Campeones Campeones rang out the front page of Spanish sports daily, Marca today after Spain were crowned champions of the footballing world last night. Spain edged out a gruelling finale last night to spurn Dutch hopes with an extra time winner from Andres “El Illusionato” Iniesta.
The final represented the culmination of the greatest sporting tournament on the planet; unfortunately for South Africa 2010 the football did not match the occasion as both sides, especially the Dutch, resorted to bully boy tactics. However, Iniesta’s goal was the perfect winner from the perfect player. How fitting that the clinching moment of a tournament that is full of ego and extravaganza is secured by a player noted for his solecism, his modesty and most of all for his supreme footballing talent.
That’s poetic justice in my book anyway.
La Roja Fura celebrated their first world cup win, the first European team to win outside their own continent, and on the balance of play they deserved the trophy – well on the basis of the final anyway. I still hugely admire the German team this tournament, indeed, they are my team of the tournament but Spain have a true invincibility about them, a raw ability to win and that saw them home to land the Jules Rimet Trophy.
The Dutch for their part have lambasted Howard Webb for his marshalling of the final, blaming the Yorkshireman for making a litany of mistakes in the build up to the goal. True, Webb did make mistakes, notably not giving the Dutch a clear corner in the build up to the Spanish winner, however, the Dutch should have had players sent off (De Jong and Van Bommel) for horrendous tackles – I don’t know what you call De Jong’s effort … assault – and ultimately cannot complain about the legitimacy of the result.
They had chances too, Robben had a clear effort to score in the first half which Casillas deflected wide. However, in the end, only one side entered the final wanting to play football in the right way, Spain. The Netherlands wanted to stifle and hinder, Spain wanted to seize the imitative.
It’s never nice to see the dejection and desolation of the losing side, but I do feel that Spain deserved the win and are worthy tournament champions and in Iniesta they have the perfect embodiment of why they are rightly crowned masters of the world, in a footballing sense that is!