt also tried from outside the area without any danger for Iker.
Spain frightened. The machine was working and Holland started to suffer, without having the ball. Ramos continued having some luck slipping into the area from the right. Villa also appeared shooting a rebound to the side of the goal. The game was starting to look bad and Holland used its mischief to stop it. Very hard fault to Van Persie and Puyol was also punished because of tackling Robben. That’s the way they stop the Spanish game, who started to loose the possession. Van Bommel was also punished for kicking Iniesta and Ramos for kicking Kuyt. They got their objective. La Roja lose its concentration and Holland breathed. And another Yellow card. De Jong escaped from a Red card after stamping savagely his boot on Xabi Alonso’s chest.
They needed to escape from that kind of game; they needed to face the goal again. But it was hard, very hard. Pedro ended again a move shooting a ball from the right which went out. They tried also in set pieces to take advantage of the several faults of the orange players, who kicked all the lines. But Holland also frightened with a shot with the left foot cleared by Casillas. They went to the half time without changes in the scoreboard.

- Casillas turns off the two Dutch sparks

The half time eased the tension and Spain searched for its better version. They tried to recover the leadership playing good football. They created some danger after a corner kick which was headed by puyol, but Capdevila didn’t get to shot it with the foot. It was very hard for Spain to find holes, with Iniesta, Pedro and Xavi being watched closely by the tulips. Heitinga added himself to the cards club with one more kick, this time to Villa. And there was the time of the changes. Vicente del Bosque opened the close season with the change of Pedro with Navas.

And Robben appeared. A pass to the centre of Sneijder found the hole and the Bayern player risked everything at the one to one versus Casillas. He lose his bet, Casillas cleared with the foot and deflected the ball to a corner kick. Navas’ fresh air started to blow on the right touchline. The Sevilla player passed the ball to the area, it passed unnoticed and Villa shot it straight to the goal, but Stekelenburg cleared it. The ‘Guaje’ was having problems to turn and shot to the goal. The ‘7’ slipped into the area, but he needed the last boost, which could arrive with a dangerous header of Sergio Ramos. Robben also had his opportunity, another one versus one which was cleared by Casillas. Cesc substituted Xabi Alonso at the last minutes, with the stress to win or loose everything in just a minute, but Holland hid in the cave trying to arrive to the extra time.

- Iniesta, emperor of Spain, Holland and South Africa

The extra time came with an extra Spain. Passing game and willing to play against a devoted to the counterattack Holland. Robben and not much more. And Spain had its opportunity again with a move of Cesc. A crossed shot that was cleared by Stekelenburg with the shin. La Roja was breaking the messed defensive line, but they needed to seal the moves. The definitive knock. Navas looked for it from the right, Cesc in the middle, and the game still denied the deserved goal. And it came the moment of Torres at the half time of the extra time. The Stadium burst into applauses for one of the idols of the World Cup. And besides Heitinga was sent off because pushing Iniesta. The free kick was shot by Xavi. Torres was still trying to find the pass to the centre, the definitive move which was playing hard to get. But then there came the biggest prize. Fernando passed the ball to Cesc, Cesc to Iniesta and the player from Fuentealbilla, Albacete, became the centre of the world shooting crossed for the history. And one detail for heaven: express dedication to Dani Jarque. We take our hat off to him. The last thing left was to let the time run till the final whistle, which sealed the South Africa’s World Cup. Now’s the time to celebrate it.

- Match stats:

Holland: Stekelenburg; Gio (Braffheid 104’), Mathijsem Heitinga, Van der Wiel; Van Bommel, De Jong (Van der Vaart 99’), Sneijder; Kuyt (Elia 70’), Robben, Van Persie.

Spain: Casillas; Capdevila, Puyol, Piqué, Ramos; Busquets, Xabi Alonso (Cesc 86’), Xavi; Iniesta, Pedro (Navas 60’), Villa (Torres 105’).

Bookings: Van Persie 14’, Puyol 16’, Van Bommel 21’, Ramos 22’, De Jong 27’, Van Bronckhorst 53’, Heitinga 56’ and 108’, Capdevila 66’, Robben 83’, Van der Wiel (110’).


0-1 (116’) Iniesta shot crossed with the right foot after a pass from Cesc.

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