Sunday, July 11, 2010

Viva España!--2010 World Cup Champions

In the second period of extra time in the most physical World Cup Final ever (13 yellow cards), Spanish midfielder Andrés Iniesta delivered the game-winning blast, earning Spain's first World Cup championship in a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands.

With Iniesta's moment of brilliance, Spain's record of most wins in FIFA World Cup games without a title is no more (24 wins), and that honor is now bestowed on the Dutch with 19.

The world's second-ranked team was taken out of its usual rhythm, consisting of commanding possession, by an overly aggressive Dutch side. That limited scoring opportunities for both sides, though each came close on a coouple occasions in regular time. The Spaniards nearly scored early on a header from right back Sergio Ramos and then later on a counter attack by substitute midfielder Cesc Fabregas that was saved by the leg of Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Fabregas went on to deliver the assist to Iniesta's goal.

Dutch forward Arjen Robben also had two breakaways but failed to capitalize, missing wide once and having one stopped by the leg of Spanish captain GK Iker Casillas.

Despite an opening game loss to Switzerland, this is a much deserved result for the 2008 European Champions. La Furia Roja (Red Fury) has been dominant in the past four years. From November 2006 and June 2009 Spain went undefeated for a record-tying 35 consecutive matches. Its streak was snapped in a 2-0 loss to the United States in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup.

Though Spain only scored eight goals in seven matches, the lowest total ever by a world champion, that does not indicate the amount of control it had in each of its matches (Even in the Switzerland loss).

Forward David Villa led the Spaniards with five goals, Carles Puyol added one in the semifinal win over Germany and Iniesta had two, including the most important in the nation's history.

Spain will soon move atop the FIFA world rankings, but many things can happen between now and the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil.

Only four years to find out.


  1. My eldest vows to attend the World Cup in Brazil. When he says that, four years seems so close!

    What a bummer way to lose and an awesome way to win.

  2. It would be amazing to go to Brazil to see this. No. 1 team in the world. Arguably the best-looking women (though America has so many amazing cougars lol). But if that doesn't work out, the U.S. is probably going to be the host in 2022. A long time to wait but it will be an epic month.

    Thanks for stopping by!