David Villa: “We aren’t going to leave a drop of sweat.”

The Netherlands will try to win the World Cup final on their third attempt. Czechoslovakia (1934 and 1962) and Hungary (1938 and 1954) are the other two countries besides the Netherlands who have featured in two World Cup finals on the losing end. (West Germany was on the losing end in 1966, 1982 and 1986 but won the World Cup in 1954 and 1974 before unification with East Germany). Will the third time be the charm for the Oranje or will la Furia Roja of Spain prevail in their first World Cup final appearance?

Ahead of their first World Cup final, the Spanish old guard, Iker Casillas, David Villa, Xabi Alonso and Andres Iniesta, gave brief yet confident opinions. Dutch legend, Johann Cruyff, who has lived for many years in Spain, provided unique perspectives about both footballing schools of thought.

Iker Casillas: “We are very calm.”

Estamos muy tranquilos. Es la sensación que tenemos todos desde dentro. Reflejamos como somos y estamos ahora mismo“.

“We are very calm. It is the feeling that all of us have inside. We reflect how we are and we are now the same.”

 Some have called pitch-side television presenter, Sara Carbonero, a distraction to Iker Casillas.

Some have called pitch-side television presenter, Sara Carbonero, a distraction to Iker Casillas.

Sara Carbonero

David Villa: “We aren’t going to leave a drop of sweat.”

No nos va a quedar ni una gota de sudor. Nervios no tengo y sólo piensa en ganar la final…Toda España está pendiente de toda la selección. Estamos ante una cita histórica y deseamos que todo salga bien, que consigamos ganar y que todos lo celebremos cuando lleguemos a España“.

“We aren’t going to leave a drop of sweat… I’m not nervous and only thinking of winning the final. All of Spain is watching the entire team. We are heading into a historic date and we want everything to come out well… That we are able to win and everyone will celebrate it when we arrive in Spain.”

 Is the Spanish press creating too much pressure and expectations on the team?

Is the Spanish press creating too much pressure and expectations on the team?

Xabi Alonso: “Their system of play is similar to Germany.”

Su esquema de juego es parecido al de Alemania, otra cosa es cómo vayan a salir, pero no lo tengo claro. Igual sí dan más libertad a los cuatro de arriba… Si aprietan arriba o se quedan un poco más atrás, ya lo veremos“.

“Their system of play is similar to Germany. Another thing is how they come out but I’m not sure. Similar if they give more space to the area up front… If they position themselves up top or if they stay a little more behind (the ball), we will see.”

Xabi Alonso On Sergio Busquets: “He is a team player.”

Es un jugador de equipo, de los que a todos los entrenadores les gusta tener, que hace todo bien, que tiene mucha tranquilidad y que en todas las situaciones siempre está pensando en el bien del equipo, con responsabilidad“.

 Liverpool man, Fernando Torres, has not shone in South Africa and may start from the bench on Sunday

Liverpool man, Fernando Torres, has not shone in South Africa and may start from the bench on Sunday

“He is a team player. The type that all managers like to have who does everything well and is very calm in all situations. He is always thinking of the good of the team with responsibility.”

Andres Iniesta: “The initial defeat against Switzerland shook all of us up.”

Estar aquí es grandioso. Estamos ante un cita histórica, una ocasión única para todos nosotros… Es un partido muy difícil contra una selección con unos jugadores que tienen una calidad tremenda… La derrota inicial contra Suiza nos trastocó a todos un poco. No teníamos margen de error. No podíamos fallar. Fue el primer partido y espero sea el único que perdamos“.

“It’s great to be here. We are before a historic date. A unique occasion for all of us. It is a very difficult final against a side with some players who have tremendous quality… The initial defeat against Switzerland shook all of us up. We didn’t have any margin for error. We couldn’t make mistakes. It was the first game and I hope the only one that we lose.”

Johann Cruyff: “It is true that Holland is owed a World Cup after what happened in 1974 and 1978.”

Es verdad que a Holanda se le debe un Mundial después de lo sucedido en 1974 7 1978, pero aquí nadie está para regalar nada. Después de la Holanda de 1974, el Barça lo copió: ser amigo del balón. Mientras tú tienes el balón, el otro no puede jugar…

España está jugando más a lo brasileño-holandés que Brasil. España, desde la Eurocopa, está jugando tan bien que la gente copiará su estilo. El deporte también tiene una responsabilidad. Es importante para los niños ver jugar a una selección así. Sólo pensar en ganar no es bueno“.

Paul the octupus predicts a Spanish victory

Paul the octupus predicts a Spanish victory

“It’s true that Holland is owed a World Cup after what happened in 1974 (he played in the final of 1974) and 1978 but nobody gives you anything here. After Holland in 1974, FC Barcelona copied them: To be a friend of the ball. While you have the ball, the other team can’t play…

Spain is playing more like the Brazilian-Dutch style than Brazil. Spain, since the Euro 2008, is playing so well that other people will copy its style. Sport also has a responsibility. It is important for children to see a national side like this one. To only think of winning is not good.”

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He writes the World Football Commentaries blog. He has written for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Football Media, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens.

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