After Spain played sloppily and lost its first World Cup group game against Switzerland it appeared as if they would once again fall short of their ultimate goal. Six victories later, however, Spain sits on top of the soccer world after winning the sport’s ultimate prize.
“La Furia Roja” captured the crown on Sunday over the Netherlands with a lone goal by Andres Iniesta in the 116th minute of play. Iniesta’s strike came with minutes left to spare in extra time in a game marked by rough play from both sides. Despite a match that included a World Cup finals record fourteen yellow cards the result was a well-deserved reward for a so-called “golden generation” of player including Iniesta, David Villa, Sergio Ramos, and Iker Casillas.
Spain’s first-ever World Cup title will be celebrated later today with a parade through the streets of Madrid. Hundreds of thousands of revelers including some who likely partied all through the night after watching the title game outdoors are expected to give a hero’s welcome to their champion squad:
The Guardian’s Richard Williams described the third-place game between Germany and Uruguay as “a match far worthier to be called a final.” Perhaps he may be right after a thrilling 3-2 German victory where Uruguay fought valiantly throughout the entire match. Goals came from Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan with the latter nearly tying the game but his last-gasp shot ricocheted off the crossbar.
Whether Uruguay can carry its overachievement in this World Cup into qualifying for Brazil 2014 remains to be seen. For now, however, we should celebrate Uruguay’s great role as the sole Latin American side to reach the semis in this tournament. The international press selected Forlan as the best player of the World Cup; thus, a fitting end to a great Uruguayan run in South Africa.
Online Sources- Too many to individually list