Spain win the World Cup

Spain won the World Cup last night in the most dramatic fashion; a winner late in extra time after a tense and often drab affair, which was punctuated by cynical fouls, cynical diving and cynical waving of imaginary cards. However, Spain got their rewards for keeping to their game plan, and eventually broke down the Dutch’s dogged defending.

It was also punctuated with some frankly inexplicable refereeing decisions from English referee Howard Webb, who failed to send off de Jong for his karate kick on Xabi Alonso, spot the blatant corner for Holland that ended up with Spain scoring the winning goal, booked nearly every Dutch player for their fouls and never once booking the Spaniards for their incessant diving. However, Holland coach Bert Van Marwijk was sanguine about his defeat, and admitted Spain deserved their first ever World Cup.

‘It was still our intention to play beautiful football, but we were facing a very good opponent,’ said Van Marwijk. ‘Spain are the best footballing country in the past few years, so we needed to have a top day to beat them. We did a good job tactically on them. We got into good positions at times. It's not our style, but you play a match to win.

‘It's a World Cup final, and there's a lot of emotion out there. You saw that with both teams. I would have loved to have won that match, even with not so beautiful football. No one expected us to be here, in the final. We even came even very close to a penalty shoot-out. We could even have scored through Robben.

‘Whether we would have deserved that, I don't know. But it's a final. It's very disappointing. You want to win it, and we might have done. I think we performed really, really well to get this far.

‘The team that scored the first goal was going to win that match. Those chances for Robben could have meant victory for us. But, unfortunately, we weren't so lucky.’

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