Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Spain, then, have finally achieved the ultimate goal and landed the biggest Trophy that it's possible to win on Planet Earth.

And not before time. This was a date with destiny. Perennial underachievers no longer. Years of failures and frustrations. Tears and heartache. Inevitable moments of believing that it would never happen, that the dream would never come to pass. And then one day it comes, that one Victory that contains all the power in the world to heal the scars of the past and turn despair to triumph and heartache to delirious elation.

This was a World Cup of firsts. The first time that Spain have won the Cup. The first time any team has won the Cup after losing their first game. And the first time that a European team has won it outside of their own continent. Spain have made history in South Africa in 2010.

Germany have now lost to the eventual winners in each of the three World Cups since the turn of the century. For the second World Cup running the team that knocked out Brazil ended up losing the Final.

Holland have now appeared in three Finals and not won any of them. England's seemingly interminable wait for a shot at glory goes on as they continue to flatter to deceive.

The rise of the Asian sides was a feature in South Africa, and the closely fought nature of matches such as Paraguay v Spain and Uruguay v Holland and the third/fourth-place match are also indicative of the gap between so-called big teams and the rest of the world closing. The fates that befell the mighty France and Italy may become a common occurrence for the big guns in future tournaments.

The closing images of the World Cup - Iniesta's late strike and the jubilant celebrations that followed - must have warmed the heart of many neutrals across the world; for Spain were worthy Champions, and fully deserve their moment. For now - and rightly so - they reign peerless, perched majestically at the summit of World Football.

1 comment:

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