The last man to lift the World Cup trophy, Fabio Cannavaro, carried the sculpted golden figure into Soccer City. The Netherlands was on a 25 game unbeaten streak having won all 10 qualifiers and six on the trot in South Africa. Spain lost their first match in South Africa to Switzerland but were trying to become the first team to lift the Cup after an initial loss. In extra time after a less-than-stellar final, la Furia Roja of Spain won their first World Cup championship.
In comments made directly after the game made to Marca.com of Madrid, Vicente Del Bosque hailed his side, Raul singled out Andres Iniesta who himself praised his teammates. Sergio Ramos and Cesc Fabregas discussed their joy. Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands concisely praised his opponents.
Vicente Del Bosque: “We owe everything to these magnificent players.”
“Se lo debemos todo a ellos, a estos magníficos jugadores… Sobreponerse al primer tiempo y terminó por imponer su juego… Me acuerdo ahora mismo de mucha gente pero las dedicatorias me las guardo para mí“.
“We owe everything to these magnificent players… We were outplayed in the first half and ended by imposing our style of play… Right now, I’ll remember many people but individual dedications I’ll keep to myself.”
“Esta final ha prestigiado al fútbol de calidad y de ataque y como contrapunto a esto, los equipos nos han presionado mucho, pero creo que el fútbol va adelante. Esta final lo ha premiado“.
“This final rewarded quality and attack-minded football and as a counterpoint to this, teams pressed us a great deal. But I believe that football goes forward. This final rewarded it.”
Real Madrid and Spanish legend, Raul, on Andres Iniesta: “Andres is a footballer with uncommon talent.”
“Andrés es un futbolista de un talento descomunal. Un futbolista con personalidad, que una vez más ha tenido la capacidad de resolver en un momento decisivo. Pero reitero, todos, los 23 jugadores han ofrecido una imagen extraordinaria. Felicidades a todos“.
“Andres is a footballer with uncommon talent. A player with personality who one more time had the capacity to finish in a decisive moment. But I repeat, all of the 23 players offered an extraordinary display. Best wishes to everyone.”
Andres Iniesta: “It was an incredible job by everyone.”
“Todavía no sabemos el alcance que tiene esto” y lo irán “asimilando poco a poco… Ha sido un trabajo increíble de todos“.
“This still hasn’t hit us yet… Little by little, we’ll take it in…. It was an incredible job by everyone.”
Sergio Ramos: “There isn’t a greater satisfaction than raising the World Cup.”
“No hay satisfacción más grande que levantar la Copa del Mundo… Más o menos sabíamos lo que nos íbamos a encontrar, como ha ocurrido con todos los rivales de España“.
“There isn’t a greater satisfaction than raising the World Cup… More or less, we knew what we were going to find (on the pitch) just as has happened with all of the opponents of Spain.”
Cesc Fabragas: “Everything came very quickly.”
“Algo histórico e inolvidable que hay que disfrutar… Todo ha venido muy deprisa… Quiero dar las gracias a mi familia por haber venido, porque no lo estaba pasando bien y además no estaba jugando mucho“.
“It’s something historic and unforgettable that you have to enjoy… Everything came very quickly… I want to thank my family for having come because things weren’t going well and I wasn’t playing much.”
Wesley Sneijder: “Spain has the strongest team in the world.”
“España tiene el equipo mas fuerte del mundo“.
“Spain has the strongest team in the world.”
Spanish source: Marca.com, July 11, 2010.
Spain 1-0 Netherlands
Goal: Iniesta 116′
Ball possession: 63% to 37% for Spain.
Shots (on target): 21 (4) for Spain to 14 (4) for The Netherlands.
Offside: 7 to 6 for The Netherlands.
Corners: 8 to 6 for Spain.
Crosses: 23 to 13 for Spain.
Completed Passes: 612 to 361 for Spain.
Pass Completion Rate: 84% for Spain and 69% for The Netherlands.
Contrasts (1 on 1 situations) Won: 78 to 62 for Spain.
Fouls Committed: 28 to 18 for The Netherlands.
Yellow Cards: 8 to 6 for The Netherlands.
Red Card: 1 for The Netherlands (Heitinga)
Match Official: Mr. Howard Webb of England.
Assistant Referees: Mr. Mike Malarkey and Mr. Darren Cann of England.
Statistics courtesy of La Gazzetta dello Sport, July 11, 2010.
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.