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It was a victory for beauty

Spain coach Vincente del Bosque has reminded why so many people find Spanish football so objectionable: the assumption of artistic and aesthetic superiority over your opponents (you can add Barcelona and Arsenal to that list as well). Just after his team wins the World Cup he has to gloat that the victory was one for ‘beautiful football’, a judgement that not many of who has to sit through either last night’s game or their jammy win against Portugal would find hard to agree with.

‘I'm here to speak about the beautiful things in football,’ said the Spain coach. ‘It was a very intense game, balanced and even. It was rough at times but that's part of football. They made it very difficult for us to play comfortably. There was pressing from both sides but football is moving forward. The reward today was for beautiful football.

‘I tried to ring home in the dressing room after the game but everyone was ecstatic and it was difficult to speak, it was so loud. But Spain, as a country, deserves this triumph. This goes beyond sport. Everyone was behind us back home and we're delighted to reward them all with this victory.’

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