What Happened

Andres Iniesta scored in the 116th minute to give Spain their first ever World Cup title.

The match featured 14 bookings, a record for the final, with Johnny Heitinga sent off in the 109th minute after his being shown a second yellow card.


Notes from Joe

- Spain deserved to win the tournament, no doubt. No team in the world can control a match quite like them. They’re just so incredibly skilled, with all eleven players comfortable on the ball, and able to pass it so precisely. The fact that they had seven players from the same club team (although Villa hasn’t played a game for them yet) in that starting eleven really shone through. There was a great level of understanding between the players, and they attacked and defended in equal numbers.

- Touching stuff from Andres Iniesta, revealing the message “Dani Jarque is always with us” on his undershirt after scoring the winner. Jarque, a former Espanyol player, died last year while on pre-season training.

- Unbelievable call in extra time that saw a goal kick awarded for what quite clearly should have been a corner.

- Agree with Kristian that the physical nature and numerous whistles in the match suited the Dutch. If  Arjen Robben just could have taken one of those glorious chances…

- Astute substitution from Vicente del Bosque, bringing on Jesus Navas for Pedro in the 60th minute. Giovanni van Bronckhorst — along with Gregory van der Weil — was playing very narrow and the Dutch were defending well partly because of it. Navas was able to pull van Bronckhorst wide, opening up more space in the middle.

- Thought van Bronckhorst  had a pretty decent final game of his career. He had a heroic stop on Andres Iniesta in the first half of injury time, but you could see that he was just gassed when he gave Navas far too much time and space to have a go moments later.

- As producer Thomas Dobby said in the War Room, it looked like Edson Braafheid was having the ‘Sharman Dream’ when he replaced van Bronckhorst and had a ball go off the back of his head straight back to the keeper.

- Cesc Fabregas –like Navas — also had a big impact on the game when he came on, providing an attacking thrust from midfield. The Spanish substitutes performed far better than their Dutch counterparts.

- Eljero Elia had done so well as a substitute earlier in the tournament, but he was unable to have any kind of influence on the match after replacing Dirk Kuyt on 71 minutes.

- Love Kuyt, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone with as much endurance as him since Rosie Perez in the opening credits to Do the Right Thing, but he was not at his best today. Especially defensively, where Sergio Ramos was getting the best of him.

- Sergio Ramos missing that free header on 77 minutes was just criminal. That moment would have been permanently etched in his brain if Spain hadn’t won.

- Pretty quiet game from David Villa, after an excellent tournament. He always seems to play a little bit better when he’s got another central striker with him, so he can sort of drop back and cut in from the left.

- Both goalkeepers had great games, making a couple of big stops each.

- Mark Van Bommel was finally booked for a foul (his initial yellow in the semi was for dissent), and it was a well earned card. He’s the type of player just made for this style of game. The kind of guy you loathe playing against but would love to have on your team. Producer Thomas Dobby is a big fan, and I’m pretty sure that’s because he plays the exact same way himself on the pitch. “Just a proper bastard”, as either him or KJ said. (Can’t remember who that was).

- If Robben would have gone down when Carles Puyol came across him in the 83rd minute, I think the Spanish defender would have picked up his second yellow card. But Robben stayed on his feet, my hunch is because he had a clear path to the goal. Unfortunately for the Netherlands,  he couldn’t find a way to get the ball past Iker Casillas. When referees don’t make those calls, it leads to players flopping on contact.

- I love Robben as a player, but jeez, at some point you’d think he’d work on that right foot to make him truly unstoppable.


Notes from Kristian

- It wasn’t a perfect path to the trophy for Spain but it was a patient, majestic and beautiful path.

- Spain became the first ever World Cup champions to with the tournament with just three different goal scorers throughout. Also the first champion to lose their opening match.

- Delighted for Andres Iniesta. A superstar.

- The Dutch will get their haters but their game plan was close to coming off. The physical nature of the game was really suiting them. You could see Spain getting angry and frustrated. But they were just unable to capitalize.

- Wesley Sneijder was still sitting in the centre circle in tears for some time after the final whistle. Forget the three titles he’s won, he’ll remember this more. He was marvellous in South Africa. And what a terrific ball that was from him to send in Arjen  Robben in the second half, only to have Iker Casillas pull off a marvellous save.

- Felt really bad for Johnny Heitinga when he was sent off. He was positioned poorly, no doubt, but his first yellow was a farce.

- Thought Pedro had a decent game before he was taken off. His runs were causing problems for the Dutch.  But Jesus Navas provided some much needed width to the Spanish attack.


Notes from James

- And there you have it! Spain are promoted from a great team to a legendary team. A brilliant 31 days.

- If that Nigel De Jong drop kick to the chest of Xabi Alonso happened in the 85th minute instead of the 29th, that would have been a red card.

- Dirk Kuyt was taken off after just 71 minutes, he’s going to be on the treadmill burning off all of that excess energy into the wee hours of the


Three Stars

1. Andres Iniesta

2. Iker Casillas

3. Jesus Navas


Links: Wire recap I Box score

Comments (83)

  1. All rather sad after the hype…Howard Webb edges out Wayne Rooney as the most inept Englishman in South Africa…Iniesta’s goal is surpassed only by his ridiculous dive over Van Der Wiel’s foot – not close to touching him – that draws a yellow….Robben displays the talent and selfishness that made him reviled in the Premiership. In addition to making the case for the World Cup Trophy Louis Vuitton has also designed a handbag for some of these charlatans – you know who they are – to carry their b*lls back home…

  2. I think Bergkamp is a little bitter. Having said that, can’t entirely blame him. That goal kick that started the goal should have been a corner kick, and it was pretty clear.

    Spain were the better team though, and as a neutral, I do feel they deserved the win. But I’m kind of disappointed with the way it happened.

  3. First of all, I will say congratulations to Spain. I have to be humble and offer that. However, as somebody who lives and dies with Oranje, I can’t help but feel completely fucked at the end.

    People can say what they want about the amount of fouls committed early on, and perhaps Nigel de Jong could have gotten a red card for his kick on Xabi Alonso, but that’s all opinion and judgment. Sneijder’s free kick going off the wall and out for a corner involves NO FUCKING JUDGMENT WHATSOEVER! That ridiculously retarded mistake led directly to Spain’s World Cup winning goal.

    This match should have gone to penalties. I won’t sit here and tell you that Oranje would have won, but the fair outcome would have happened in a shootout. Howard Webb and FIFA should apologize to the KNVB, but I don’t expect it.

  4. are you kidding me that was a corner kick and the ref did not call it because he got paiid offf

  5. That is moronic. If a team can’t defend off of a goal kick they deserve to lose.

  6. The goal kick was a wrong decision. Holland’s players were likely moving forward for the clear corner when the fucking goal kick was taken.

  7. Congratulations to Spain but Howard Webb made himself the most important man on the pitch with his calls. I don’t believe Iniesta was offside for Spain’s goal but there was a clear offside just before in the play leading up to it. The Dutch relaxed for an instant expecting the call then the second pass went through to Iniesta. That’s what Mathijsen was so angry about.

  8. Not the best of games that’s for sure. It was really chippy and the Orange were a little dirty. The Spainards however were diving all over the place and showed how pathetic they can be throwing the arms up every chance they got. For a team that complained about the referee choice they must be happy now?? . The orange were doing the same complaining about calls and non calls. Sickening display not worthy of a World Cup Final Game. 3rd place game was a better game again.

    I hope but doubt everyone will remember this one the next time Italy Wins. Which we know will happen. I hope but Doubt I will see the cry babies point out that Italy may have a few players who dive but so does everyone else. Spain, England, Brazil, Netherlands, they were brutal today too. Chile, Croatia, (that was is for my close friends) maybe next time you will qualify. And the greatest diving team with hissy fits. You guessed it Portugal. Please!! Everbody dives you fucking child, Ya you!! Remember this one when you weep

    Hey Dunlop I am sick of your smug face and comments. You don’t have a clue.

  9. Also Puyol should have been sent off earlier for pulling back Robben. What he did was far worse than what Heitinga did when he got sent off . And Robben didn’t dive unlike the Spaniard.

  10. Agreed. You wonder why players dive. Robben was so honest on that play and he was not rewarded. Had he flopped, he might have gotten Puyol sent off.

  11. If Heitinga hadn’t gotten a yellow and therefore red for that Iniesta dive, this game would probably have gone to penalties.

    Shocker by Howard Webb. It wasn’t one bad major decision. It was a series of bad decisions.

  12. I laugh at Lance from PG, that De Jong flying kick was as an objective red card as you can get

  13. but reallly how can 3 refs not see that deflection obviously everyone knows nothing is going to be done about it but the people in the world with pure hearts all know this game was a scam and Fifa needs to have more reffs to fix this horrible problem, Netherlands are all pure hearted but since they lost its easy for all the cheaters who know there wrong but are going to just think their right because the call has been made and really this is just a game and is done with but thoses cheaters who think spain won honestly suffer every day of there life with dishonesty and they know it

  14. A fair result in my opinion. I dont think its Webb’s fault that the players decided to come out playing arcade videogame football.

    Spain shouldnt have switched to red for the ceremony. They just won in Navy! Embrace it!

  15. quit blaming the refs. the better team won.

  16. You can make the better team argument all you want. Reality is that a referee’s fuck-up led directly to the only goal they were able to score.

    Like I said, penalties would have been the fair result. The way it ended was complete horseshit.

  17. Spain played the better football over the 120 minutes however the officiating was – unfortunately – again too much front and centre. Webb should have thought twice about the initial card to RVP as after that the die was cast. I do agree that the officials are in a difficult spot… a change that I would love to see to the Laws that will never come about…if players other than the team captain continue to berate the referee their captain receives a yellow. If players don’t respect their own captain and believe he can present their case then what the h*ll is the armband for??? But at the end of the day a word often used by my late grandad appropriately describes Spain’s win…”jammy”

  18. w.e i take it all back i was thinking about it and spain i guess did deserve to win and if you guys think about it Fifa is only once every 4 years compaired to other sporting events that are every year. Fifa is still a baby experience wise and it is a process

  19. I hate to be repetitive but am I the only one to notice that Iniesta was offside just before the goal? Not on the pass from Fabregas but one second earlier on the pass from the left from Torres. Mathijsen put his hand up just before he cut out the pass and it looked to me like Iniesta was clearly ahead of Mathijsen when Torres passed it in. That’s what I thought at the time I kept expecting the goal to be called back for the first offside. That’s the reason Mathijsen was so furious at the linesman.

  20. Iniesta is a great player, but it was sad to see that players who flop get rewarded.
    Arjen Robben did his best to stay up when Puyol clearly pulling his shirt. Iniesta flops and gets Heitinga sent off. I lose a lot of respect for Iniesta when he dives like that

  21. Gerry,


    It was onside. Both the initial, intercepted pass, and the the pass that led to the goal.


    I’d like to say something about Spain’s style of play. I’m sick of people calling Spain boring and comparing them to Greece. What Spain did this past month was not necessarily exciting, but it was skillful. What Greece did in ’04, while admirable in their success, was down to tactics, organization, and discipline. It’s a strategy any decent team can adopt and possibly ride to good results.

    I’m not sure there’s a team in the world who can do what Spain does. Germany said it best after their semi-final loss. They tried to copy the Spanish system of possession and passing, and while they’ve come along way, Loew admitted they were not yet at that level.

    If Spain are boring, it’s because they are so good at what they do, not because they are negative.

  22. @Jason. You’re right. Just barely onside. Congratulations to Spain.

  23. The game pretty much summed up the tournament: decent, but not great, with a helping of officiating incompetence (how did they award that goal kick? HOW!?!) and some occasionally brilliant play.

    Of the World Cups that I can remember, it was certainly better than 1990 or 1994 – which it was in danger of not being after that horrible group stage – but not much more than that.

    Spain, masters of the 1-0 win in this tournament, were the proper representative winners. Good enough for now, but let’s hope for better stuff in Brazil in four years’ time, ok?

  24. Congrates to Spain but beyond that I have nothing good to say about them. I’m mostly pissed off with the commentary that just about every broadcaster had about the Dutch through out this tournament, especially the three idiots on the score. For a team that was critizised at every turn, not flashy enough, their defence sucked, not going to make the semi final I would just like to say that you all suck and don’t have a clue what your talking about. I guess its always the easiest job to be the armchair quarterbacks. You morons probably couldn’t even run the length of the pitch without gasping for breath. See ya!

  25. Overall the ref did a good job. It was the Dutch gameplan to foul a lot and it was working! Maybe if they were a little less agressive and Van Bommel and De Jong were not to pick up their yellows so early they may have been able to cause Spain to lose their heads. You could see them getting under the skin of Spain.

    Both teams had clear chances to get a goal, I don’t think the Dutch should feel to hard done by.

    I normally say I despise Van Bommel, but thought his act was quite entertaining today.

  26. Also, hope to hear either James or Sid refer to this comment on the show tonight:

    4 Time World Champions says:
    “Hey Dunlop I am sick of your smug face and comments. You don’t have a clue.”

    Lol, I’m sure he’s an alright guy, but ragging on the new guy has yet to get old.

  27. who me?

    Match officials get that call of goalkick/corner wrong on many instances during a game. The dutch players should be prepared after a goal kick and not be complaining at the referee. Just play the game.

  28. “”"4 Time World Champions says:
    “Hey Dunlop I am sick of your smug face and comments. You don’t have a clue.”

    Lol, I’m sure he’s an alright guy, but ragging on the new guy has yet to get old.”"”"

    I met Dunlop yesterday…very very cool dude. Don’t mind the constant smiling smug face all that much either ha

  29. Why was Fabregas sitting on the bench most of the game and the tournament? Didn’t he construct the winning goal, passing the ball to Iniesta? I thought he was being hailed as one of the young superstars of the game, at least by Premier League commentators. Thank God they finally brought him on.

    The Dutch were lucky not to being playing a man short most of the game. The karate kick would have been a red card in anything other than a World cup final match.

  30. Terribly disappointing match – moreso than the usual “Finals are conservative” stuff too. Two artists of the game, but only one came to play.. the other came to injure. The Dutch effort was very reminiscent of the Netherlands – Portugal match of 2006 – a match that make them totally rethink what the hell they were doing on a football pitch. Terrible shame to see them revert to that behaviour four years later. Had they actually won, it would have knocked the game back to the stone age.

    Catch-22 moment of the World Cup. In his efforts to not influence the outcome of the match, Howard Webb did exactly that. Should have ejected some donkeys.

    Webb had a stinker, no doubt. But the majority of Dutchmen who got in his face after the match should have been thanking him for letting them stay for 120 minutes. A handful should have been sent off before half time.

    Surprised Robin Van Persie got to stay on the pitch. He was donkey all tournament. You simply can’t carry baggage like him and win.

  31. The Dutch had no choice. They saw what happened when Germany played Spain and let them play with the ball. They had to press forward and challenge for every ball so as to break up Spain’s ball-control game. But the Spanish players just are too quick-footed and the Dutch took alot of fouls.

  32. How the heck was Iniesta offside? Do people understand the offside rule? For people complaining about diving I have to agree with 4 Time World Champions ALL TEAMS DIVE. Dutch had opportunities to score and they didn’t. Yes Spain dived a lot, but Netherlands got away with some harsh fouls too (De Jong kicking the chest of Xavi, no red???). I am sure the Dutch fans were not complaining when Robben was diving against Brazil. Bottomline the better team won today.

  33. Before this match I posted on another forum that for the Dutch to win they’d have to disrupt Spain’s rhythm in midfield and their pressing game, albeit with a lot of fouls, did the trick for awhile. Shame Robben missed that first breakaway (great ball from Sneijder!): I was hoping that the Dutch would score first and then we could have seen if the Spanish had the stones to come from behind.

    After hearing a lot of hype, I was disappointed with van der Wiel’s play: lots of unforced errors and never seemed to settle down. Also felt Elia was a let down: I was really hoping he would put Ramos to the sword but was reluctant to take on the Spanish RB. RVP, though he worked hard as the lone ranger up front, didn’t really take his play to the levels he displayed for his club. That van Bommel is a great windup artist: example, after his teammate fouled Iniesta he made sure to slyly kick the ball at the prone Spaniard just to agitate. Both keepers had big games.

    Both teams had excellent opportunities to score, regardless of the possession stats or style points.

  34. “”Match officials get that call of goalkick/corner wrong on many instances during a game. The dutch players should be prepared after a goal kick and not be complaining at the referee.”‘

    If it was close, I would agree with you. There is no conceivable reason for the officials to get that one wrong. Not one. There was no Oranje player who could have given Webb any reason to think it went off anything but the Spanish wall.

  35. Two things led to the demise of the Dutch:

    1. Howard Webbs inconsistent display of officiating and consistent effort to make the game more about himself then the players on the pitch. Glaring mistakes throughout the game including the “missed” corner just prior to the goal, the ridiculous no call when Puyol grabbed Robben by the waist which should’ve been a card and a free kick just outside the box, and the ridiculous call on Heitinga to send him off(which contributed to the goal) where a tap on the shoulder sent Iniesta flying.

    2. Bert VanMarwijks first bad tactics/sub decisions of the tournament. Removing both Kuyt and VanBronckhorst off that left side was a very poor decision and one that ended up costing him the game, especially after Heitinga was sent off, as the breakdown that caused the goal happened on the left side.

    Congrats to Spain although this game was so evenly matched it wouldve been nice to see penalties decide it rather then an egotistical man with a whistle.

  36. Goal line technology(or lack there of) decided the outcome of the World Cup final today?

    Call me crazy? Follow along….

    England vs Germany in the round of 16, England scores a goal that is not counted, by a Uruguayan ref, because of the lack of? Goal line technology.

    Uruguay vs.Ghana in the quarterfinals. Uruguay appeals to FIFA to replace Howard Webb because of the chance that the English ref may feel he needs to deliver payback to the Uruguayans for the mistake made against his country in the round of 16.

    Because of FIFA’s agreement to replace the ref in that match Webb is left in the pool of officials eligible to ref the final game. FIFA then chooses Webb to officiate the final and Webb and his ego roll into Soccer City and literally puts an exclamation mark on what this World Cup will be remembered for….the poorest officiating ever in a World Cup. It’s a shame that the first World Cup in Africa will be remembered for that..

  37. ““”Match officials get that call of goalkick/corner wrong on many instances during a game. The dutch players should be prepared after a goal kick and not be complaining at the referee.”‘

    If it was close, I would agree with you. There is no conceivable reason for the officials to get that one wrong. Not one. There was no Oranje player who could have given Webb any reason to think it went off anything but the Spanish wall.”

    Not to mention he’s standing 10 yards away staring right at the wall. This wasn’t even the worst part for me. Puyol getting nothing for grabbing Robben(who had the ball and a scoring chance) around the waist and Heitinga getting sent off for far less against Iniesta(who had almost no chance at making a play) just because the Spaniard went down like he was hit by a sniper.

  38. I’ll be a bit fair to Webb. This is the first important match he has made a mockery of. He was fine in the Euro 2008 Final and this year’s CL Final. I believe his performance today is a result of FIFA’s gross incompetence at handling its officials.

    When Uruguay complained to FIFA on the grounds that Webb would fuck them because of Larrionda fucking England, they should have been told to fuck off and that FIFA trusts their officials. I’ve officiated hockey, and as an official, if whatever league or association I’m working for shows no trust in me with no grounds at all, ESPECIALLY because of another team’s complaint when I had not officiated any of their matches, I would quit on the spot.

    It’s bad enough that Webb got taken off the Uruguay-Ghana match. He should have been placed on one of the ARG-DEU or ESP-PAR matches, or given a semi-final. He had pretty much 2 weeks off between his last match and the final. That much time off for Webb in the EPL would be a punishment, not a reward for being the best referee in the tournament to that point, which Howard Webb was. He was great in the Brazil-Chile match, but to go from the round of 16 to the Final, with nothing to work in between, completely fucked Webb’s World Cup.

  39. @ JV, I agree the officiating was not the best but you can’t ignore DeJong’s kick to Xabi and Van Bommel was lucky not to get a red for one of his tackles on Iniesta. For the Robben-Puyol play, looks like Robben should have dived and he probably would have got the call but Robben kept running so the ref was not going to call anything. Webb was inconsistent but it was not one sided officiating.

  40. I have to agree with the De Jong tackle it couldve easily been a red but that wouldve been a “tough call”, which of course Webb and his ego were bragging all week he wouldn’t be scared to make.

    I would say the inconsistency maybe wasn’t one sided but it was definetly far from even. There was 4-5 handballs on Spains side never called which I couldnt believe, the farce no call on Robben which completely eliminated a scoring chance and numerous other calls/no calls. There was one point in the second half where Spain committed no fouls for over 25 minutes and plenty of opportunities to give them. 25 mins in that game? The way both those teams were playing?

    I wish I could say the best team won but I can’t. To me it was an evenly played game and shouldve let the players decide it in penalties.

  41. It wasn’t one-sided. I felt bad for Webb in a way. This could not have been an easy match to officiate. However, getting such an easy decision wrong on Sneijder’s free kick is too much to ignore. In case you haven’t noticed, I am going to have a really hard time letting this one go. It’s the ONE important decision during the match that involved no judgment or any kind of brain power, and they got it wrong.

    Best team, yada yada yada, the goal that sunk Oranje today was unfair!

  42. I dont much like the finish either Lance and I’m not one to pin things on the officials but unfortunately its what this WC will be remembered for. Personally I really think the removal of Kuyt and Van Bronckhorst was contributed more to that last goal then the official. I can understand one but not the other. Especially when they were forced into a 4-4-1 I could see Kuyt being in better position to make a play on that ball at the end with how he approaches the game.

  43. Perhaps a point to raise on the show… This was Webb’s 4th match of the World Cup. Obviously physical fitness is a requirement for FIFA. If I remember right, they sent 3 crews home before the tournament because they didn’t pass their physicals. The referees need to be in the same great physical condition as the players…

    Why is it that the Final is only a referee’s 4th match of the tournament when it’s the 7th for the players? Even without FIFA screwing Webb out of Uruguay-Ghana, it would have been his 5th match. Why are referees not required to work through each round of the tournament and have the best in each round move on? It only makes sense.

  44. Rooney was right Iniesta is the best player in the world, the guy has been playing this good for years for Barca, besides the goal he was the player of the game. Spain has class all over the field, but when this guy takes on defenders he’s amazing.

  45. JV, I don’t disagree about Kuyt and van Bronckhorst, but reality is that if we have that corner, that goal doesn’t happen. For me, that’s just a bottom line.

  46. I’d just like to congratulate the only undefeated team at this World Cup – New Zealand!

    Now, who would have predicted that before the tourney started. Or even during it?

  47. I agree lance but the officiating is someting out of the players/coaches control and there was something within their control that regardless of the call couldve made a difference.

  48. And again a referee was decisive in a game! Really hoped for Holland to win but thanks to Iniesta ( I always considered him to be a great player but after this game in which he constantly asked to give opponents cards I consider him to be a ‘ cry baby ‘ ) Spain was not that impressive I thought and the game could have gone on for ages until the referee’s mistake which turned the game.
    Did not see Villa, did not see Torres and the rest were simply not allowed to play their own game. I think the luckiest team won today and not necessarely the best team.
    I have great respect for the Dutch since they surprised me more this tournament than any other team.
    I enjoyed teh Worldcup very much!

  49. With “substitutes” like Navas, Fabregas and Torres coming off the bench, it easy to see Spain had the better players and could win a shootout. Once Heitinga was dismissed for tugging a shirt of all things the game was all but over. The missed corner kick at the end and lost Dutch possession just speeded things up. A forgettable final.

  50. VandeVaart, Robben, Sneijder, Van Persie, Elia(Vander Wiel) was hardly a given that spain win in penalties.

  51. L. Bruce says:

    With “substitutes” like Navas, Fabregas and Torres coming off the bench, it easy to see Spain had the better players and could win a shootout.

    Winning a shootout does not come down to a better bench it comes down to which team has the greater mental strength

  52. hey “4 Time World Champions,” still bitter that your team sucks hey? No need to take it out on me buddy

  53. +1 to Gian-Luca’s praise of NZ.

  54. Van Persie should have came out instead of Kuyt…. great match, really sad for the Dutch…

  55. The Dutch are goons. They shamed their nation today in the way they played.

  56. Shutup Tony. Oranje did not shame their nation. Not even close. There were a lot of bad fouls from both teams. Puyol should have been sent off, and Iniesta did go after van Bommel away from the ball. That can be a red card in many situations as well.

    The yellow card count makes this match look a lot more uneven on paper than it really was. Heitinga’s first yellow was shit, and his second yellow was helped by Iniesta getting shot by a sniper. No way should he have been sent off. Heitinga was one of the very few players on the pitch who didn’t deserve to be booked at all.

  57. if heitinga shouldnt have been sent off de jong sure should have

  58. Hey Lance,

    No objectivity, no integrity, that’s all your comments show. Your team lost, it hurts like hell, you can’t possibly be objective, we get it. The Oranje decided that they weren’t going to beat Spain with skill, so they thought, why don’t we try to break their legs or bash their heads in. Their play was an utter disgrace. It was an utter travesty that De Joke didn’t get sent off for one of the most flagrant and vicious fouls that I’ve ever seen. He got away with it b/c it was early in a WC final game. Spain dominated most o)f the game, were technically better and had more chances. The better team won, regardless of a few blown calls (both ways). The Dutch team played disgracefully. Why don’t you read the game reviews around the Net and see what the consensus is.
    Or better yet, why don’t you let the beer clear out and sleep it off before you post any more BS.

    Cheers, Viva Espana, World Champions !

  59. Puyol should have been sent off. Another reason to have refs beside the goal line.

    I also love how only because Holland played rough, everyone completely didn’t pay attention to some horrible diving by the Spaniards. These guys went down like ballerinas. But in these days that skill is essential to win trophies… Combine that with some amazing short passing and you got an unbeatable tactic.

    Also Sneijder’s free kick should of been a corner. In all honesty this should of went to PKs…

  60. AC, yes, when Iniesta dives over defenders he’s amazing! I have no love for Ronaldo but I never want to hear Iniesta calling him a diver again.

    Bishop Red, why do you even comment on football?

    Right from the get go, with Webb and his “look at me, I’ve got yellow cards” approach, we knew the game wolud ultimately be about the ref and not about the football. Ruined game.

    Before the tournament I picked Spain, and I enjoyed watching Spain in the Euro and in qualifiers. But during this tournament they were mostly boring. I don’t get the “they’re playing such beautiful football” comments. Germany and Netherlands played the best an most entertaining football in the World Cup.

    Anyway, lots of great comments here. Restores my faith in humanity. After reading all the Associated Press garbage that went up all over the place after the game, I was beginning to wonder…

  61. Obviously I’m going to support Oranje with whatever I say. However, if you have noticed, I have not taken credit away from Spain. They are worthy winners. All I’ve said amounts to that the fair result for this match was 0-0 going to penalties, where to be honest, Spain has the clear advantage with Casillas.

    I have never said that de Jong’s foul on Xabi Alonso was not a red card offence. I would not have argued had Webb sent him off. However, that doesn’t mean that a plethora of mistakes from Webb near the end didn’t give Holland the short end of the stick.

    You can say what you want about how Holland played today, the game plan was working. Like it or not, you do what you have to do to win a final. One thing I have read on some game reviews on the internet is that Iniesta could have seen red for going after van Bommel away from the ball, but he didn’t even get a yellow. Mark van Bommel did his job, he got into Iniesta’s head and Iniesta reacted. In extra time, Iniesta took a disgusting dive to get Heitinga his second yellow. He also got van der Wiel booked by diving when there was no contact. Webb had a shitty game today on both sides, but late on, he took Holland to the cleaners.

    Puyol should have seen a second yellow for groping Robben. Sid Sixeiro is the ONLY person I have heard disagree with that.

    The last and most crucial mistake, giving Spain a goal kick instead of a corner to Holland, is what decided this match. Again, not saying Spain are not a worthy team of the World Cup, but how they got the winning goal was pure and utter bullshit!

  62. in my opinion Paolo Rosetti should have refereed this game

  63. Hey Dunlop, 4 time champions pal, I have had my share of seeing my team win. What I am bitter about is the shots and biased comments you are you cohorts take even when my team wins. You are on TV and have an obligation to report with some class and objectivity for ALL your viewers instead of choosing to read negative comments about my team.

    You see my team lost early but instead of having some class and letting it go you and your buddies continue to take shots. If you had any class you wouldn’t take shots when someone is down. So, I give what I receive. Enjoy it buddy! I saw you every night choosing to read comments that were negative on my team with that smug look on your face. If you can’t take it maybe you shouldn’t dish it out.

  64. AMAC:

    I should not comment on football?

    Care to back that up? The Dutch weren’t thuggish? A thuggish side winning wouldn’t create a culture of emulation of, in this case, the lowest common denominator? The Dutch couldn’t have had more than one sent off? Webb didn’t ref poorly? Van Persie did something?

    Care to back yourself up?


  65. Beautiful game? bah this was a discrace to the history and name that is football.

    This game exemplified what is wrong in football today – the players know how to work the system to such an extent that any attempt by the refs to bring it under control results in a flush of cards, that should only be seen in poker! The refs don’t have the benefit of the replays that the fans do and are ridiculed for it.

    I hope FIFA seriously considers video reviews, and institutes the ability to challenge calls. They should also begin review the games after the fact and start issuing post-match penalties for dives. They need to start assisting and giving the refs better training.

    And players need to relearn ethics.

    Sep has to go – he’s a dinosaur. FIFA needs some fresh thinking.

    Congrats to Spain on their first championship. To bad it will be remembered in a tarnished light.

  66. The Dutch had to play a style that would give them an opportunity to win, an opportunity that was given to them late in the match to Arjen Robben, but they failed to capitalize. I would compare the Dutch to the Swiss at the beginning of the tournament. The Swiss were big, strong defenders that posed problems for the small Spanish players. Unlike the Dutch, the Swiss managed to capitalize on their opportunity.
    I think if Spain had scored earlier in the match, any time before the 60th minute mark; I think the Dutch would have found a way back into the match. I think if the Dutch would have scored early or at all; the physical presence imposed by the Dutch wouldn’t have allowed the Spanish back into the match unless a red card or two were handed out.

    I didn’t much enjoy the style played by the Dutch. The physical element that they played took away from the match. Yet with that being said, the Dutch had to do what they thought they needed to win; and that meant trying to win whatever style it was. I am glad that Spain managed to win the match, as Spain out classed the Netherlands. I was blown away at how Van Bommel never received a red card after being a continuous offender, and the De Jong chest high ariel assault on Xabi Alonso merited nothing less then a red card. I think Webb was too worried about influencing the match, that he hesitated to give a red card so early in the match. If the Dutch really wanted to play a physical style I don’t know why Boularhoz didn’t get the nod to start, as I still recall his waist high stomp on Ronaldo in the previous world cup, with that being said… De Jong’s imitation of Chris Tucker on Rush Hour trumps that pussy foot tackle of Boularhoz! ha

    In my opinion Jesus Navas was a brilliant change made by Bosque. Navas not only provided width, he provided some support and distibution for Villa who at times seemed alone in the attack. I feel Torres’ pain, recently coming off an injury it is very difficult to regain form in such a short spell; yet I feel that he was lucky to even be given the 15+ mins of time that he received at the end of the match.

    Overall, I feel Spain deserved to win the match. It wasn’t a “Classic Final” that will be remembered, yet it wasn’t a complete let down.
    I am glad that Diego Forlan was honoured with the Golden Ball award, as I think he truly deserved that recognition taking a team that barely qualified to the brink of taking some hardware home!

    As for ‘Tires” or Dunlop, I don’t understand what all the dislike or hate is towards the guy; he is a great addition to the mix, as Sid is a beauty and needs a perfect target to crack a witty remark about! Without Dunlop, the level of humour wouldn’t have been the same as Cabbie wasn’t around to have some good fun being poked at!

  67. A Majestic WIN!!! VIVA Espana, I believed in them from the start, even when they lost to the Swiss in their 1st game.

    Iniesta’s goal was just Epic in the last minute. What other country in the world has so many great players that actually play as a team, simply amazing! Spain displays the essence of futbol!!!! They’ll surely be back in 2014.

    Hopefully KJ, Sid, James, & Brendan will be in Rio next WC!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

  68. Whoa everyone needs to calm down. Firstly congrats to Spain.

    I think that Spain defense through possession was the difference in this match, well that and the effectiveness of their substitutes.

    Webb had an off day and was very inconsistent throughout the match. He missed calls both ways, and some of the missed calls were contributing factors in the games only goal. In my mind he is the story.

    To anyone that says Holland shamed their country, that idea is absurd. They played the same way in the final that the played in every other match, they had said that they were about results and not about playing attractive football. Not everyone liked it, but they certainly didn’t shame their nation either.

    Both teams have players on their team that dive, and divers get calls. What annoys me is the gesturing for a card after the dive. A perfect is Iniesta getting van der weil booked in extra time. Robben had his fair share of flops during the tournament, why he didn’t go down under Puyol’s challenge I don’t know it was certainly out of character.

    Four times Champions – It is safe to assume that most people on here had at least one Italian tell them they received a legitimate penalty against New Zealand. If you are going to say that sort of thing with a straight face, then expect to hear a fair few comments about people are glad that the Italians went out early. If you are not a fan of the way that the Score presents the beautiful game, by allowing their presenters to be fans as well as commentators, by all means watch the coverage on Rogers Stalenet.

    Lance – You don’t need to repeat yourself over and over. We get it. You think the Orange were hard done by and you feel like you are the only that notices it. If you keep responding people will keep goading you.

    So congrats again to Spain, winning the World Cup is never easy.

  69. For the showpiece World Cup Final, that was a terrible game of football. The Dutch made absolutely zero effort to go forward and were playing for penalties after about, erhm…3 minutes!! How de Jong isn’t sent off, I don’t know? Not the refs fault if the players continually foul each other and then roll around theatrically. Spain have looked ordinary this WC. They are AT BEST an average winner. Four straight 1-0 wins are a testament to their solid defence and so-so offence. Overall, not a classic WC by any means. To my mind, instantly forgettable. So funny to watch the Spanish citizens all celebrating overnight. As most of them don’t work they haven’t got to worry about getting up in the morning!!

  70. I am disappointed by the Spanish fans. FU for driving around Liberty Village after winning. I have no problem with you celebrating, but that is disrespectful. I am so glad I had my 5 year old with me to keep me calm. I used to be fine with the idea of Spain winning, but now you are all in the same category as Portugal and Italy. See you in 2012!!!!!!!!

  71. Before we go signing that ‘Spain was the best team in the tournament’, let us recall this is a team that lost to the Swiss, and won their last 4 games with a 1-0 score. Hardly the score that inspires greatness. For all the talented players they had, you would think more than 3 players would score goals in 7 games. Further, passing the ball along the back line means squat. Ball possession is useless, unless you are putting the ball in the net. So for all of you singing Spain’s praises, certainly rejoice that they captured the World Cup, but best team in the tournament? I don’t think so.

  72. @4 Time World Champions
    I hope you enjoy waiting another 24 years for your fifth. On current form, it will take the Italians a lot longer than that to add to their trophy case.

    Congratulations to Spain, who play the game the proper way, and sod Holland for their cynical, anti-football thuggery. See the RTE postgame show where the Dutch get a proper bollocking: http://www.rte.ie/sport/worldcup/highlights.html

  73. I do wonder how many people have seen that free kick taken, the one that hit the wall and was ruled a goal kick.

    Right before it’s taken, one of the Dutch players walks straight at Webb talking to him. And by right before, I mean that player is walking towards Webb while the kick taker (Sneijder?) started his run up. Because of the timing, it’s entirely possible that Webb got distracted and didn’t see the ball deflect at all. Equally it’s possible that the Dutch player was blocking his view of the initial kick, such that Webb couldn’t see the flight of the ball until it was floating out.

    Having said that, I’m merely speculating.

  74. Holland is #2 in the WORLD. I can sleep well knowing that and their day will come soon. No question!!!! Holland knew Spain were going to play boring possession football so they were going to be rough with them. To be honest, Villa was a non factor so it obviously worked. The only reason Spain scored was because Holland was down to 10 men and this was going to penalties. Holland was EXTREMELY successful in shutting Spain down for the entire game. Holland had numerous chances to score and could not finish. This game could have gone either way.

  75. BR, there are enough excellent comments on here, contrary to yours, that are apt enough. Read them.

    General comment: The most over-used word in football journalism these days is “cynical”. Stop it.

  76. 4 time world champions is the definistion of all thats wrong with italian soccer

  77. AMAC:

    Nothing apt until your comment somewhere in the 60s, I see.

    I’m relieved we have a moral arbiter like you on board. For some silly reason I thought a list mod might intervene, but I see that’s your calling instead.

    General comment: Go hump yourself.

  78. @ Faith in Netherlands – Sometimes in sports there is a very small window of opporunity to win. Netherlands has done well but I see them as the Malone compared to Spain as Jordon. Netherlands success was based on rare occurance that Snjedier and Robben both had thier peak year during this world cup. Does anyone honestly believe they will play with the same success in four years, or even two years in Poland? I’m not downplaying thier massive accomplishment, I just think this was a team that hit nearly perfect timing.

    In comparison, Spain has the foundations for a true dynasty. Likewise, I see Germany only getting better in two and four years time.

  79. A nightmare of a game to referee. The Dutch were trying to break up Spain’s passing and were fouling them all the time. Of course the spanish players make the most of it, they all do.
    If the Dutch had some calls go against them, its only fair, they should have been a man short after that Karate kick.

  80. First of all Spain is not my team (I am a Brazil fan). However I am getting sick of the Spain is not good blah blah blah. People said the same thing 4 years ago when Italy won. Bottomline these teams won the World Cup and your team did not. GET OVER IT, Think about this why did big bad Germany have to change their style and play scared against Spain? Why did the Dutch have to resort to fouling all the time against Spain? Dutch fans need to stop crying about the refs. Not one of you can convince me that De Jong deserved to stay in the game after the Karate Kick. Do you even understand the rules of the game? De Jong should have been off (and Van Bommel) early in the match so stop making the excuses about the missed calls at the end of the game. If De Jong had gone off like he was suppose to the game would have different scenarios completely. Who knows maybe the Dutch would have even won miraculously. We will never know.


    Holland and Spain were a disgrace
    Posted by: Simon68 (IP Logged)
    Date: 12 July, 2010 11:44

    This was no victory for football as the Spanish football loving BBC, the spoken and written media and just about everyone else wants to have us believe.

    The Dutch approach towards this World Cup was totally wrong and I said so a while back. The final just got worse. Led by van Bommel they went out to stifle and kick. Two DCM’s, Kuyt playing as an extra left back to stop Ramos, van der Weil never going past the halfway line, Robben just being selfish (as he always is) and sh*te, meant not one decent pass was played to RvP for 120 minutes. Pathetic. I said van Bommel was a liability and it proved to be the case last night. The managers son-in-law. Says it all really.

    The Dutch manager should be sacked without delay and someone who wants the traditional values of the Dutch game back should be put in charge.

    And Spain were hardly any better.

    The first 3 fouls from the Dutch were just plain fouls, nothing hurtful, but you would have thought it was Shawcross or Taylor standard the way the Spanish players rolled over and over and the Spanish surrounded Webb waving imaginary cards. It may have been the first 5 or 6 ‘fouls’ – there were so many instances of diving and playacting from Spain I lost count in my disgust.

    Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Busquets, Capdevilla and the rest were all at it, diving and cheating, or at Webb. Xavi has not only been totally pedestrian at this WC, he’s shown he has just as big a mouth on the field as off it.

    If van Bommel wanted to put his spite to good use, or de Jong harness his undoubted kung fu abilities, then the best thing they could have done is make loads of us happy by twatting that f*cking big mouthed, cheating little c*nt Xavi in the face. Let’s see him try and get players sent off all the time or talk about Cesc’s barcelona DNA then.

    As for people saying Webb and his officials had a good game, what f*cking planet are those people on?

    The free-kick that Schneider took a few minutes before the goal hit first Cesc clearly in the shoulder area before being touched again by Casillas, yet he gave a goal kick. This was followed by a blatant block on Elia on the left edge of the Spain penalty area yet nothing was given. Then Iniesta was clearly offside from the ball that was headed to Cesc to set up Iniesta for ther goal. Offside should definitely have been given because the only intended recipient was Iniesta and the Dutch defender was forced into a weak header to cut the ball out. This was a direct event that influenced the goal.

    Iniesta should not even have been on the pitch to score the goal. As well as being one of the worst players on the pitch, as he was in the semi-final, he committed a nasty foul that should have been a yellow card and then later should have been given a straight red for off the ball retaliation, even though it was van Bommel. On top of that he should have received at least one yellow card for cheating.

    The Spanish in general were not averse to nasty and cynical fouls (two on RvP spring to mind) and Puyol committed a last man, sending off pull back on Robben far worse than the Iniesta falling over in a slight breeze piece of playacting that got Hietinger sent off. What an irony that Robben stayed on his feet for once in his life.

    Del Bosque has been almost as culpable as the Dutch manager in his anti-football tactics.

    What on earth makes people think that Xavi playing about 600 passes is watchable? The vast majority were sideways and backwards and served little purpose. He showed a complete lack of ambition and hardly made an effort to get forward. Villa, who was poor last night had little support during the entire WC. Torres was abysmal (injured?), Pedro anonymous last night, Iniesta couldn’t wait to dive or just give the ball away. Navas looked lively, Alonso played pretty well, but, and although I am biased, Spain looked a much better team whenever Cesc was on the field. He added a dynamism which Spain lacked throughout the tournament. It was the same at Euro 2008. Unfortunately for Cesc, there are certain undroppables which hampers his progress.

    The fact that Spain had 7 barcelona players on the pitch doesn’t mean they will play like barcelona. A certain player called Messi raises barcelona several notches higher, which is why, although Spain won the WC, they were the best, maybe, (they should have gone out to Germany in the semi’s if Ramos had been sent off and a penalty given) of a pretty ordinary bunch.

    If del Bosque had anything about him, he should have dropped Xavi ages ago, put Alonso further forward and put Cesc in the role he played so well for half an hour last night and at other cameo appearances in South Africa. Spain would have then scored several more the pitiful 8 they managed in more than 7 full games. And been more entertaining. But if you want to stop the opposition from scoring, what better way to do it than keep the ball for most of the game? So what if you hope for a lucky break or a piece of individual skill to get you a 1-0 win? So Spain got lucky and they won the WC.

    As for the BBC, what a shower of sh*t they are. Led by Hansen, castigating Holland for their tactics, yet condoning leg breaking and potential leg breaking tackles on ****nal players week in, week out. Where was the ‘To stop a team like ****nal from playing you have to get amongst them and let them know you’re there, otherwise they will kill you.’ praise for Holland?

    How the f*ck can Shearer sit there and condemn Holland for roughhouse tactics when he was one of the dirtiest centre forwards of the past 20 years? He would kick and elbow with the best of them. And Lee Dixon, an ****nal great under George Graham mostly, wasn’t averse to kicking the granny out of the likes of Ginola when necessary.

    I’m glad it’s over and we can get back to what’s really important, footballistically.


    Spain Play Ugly And Boring – Stifle Germany’s Beautiful Football
    Posted on July 8, 2010 by Max Bergmann

    Spain are now getting heaped with praise because they won. But I figured I would be a little bit like a Spaniard, and complain about how they won. I am ready to be called a Philistine – but I hate watching this Spanish team and found myself desperately rooting for Germany just so I wouldn’t have to watch the Spaniards play again.

    Let’s be clear – Spain didn’t win because their possession after much futility finally unlocked the German defense. There was no beautiful moment. No, instead there was a committed, yet unmarked, defender scoring off a free header on a corner kick. How very German of them.

    See, as a general fan of the Premier League, I have in the past been annoyed by the Spanish press and its football aficionados who complain that English teams (or those managed by Jose Morinho) don’t let Barca “play” their beautiful game. But what Spain have showed thus far in this tournament is anything but beautiful. I hate to say it, but Spain play boring uneventful soccer. Spain make it look like the objective of the game is to simply have more possession than the other team. They create few chances and play at a slow, er NBA, like pace. They bore the opponent into submission. They are the reincarnation of the famous Simpson’s take on soccer.

    Spain have dominated possession in every game they have played and yet create shockingly few chances. Gary Lineker’s famous saying about football being played by 22 men running around a pitch and in the end the Germans win 1-0, could just as easily apply to Spain. The point here is that in many ways Spain are not dissimilar to the 2004 Greece team that won the European Championships or the classic organized and defensive German teams that won by sucking the life out of games and winning 1-0 on a free kick.

    Now I can sense my readers disbelief (he is comparing Greece to Spain? That’s nuts). There is no question that Spain have tremendous players – by far the most technically gifted of any team – but they use their technique and skill to play a game that is as much about stifling their opponents, as it is about scoring. It is in many ways just as negative a style as those played by organized, defensive teams. Despite all the possession, Germany in fact created about as many truly threatening chances as Spain did. They defend by keeping possession. Spain simply do not take advantage of stretched defenses. On countless occasions there was an opportunity to take advantage of space that had been opened up, but no – the instinct of the Spanish players is not to push, not to risk losing the ball, it is to retain possession and to stop and pass the ball back.

    So they are similar to Greece and old-Germany, in that while they used their size, strength and commitment to defensively stifle their opposition in 2004, Spain instead use their technique and skill to stifle their opponents. In this tournament, the Germans were playing beautiful fast football, and yesterday Spain killed that. Yes German tactics had something to do with it, but the game was very similar to watching Greece’s defensive masterpieces in 2004. The purists will say I don’t appreciate the artistry at work in playing a possession football – but the same could be said about Greece of 2004. Casual fans who wanted action, didn’t “appreciate” how tactically organized and disciplined Greece was and couldn’t appreciate the art of stalwart defending.

    In 2008, this was not the case. Spain played played much more attacking, flowing soccer that utilized width with David Silva in place of the redundant Alonso. Now under Del Bosque Spain play with three players that are basically the same – Xavi, Iniesta, and Alonso. Yes they have their differences, but all three are central midfielders – and when Fabregas is thrown in they play with 4. They play in front of a Busquets a holding player.

    The instincts of their “wide” players is always to cut inside. But by cutting inside their is absolutely no width on the left, instead there are 4 or 5 (since Pedro essentially played inside as well) other players that are basically also camped in the middle of the field. That is 6 players in the central midfield. This has made Spain exceptionally easy to defend. Since with no width, Spain’s only way of attacking at that point is to play hopeful precise through ***** to Villa (which were easily dealt with – with one early exception), play 1-2s in tight space to put players through (these were easily dealt with), lay off the ball for Alonso to have a hit (why not I guess?), or hit it wide to Sergio Ramos and have him put in a cross that David Villa has no chance of winning against the German backline. That is all they got. And so despite loads of possession, Spain somehow score on a corner kick.

    Just before Spain scored, there was an instructive moment, in which Iniesta was isolated on Germany’s right back Phillip Lahm just outside the 18. Lahm made a lazy lunge and Iniesta easily skipped by. Now most players would feverishly take advantage of the opening in space and push aggressively into the box and put in a cross. Well not Iniesta, and not Spain. Instead, Iniesta casually moved into the area but instead of putting in a cross he stopped and stood on the ball, allowing the covering German defender to recover and put the ball out of play.

    In the final Against the Dutch, the game will be similar. Spain will control the ball, the chances will be about equal and someone will one-nil, most likely the Spanish.

  82. @ Saint Par
    Holland will be back. This definitely wasn’t a one time occurance. Just look at how Holland has performed at the youth levels in the Euro and how they have consistenly performed well at major tournaments. Thanks for trying to ruin my sleep, but it didn’t work. I will be back here in 2 years time with a simple….I TOLD YOU SO!!!!


  83. Football has been taken over by a bunch of metro-sexuals

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