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10:44pm on Sunday, 11th July, 2010:



Before the World Cup final, I wanted Holland to win (because I felt they were owed it from 1974 and 1978), but I expected Spain to win. I did actually like Spain, for the way they continued to play for a goal in the Germany match when England would have taken the ball to the corner and tried to keep possession in the same circumstances; however, the memory of Cruyff's 1974 team meant the heart was going for Holland even if the head said Spain.

As the first half went on, though, it was apparent that this was a Dutch team that did not deserve to win. Some of their players wouldn't have even been on the pitch if it hadn't been a World Cup final, so bad were the fouls they committed. Spain got the heart vote as well as the head vote, and I was glad to see them win. I felt sorry for Robben and Stekelenberg (who played well) and Van Persie and Sneijder (who did as well as they could given the tactics), but the rest of the squad deserved their fate. Spain should have played more up the wings (Ramos in particular was under-used), but justice was done when Iniesta scored.

If someone had told me at the start of the championship that I'd be cheering a Spanish victory, I would have thought it very unlikely. Still, they won me over.

The vuvuzelas, on the other hand, only got worse as time went on...

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).