Spain deserved the World Cup.....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, July 12, 2010 9:44 AM

They were partying in the streets of Tenerife last night as Spain’s foot balling philosophy prevailed with a 1-0 win over a barbaric Dutch outfit.

In keeping with the somewhat predictable tenor that this World Cup has kept in tune to, the tournament’s final sang from a very similar hymn sheet. A low-scoring affair dotted with poor refereeing decisions was decided by Andres Iniesta’s solitary goal.

Admittedly, the intensity of the contest reflected the importance of the match and made for a compelling spectacle. Sadly though, I doubt this final will live long in the memory for footballing reasons.

Rather, it will go down as the final where the Netherlands sacrificed their principles and paid the ultimate price. Their unsporting behavior was an insult to their glittering footballing history and the spirit of the beautiful game, and has been met with indignation worldwide.

A dogged Netherlands side made its strategy quite conspicuous from the outset: to close down Spain’s fantastic midfield quartet through foul play and intimidation.

Much had been made of Howard Webb’s selection as referee for this game, though he hardly covered himself in glory. Much like his footballing counterparts, Webb froze on the biggest stage of them all and got the big decisions wrong. He can now join the ever-growing pantheon of our footballing exports to rejoice in eternal mediocrity.

How Nigel De Jong managed to stay on the pitch after his kung-fu assault on Xabi Alonso beggars belief. Similarly, it’s a miracle that the feculent character of Mark van Bommel lasted the full 120 minutes played, despite his reckless challenge on Andres Iniesta warranting a red card in itself.

After transferring his sense of officialdom to these two troglodytes, it was only natural that the whole game would be played in the same vein. To quote from another sport, ref-bashing nowadays may be par for the course, but Webb’s ineptitudes were made glaringly obvious last night. Hopefully, Mr. Sepp Blatter has taken note.

But it was not meant to turn out this way. Some may be forgiven for perceiving me to be high up on my footballing pedastal, lambasting the Dutch for not sticking to a hypothetical script of lavish intrepidity. After all, their performances in previous games in this tournament have also not been in the same mould as previous years, instead hacking results out of rock rather than carving them out of marble.

Yet few can be happy with the way the match panned out, failing to live up to its unparalleled billing. Two sublime footballing philosophies were to clash for the first time ever in a World Cup final, and viewers across the globe were entitled to expect a sumptuous affair. Sadly, this wasn’t to be, primarily thanks to the Netherlands. Regardless of their questionable exploits, I took great pleasure in seeing Spain cut through their welded doors to claim the prize on the other side.

For a nation that used to pride itself on playing Total Football, it’s a shame that thuggery and cynicism has overtaken free-flowing play. In some circles, some would suggest that the game was a high-octane display of blood and thunder, the Dutch’s abrasiveness contrasting with Spanish artistry.

However, I for one find it difficult to condone such heavy-handed tactics, particularly when this Netherlands side has some of the most technically gifted players in the world in Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart. It’s also a shame in that the Oranje often looked dangerous on the counter-attack. Perhaps if they had forced the issue themselves initially, we would be talking about a different result. Obviously, negating your opponent’s strengths is a legitimate tactic, but it should come with consideration for the laws of the game.

I take no pleasure in spraying blankets of vitriol at defense-oriented line-ups, despite the lack of enterprising play as a result. Football is a results business after all. Of course, a defensive outlook does not make for great entertainment per se, but the legality of such an approach should not be brought into question. Likewise, one proposing the need for a Dutch Zugzwang of sorts are naive at best, but surely with the talent at their disposal, simply attempting to win the match isn’t a figment of idealism. But alas, the Dutch were nothing short of disgraceful last night, their raging cynicism only equaled by those journalists who claim that Spain adopted similarly violent tactics.

Many people have suggested that Spain are not worthy winners of the World Cup, as they finished the tournament with the lowest amount of goals scored for a victorious side.

However, what these people need to consider is the way in which teams set their stall out when they play Spain. To not concede a goal. But the Netherlands took it to an extreme last night. Spain’s 1-0 victories are not a reflection of the wondrous imagination and subtly shown in their games.

When coupled with their supreme technical ability diffused into them from early age, it was always likely that they would leave South Africa with glory, regardless of how unimpressive the scoreboards were in their respective games. They’re a joy to watch, and their victory over the Netherlands is even sweeter with the following point in mind. They didn’t sacrifice their principles, as they are irrevocably ingrained with their fantastic ball retention skills. Despite their formulaic devotion to an expansive approach, they still win football matches.

And now they have the biggest trophy of them all to substantiate their admirable ethos, removing all traces of doubt from even the sternest of skeptics.

Developed from the revolutionary stylistics of Tika Taka, Spain has developed an awe-inspiring system that no other team in the world can match.

Thankfully, even the Dutch’s unwelcome display of acrimony could not contain Spain’s majestic beauty.

Just like their head coach Vicente del Bosque said, this was a victory for beautiful football. I second that totally as I have witnessed it, in person, years ago in Tenerife during a local club match.

The spaniards are as good as the best in this game.... its in their blood.

They have proved it this time.

8 Response to "Spain deserved the World Cup....."

  1. Ankush Naik Says:

    Nice post. My support was reserved for the Dutch, but I'm convinced about being a Spain supporter after seeing their un-sportsmanship like performance.

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    That's true Ankush. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Alok's World Says:

    The Dutch played rather belligerently.... an di think that cost them the cup. After all football is a game which tests the true love and passion that man has for the sport. The Dutch clearly violated that!

  4. Tandarin Nike Says:

    How true. At the moment I am thrilled that Spain made it. Have won a few bets as I supported Spain right from the start. Thanks Alok!!!

  5. Nandini Raghav Corner Says:

    This is because of the Octopus prediction. I have a post on that on my blog. Please do visit and leave your comments. Liked your post.

  6. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Thanks Mr. Rao. Does look like the octopus played its game well. I read your post... good one!!!

  7. shivani Says:

    All you had to say you have done it with panache i should say.Loved this well spoken post.Think i should've participated in some bets myself as i had also supported Spain right from the start.Happy for you and happy for myself bet or no bet.

  8. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Oh yes Shivani. Its happiness doubled with your comment. Thanks!!!

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