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2010 World Cup Final Preview: Why Spain Will Beat the Netherlands

It's finally here. The World Cup final. Netherlands v. Spain. Two countries, one winner. Matt in the previous post gave the Dutch preview and explained why the Neurotic Oranje will win. Here is why Spain will win:


Here's the best part about Spain's jersey, this Cup and even in the past, it's a legitimately good looking shirt that almost doesn't look like a jersey. Sure it has the number and the crest. But they are never wild or hideous looking jerseys. It's a solid blue or red with small, limited and necessary symbols and stripes. A very classic and simple look. If it didn't have the number and you saw it on a rack at the store, you would actually buy it because it's a great looking shirt.

Team Legacy: This one is sort of difficult for Spain. What legacy? There is no legacy. Well, up until 2008 it was a legacy of losing and under performing. For a team with such a rich soccer history, it's amazing that before this year they had never made the World Cup semifinal, let alone final. The Oranje have at least been to the final twice, even if they did lose. This would be more concerning were Spain not the reigning Euro champions. So they have at least been in a big game final before, and won. But this is the World Cup. Big boy soccer. Hopefully the losing demons of the past don't come back to haunt them on Sunday. Either way, some sort of legacy will be written.


We have tied music into most all our World Cup posts for some reason. So of course it will be a factor in the final (?). Let's be honest, unless you have lived in Spain, you probably don't know their music. If you have lived there, you know that most of the stuff they listen to is Euro Disco Trash a.k.a. Trance or House music. Yet the best Trance DJ's are Dutch. No good. Unless you are in the club in Ibiza in which case it's great.

Spain does have musicians. Alejandro Sanz, Monica Naranjo, Radio Futura etc. Those are decent names, but none of them really made a huge impact in the US. At least not yet. Arguably one of Spain's biggest rock groups, La Oreja de Van Gogh, is clearly inspired by a Dutch artist. Also not good.

So we are left with Paco de Lucia and the Iglesias father and son duo. Enrique is/was big. He's fading though. I guess you can't beat Paco on the guitar. You can't beat it technically, but he's not exactly getting you pumped up or your blood flowing - unless you are engaged in other activities while listening to his sweet serenades. Maybe I'm missing someone. If not, it's not the most impressive list.

Let's hope that if Spain wins, we get a better song than this one that Enrique did for the Euro 2008 Cup. I love that they performed it right before the final. So fittingly Euro.

Bad Karma:

A couple of things:

1. No team that has ever lost the first game of the World Cup has then gone on to win it. Spain of course lost 1-0 to Switzerland in their first game.

2. This Spain team is dominated by a Barcelona midfield as the controlling midfielders all play for Barcelona. Thus, they sometimes tend to play a Barcelona style. Barcelona seemed invincible in the Champions League last year until Inter Milan came in and shut down their midfield. The leader of that Inter squad: Wesley Sneijder. The same man that has been an integral part of this Netherlands team. Not good. They know how to beat Spain. Well, at least the Barcelona version of Spain National Team.

Good Karma:

Paul the octopus has chosen Spain! Don't pretend like this isn't a big deal. He's a German octopus that correctly picked the winner for all of Germany's games. It really wasn't that big of a deal before the semifinal match because he had picked Germany in all the games. A German octopus picking Germany to win. Typical. But to pick Germany in all the previous games and then go with Spain before the semifinal shows that this octopus knows his soccer. He's not your typical octopus that will always pick his favorite team or side with his countrymen. No way, he picks winners. He's a winner.

And now he is picking Spain again! As mentioned in the article, Carlos Marchena, Spanish defender is trying to downplay it all and said, "It's only an octopus." Look Marchena, there is no room for negative players on the team. It's that type of disbelief that keeps you on the bench. Of course, he may have been just trying to keep his head in the game and not get too carried away. In which case, I suppose his answer is fine. Seriously though, at this point, just give the Cup to Spain. Why even bother playing? The psychic cephalopod mollusk has spoken.

Starting 11:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas - He's solid. Maybe not the best in the world, but definitely in the conversation. He's good for a couple of brilliant saves a game.

Defense: Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Joan Capdevilla.

Interesting that it's Carles not Carlos and Joan not Juan ("It's not Ryan it's Ryne"). It's a solid line. Puyol was the hero in the last game. Ramos does like to play forward more than most defenders. It didn't pose a problem against the counterattacking Germans, so hopefully it doesn't cause problems with the dutch. That is really the only weakness here though.

Midfield: Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Xavi.

Love the Xabi and Xavi. Nice to get the Basque representation on the team from Alonso. All three have been great. I have been critical of Xavi because he seems to play without urgency sometimes and prefers to pass and control and not attack. But it worked brilliantly against Germany.

Attacking midfield: Pedro - He started for the semifinal game. Not sure if he will start in the final. I still don't forgive him for this move.

Iniesta - He has been great. I was critical of him after the first game and he didn't start the second game. But since coming back he has been attacking a lot more and making great runs. He definitely helps Xavi move the ball forward and attack more.

Cesc Fabregas - Not a starter, but usually comes off the bench. A great spark and excellent player. He would start on any other team in the world. Shows you how strong the midfield is.

The midfield as a whole has been great. Spain has to have the advantage. The midfield can control the game better than any other team in the world. So long as they have their rhythm, they should be fine.


Fernando Torres - Probably won't start, but will likely come in off the bench. He's been sort of out of form, but I think he should start as I think he has the greater potential to change the game than any other bench player.

and of course:

David Villa - El guaje. Really, the starting 11 are the only thing that matters on this list. If they are clicking and playing like they did against Germany, they will win. They know it, the Netherlands players know it, everyone knows it.

But Villa is a main reason Spain is untouchable when playing at their best. He's been incredible throughout the tournament. If Spain wins he is without question the MVP of the tournament. We heralded him well before he was becoming a household name. Not that it matters. It's just important that he is finally getting his due. It's the biggest stage in the world and instead of shrinking under the pressure he is rising to the occasion to become a national hero. A true clutch performer. 5 goals in 6 games. Here's to hoping he makes it 7 in 7.

Prediction: The Oranje are neurotic and as they have demonstrated, they have the talent to beat any team in the tournament. Spain's biggest enemy is being overly confident and coming out sluggish like they did against Paraguay or Switzerland. Makes me nervous thinking about it. I'm hoping they aren't that foolish and that they rise to the occasion like they did against Germany and are too much for the Dutch, and that they prove they have the best collective talent and are the best team in the world.

Villa finds the goal early and Torres finally pokes one in as well. Give the Dutch some credit though, Robben will also find the back of the net. Unfortunately, it's not enough: Spain 2 - Netherlands 1.
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1 comment:

  1. Waka waka, I'm pumped up. Let's do this Spain. Pedro, don't be selfish, draw the denfender, then dump it to the open man.

    Villa....time to make history.


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