2010 FIFA World Cup: Spain VS. Netherlands
On June 11, 2010, the 2010 World Cup began as host nation South Africa played Mexico, beginning the preliminary Group stage matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. 62 matches later, and 30 of the 32 qualifying national football teams were eliminated. These two proud teams, that had done so much to get to the Finals, clashed in the last match of the FIFA World Cup Final, as Spain played Netherlands on July 11, 2010 at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The match was of considerable importance as it decided which nation, Spain or the Netherlands, would advance from the Finals to become the winners of the 2010 World Cup. Both nations had a history of World Cup frustrations, and this was a chance for both teams to win the World Cup - a major achievement as one of the two teams would become one of the eight national teams that have won the World Cup. Track record-wise, Spain has a better record, having played 49 games, of which it won 22, tied 12, and lost 15. The Netherlands can attest to having played 36 games, of which it won 16, tied 10, and lost 10. Spain had been rather ruthless in the 2010 World Cup, maintaining strict possession of the ball. However, the Netherlands had won all six of their World Cup matches, and came into the Finals looking for a perfect record - only 5 teams in tournament history have won the World Cup in such a manner.
Spain's best performance was in 1986, when Spanish player Emilio Butragueno scored four goals in a second round game against Denmark, leaving the score 5:1 win for. Spain's worst performance was in 2002, when dubious penalties made them lose to South Korea in the Quarterfinals.
The Netherlands' best performance was in 1974, when it beat Brazil and Argentina in the second group stage, making it to the final in their first performance in 36 years. The Netherlands' worst performance was in 1990, when an ugly incident resulted in Netherlands' Frank Rijkaard and Germany's Rudi Voller being sent off from the pitch.
Spain was favoured to win the match beforehand based on the statistics of its previous matches, in which it maintained possession of the ball at all costs. However, both teams were expected to play well. The Netherlands' attack has not been as "stylish" as that of Spain, but has been much more effective - with 12 goals in the tournament to its credit.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup goes out with a bang - literally - as lights blaze on during the closing ceremony before the Spain VS. Netherlands match. (Image Source) - Cover Photo
The special performance, which also featured Shakira, played out during the closing ceremony before the Spain VS. Netherlands match. (Image Source)
The Spain National Football Team. From top left: Pedro Rodriguez (Forward), Sergio Busquets (Midfield), Sergio Ramos (Defender), Joan Capdevila (Defender), Gerard Pique (Defender), Xabi Alonso (Midfield). From bottom left: Iker Casillas (Goalkeeper) (c), Andres Iniesta (Midfield), David Villa (Forward), Xavi Hernandez (Midfield), Carles Puyol (Defender). (Image Source)
The Netherlands National Football Team, also known as the Oranje. From top left: Maarten Stekelenburg (Goalkeeper), Robin van Persie (Forward), John Heitinga (Defender), Joris Mathijsen (Defender), Dirk Kuyt (Forward), Mark van Bommel (Midfield). From bottom left: Gregory van der Wiel (Defender), Nigel de Jong (Midfield), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Defender) (c), Wesley Sneijder (Midfield), Arjen Robben (Midfield). (Image Source)
Spain's Goal 116 Minutes In
Top: Spain Midfielder Andres Iniesta shoots under pressure from Netherlands Midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart and Defender Joris Mathijsen (Image Source). Bottom: Spain Midfielder Andres Iniesta celebrates Spain's first goal of the match as Van de Vaart and Mathijsen look on in disbelief (Image Source). Spain Midfielder Fransesc Fabregas had made a pass to Spain Midfielder Iniesta, who had sneaked a right-footed shot from eight yards.
The exhaustive match, which went 35 minutes into overtime, ended in a 1:0 win for Spain. Both teams missed several good chances to score during the match, the most brilliant of all was when Netherlands Forward Arjen Robben made a breakaway after a pass from Netherlands Midfielder Wesley Sneijder; Spain Goalkeeper Iker Casillas (c) barely got his right leg across it to block the shot. Spain was ecstatic about winning the match, their first World Cup title in the many years that they have played, and enthusiastically celebrated by listening to the 2010 FIFA World Cup anthem, Wavin Flag. Netherlands felt downtrodden, as this is the third time they have become the Runners-up, and this is especially bitter as they had not lost a single match in either the World Cup qualifiers, nor during the World Cup itself - they now have more victories in World Cup matches without a title than any other nation.
Members of the Spain National Team celebrate winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup as thousands of fans scream hysterically in the stadium. (Image Source)
Of the match, Spain Coach Vicente Del Bosque has said, "This is immeasurable for Spain."
Of the match, Spain Midfielder Andres Iniesta has said, "We have all done an incredible job. I don't think we even realize what we have done."
Read More About The 2010 FIFA World Cup Matches, Covered By The Same Author:
Read DeeBee's Article On The FIFA Women's World Cup:
© 2010 Gregory Markov