It's all over. All is right in the world since Spain won. So many great things happened, so much to talk about, so little time. So here are just a bunch of random thoughts on it all:
I was on the edge of my seat, but I can admit that it was a boring final. If I didn't have a strong rooting interest in one of the teams, I would have been a little bored. The final is always tough though. The last thing teams want to do is have a mental breakdown and give up a cheap goal. So everyone is always a little cautious.
But both teams were sloppy. The Netherlands couldn't complete a pass in the midfield and while Spain did control the ball better, they couldn't pass and attack nearly as well as they could against other teams. I would credit that to the Netherlands, but I don't think they deserve credit for it, just like Spain doesn't deserve credit for the bad passes by the Netherlands. Both teams were just a little subpar, which is unfortunate for the final.
Not sure why the Dutch continue to complain. Both teams had their chances. The Dutch were complaining about all the cards, what did they expect? They played like barbarians. The Spanish were dirty too. It just wasn't clean soccer. I didn't get the impression the ref was against the Dutch. If anything they were lucky. If this play comes any later in the game or is in any other game that isn't the World Cup final, it's a straight red card. I'm sure the ref just didn't want to determine the game early on with a red card. That or he didn't see it clearly. It's just brutal.
Iniesta had already scored this goal in his career, and now he has scored this one. Just amazing.
This post-game video of Casillas has been all over the internet. Matt already posted about it. It's fantastic and worth posting again. It's a great moment. The reporter, who happens to be his girlfriend, asks how he is feeling, he basically says, "Honestly, what do you expect me to say? I feel great, amazing, the best, etc." He then starts to thank people, his parents and other significant people. He pauses before mentioning her and almost acting a little cautious and caught up in some emotion and not sure whether to mention it, or how to mention it. She understands the moment and says, "No worries" and proceeds to move on and keep the interview at a professional level. Bu then he cuts her off and kisses her. Which is fantastic. He plays the "You are my girlfriend. I want to kiss you. I'm kissing you. Oh, and I just won the World Cup I can do whatever I want on TV or anywhere" card. Just outstanding. I especially like how the video adds music.
The dominance of Forlan: Not just in hair, but also in play. He was named MVP of the tournament and I couldn't agree more. Villa was of course great, as were other players, but no one did more with less talent. Plus, his goals were amazing. I'm glad he shined on the world stage. He plays for Atletico Madrid and he has been fantastic for them. But Atletico isn't the biggest or most widely recognized club in Europe. So it's good to see a great player that plays for smaller club, receive some recognition. And he deserves his due, he was amazing. Check out these goals. This goal in the 3rd place game still blows my mind. It's such a strong strike. He bends it around the defender and skips it off the ground like a rock on a pond. Just remarkable.
Speaking of remarkable: David Villa is playing with Barcelona next year. That means that the starting two forwards for Barcelona will be Villa and Messi. Both of them will have Xavi and Iniesta feeding them the ball. Why even bother fielding an opposition? Teams should just forfeit. But speaking of Villa, here is a video of all of his goals at the World Cup. I'd post the Messi goals video as well, but, oh right, his World Cup goal highlight video is as long as Rooney's. Maybe in 2014 boys. By the way, this video has some AMAZING Euro music compilation/mash-up/mix-up/not sure what it is goodness.
My favorite call of the cup: I couldn't find the video of the call. It came during the Germany/Argentina game after Germany scored their 4th goal. The announcer yelled, "Beautiful! Efficient! Glorious! Germany." It was great and so perfectly captured the moment. Germany was really good. W well-oiled machine and when they got rolling in the second half of the Argentina game, it was the most beautiful and efficient soccer played by any team in the Cup.
Since I couldn't find the above call, I'll just post this video of the Spain announcers during the winning goal in the final:
These are the images I'll miss: You don't get gatherings like this with any other sporting event. Seas of people dressed in their country's colors flooding the streets to watch the game.
Or great celebrations like this:
Best goal: Almost too hard to determine. I was going to post some of the top videos, but then I saw this video compilation and I realized that there are so many great goals that I forgot about. Plus, it's so hard because each goal is unique in its own right. The Suarez goal against Japan is amazing and clutch. I think though I have to give the honors to Giovanni Von Bronckhorst. His goal comes at 2:19 in the video below.
The greatest summer that could have been: This was making some headlines prior to the final, but Wesley Sneijder, the Dutch midfielder, had the chance to have the greatest soccer year in the history of ever. His club team, Inter Milan, won the Serie A league title, The Coppa Italia (the Italian interleague cup tournament) and the Champions League. On top of that, if he would have scored a goal in the final and if the Dutch would have won the cup, he could have won the World Cup and would likely have received the golden boot for the most goals in the World Cup not to mention he would almost for sure win the Footballer of the Year award, AND he is getting married this summer. It was too perfect to be true. I don't even think there is a sports comparison for what he could have done. It would be like someone in baseball winning the World Series, World Series MVP, Triple Crown, Olympic Gold Medal, World Baseball Classic and the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year. Only it still wouldn't be the equivalent because no one cares about Olympic baseball or the World Baseball Classic.
The other great part about Sneijder: He was one of the many players run out of town by Real Madrid last summer when they went on their spending spree. He was let go to make room for Kaka and other signings. Kaka was largely absent for Real Madrid last year and poorly performed during the World Cup. But hey, he was a big name, so Real went after him. They sacrificed quality talent for talent with a bigger (although not better) name. Nice business model.
So before the Cup we compared all 32 teams to bands. It was good fun. There is no need to review all of them, but some are worth revisiting:
What we got right:
Germany: Spot on with Coldplay. Above average and top-notch, extremely consistent, never the best. Germany is consistently really, really good in the World Cup. They have finished third in the last two World Cups and they were runners-up in 2002. Always good, maybe even great. But not quite the best. Like Coldplay.
England: Just like Kanye West. Overinflated ego and they think they are better than they really are. The unfortunate thing is that they are really talented individually, just can't put all the pieces together.
Algeria and Taylor Hicks. I'm actually not sure that they were spot on, but I'm just happy that Taylor Hicks and/or his fan club president visited our site and got so upset about our comparison.
New Zealand and Flight of the Conchords. We weren't sure if New Zealand was an actual soccer team like we aren't sure if Flight of the Conchords are a real band. We still aren't sure but it is evident that FotC are very creative and talented. Same thing with NZ. They definitely proved they have talent and they put on a great show, still not a world class team though.
Where we were a little off:
France and Green Day. It's an insult to Green Day to compare them to France. What happened there? I think a more appropriate comparison would be Oasis. Wildly talented, but totally crazy and way too many fragile egos. Complete self destruction. Watching France this summer was like being at an Oasis concert.
Ghana and Poison. This one is hard because we were off in that we didn't expect much from Ghana. But it actually works as a comparison because Ghana was very talented, but somewhat erratic, undisciplined and unpredictable.
Japan and the Spice Girls. Turns out Japan is legit. Who knew? They aren't a powerhouse by any means, but they were an impressive squad. Just lacking in offense.
Slovakia and Pras. We guessed Pras, probably should have gone with Lauryn Hill. Slovakia was better than a one hit wonder like Pras. But not much better. More like a one album wonder like Ms. Hill.
Spain and Zeppelin. This one is also hard. Spain isn't quite as exciting as Zeppelin. They are more of a finesse team that endures and outlasts the competition. Maybe more like a U2. Just a great band that is outlasting everyone else.
So there you have it. 2010 wrapped up. Here's to live blogging from Brazil in 2014. And here's to the Furia Roja and a repeat of the 2010 glory in 2014.