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Patient Spain set up historic final

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Paul Fletcher | 09:31 UK time, Thursday, 8 July 2010

World Cup 2010: Durban

In the end, there were no complaints. Members of the German team I saw answering questions about Wednesday's World Cup semi-final defeat admitted that Spain deserved to win. They did it in a clear, honest and analytical way, displaying an emotional control that struck me as being a very German quality.

It reminded me of an incident in Dortmund four years ago after Germany had been knocked out of the tournament at the same stage by Italy. A German journalist walked past my desk within minutes of the final whistle, looked at some statistics of the game on a television screen and told me dispassionately that the best team had won.

I asked Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on Wednesday what he thought of the match. The 24-year-old simply replied: "Spain was the better team today."

Sergio Ramos celebrates Spain's victorySergio Ramos celebrates Spain's victory. Photo: AFP

Team manager Oliver Bierhoff was slightly more expansive. "You saw in the match how strong Spain are and how well they keep the ball," said the former Germany striker. "We did not find our rhythm or the system to break down their very well-organised team and, at the end of the day, I thought it was a deserved victory for Spain."

Germany should be applauded for their contribution to this competition. They swept aside both England and Argentina in the knock-out stage and introduced three stars to the global stage in Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Thomas Mueller, who was unfortunately suspended for Wednesday's game.

But I felt that the Germans played slightly into Spain's hands by sitting too deep and hoping to strike on the counter attack. They looked hesitant and uncertain. Bierhoff suggested they lacked experience at crucial moments.

Neuer added: "We wanted to be strong in defence and make fast breaks but Spain were good in defence and did not let us. We maybe showed Spain too much respect."

Spain were the better team and deserved their victory after producing a more fluid performance than we have seen in most of their previous games in South Africa. They had 13 shots at goal, with five on target. Germany, who lost 1-0 to Spain in the Euro 2008 final, managed only two on target from five attempts.

With Pedro selected ahead of the out-of-form Fernando Torres, there was more energy to Spain's play and better interchange in midfield. The tiki-taka passing game that Paraguay successfully stifled for so long in the previous round was up and running again.

Even so, Spain's dominance for long periods did not produce many clear-cut openings and Vicente Del Bosque's side have now won their last three games 1-0.

I thought Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso shed a lot of light on his team's performance when he said: "We have seen when Germany have gone ahead in games that they have often scored again on the counter attack and we were really concerned about that."

It explains why Spain were prepared to remain patient for so long, scoring the decisive goal through Carles Puyol, who found the net with header from a corner on 73 minutes.

Puyol heads the winner for SpainCarles Puyol heads the winner for Spain. Photo: AFP

It might not have been the sort of goal you would necessarily expect from this Spain team but it was nonetheless well-worked, with both Puyol and fellow defender Gerard Pique making a similar run and creating a two-against-one situation.

"We knew it might be the small details that make the difference," said goalkeeper Pepe Reina. "So we have been practising these sorts of things for the entire tournament."

A victory for Germany would have set up a final against the Netherlands that would have been rich in historical significance and rivalry. Germany's victory over Johann Cruyff's team in the 1974 final is known as "De moeder aller nederlagen" (the mother of all defeats) in the Netherlands. Subsequent matches have been brutal, spicy affairs that have often degenerated into unseemly contests.

I was at their last encounter at a major tournament, a 1-1 draw in Porto at Euro 2004. The atmosphere was sensational, the sort that can only be produced by the weight of history, and would have helped to create a thrilling final in Johannesburg.

In contrast, Spain against the Netherlands is the final with no history. Spain are at their 13th World Cup, the Netherlands their ninth, but remarkably they have never played each other in a major tournament.

All of the Spanish players I spoke to after Wednesday's game expressed an admiration for the Dutch and are expecting a very tough match at Soccer City.

"I have seen most of Holland's games," added Alonso. "They have a solid team with good quality. They work well and are strong in attack. We are expecting a tough game. Physical, technical, tactical - they are a very complete team."

I asked Neuer who he thought would win the final. Almost immediately he said: "Spain." German coach Joachim Loew agreed with his goalkeeper. "Spain are a wonderful team," he said. "They are the masters of the game. You can see it in every pass. They can hardly be beaten. They are extremely calm and convincing."

This current Spain team, the Euro 2008 champions, stand on the brink of greatness. But whatever happens, history will be made on Sunday. It will be the first World Cup final that does not involve one of Brazil, Argentina, Italy or (West) Germany.

And it means that the first World Cup in Africa will have a new winner, the eighth and the first since France lifted the trophy in 1998. That, surely, must be a good thing.

You can follow me throughout the World Cup at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Am 1st england shld learn 4rm spain brain+brawn.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think the Spanish are a complete team, solid defence, one of the worlds best goal keepers, great forwards and the best midfielders around. If Alonso could get his shots on target it might have been a different story.
    I can't see Spain losing to anyone. I think the Dutch will have to go for it from the off and put them under massive pressure. It's too close to call, they play vastly different games I think. I hope the Dutch win but I think it will be Spanish eyes smiling this world cup.

  • Comment number 4.

    i think "am" first mate

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    I think both of you need to learn to write :-).

  • Comment number 7.

    Paul is right in that there are no real complaints about Spain's win yesterday. Nevertheless, many people have been left a little unsatisfied by both Spian and the Dutch. Of course they don't need to excite the viewing public but the World Cup has a whole has merely glimmered not shone. Perhaps the final is a reflection of a tournament which will be remembered for functionality and discipline rather than fire and skill...http://gregtheoharis.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/predictions/

  • Comment number 8.

    why? whats so different in the way you wrote and the way i wrote?

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    What an incredible aquad. Any of the players in that squad will walk into the English first XI.

    And the football they play. I would say it is as good. if not better than the one Brazil played in 1970.

    If Spain don't win the World Cup, they WILL be the greatest aquad not to have won this competition.

  • Comment number 11.

    Just a very minor point, cos i dont want to get on your case about the Germans. But.

    "They did it in a clear, honest and analytical way, displaying an emotional control that struck me as being a very German quality."

    This is a very common way of describing "german" behaviour, and it seems to me to be slightly unfair. Surely they are being generous, rather than "emotionally controlled".

    i also wanted Germany to win last night, mainly because of the brilliant attitude of their players in every aspect of the game. In the old days of Schumacher, Stielike, Moller and evern Matthaus, it was easy to hate the german team, but now - they've lit up the tournament in my view. You've got to like players who work as hard as they do but can also take defeat with grace.

    I'm ok with spain, but this thing about them playing the football we all want to watch. In my view, they throttle the midfield and stifle the match. It's not everyone else's fault that all spain's matches have been dull.

  • Comment number 12.

    Wen i woz comenting urs wsnt bein displayed but i think nxt tym al beat u.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    I hope the Dutch win to make up for the two previous World Cup finals they have lost, but can live with it if Spain do. Being married to someone with a German mother, I could not have borne it if they had won!

  • Comment number 15.

    Spain the most complete team so far in the tournament. Looked to be much more balanced last night with Torres on the bench. Had been playing ten man football up until then.
    If I was a kid watching and I wanted to be inspired to play good football, then it has to be Spain.
    Plus as well, any team with Van Bommel in it deserves little.

  • Comment number 16.

    12. At 10:27am on 08 Jul 2010, Goonerdhabz wrote:
    Wen i woz comenting urs wsnt bein displayed but i think nxt tym al beat u.


    ================================================

    calm down mate.

    this isnt a game to see who gets 1st position.

    i havent won anything.

    its a football blog.

  • Comment number 17.

    Any chance someone could come on here and talk football instead of rubbish about hate/acting/dispising blah blah? It's a game and entertainment for crying out loud, analyse the football and take your chips elsewhere.

  • Comment number 18.

    Argentina WILL win the next World Cup, in Brazil.

  • Comment number 19.

    But busquetes is beta than barry+lampard.the boy is good.

  • Comment number 20.

    Forlan is better than rooney!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    yeh because the diving antics of one certain player in the spanish FOOTBALL team who will be in the Fifa world cup final is NOT related to FOOTBALL

    keep it on topic guys

  • Comment number 22.

    The fact that Spain are playing with a quality that is far below what they are capable of and are still making great teams look inferior just shows how good they are.
    They pass the ball around with such fluidity and i grant you they often try one pass too many but apart from their first game they do succeed in the end.
    Holland like to think they play 'Total Football' but they like all the previous teams Spain have encountered (including Switzerland) will be outplayed on sunday

    Villa to score a cracker

  • Comment number 23.

    So what have we learned? The blog tells us that Germans analyse games rationally, intelligently and generously. The posts suggest that Britons pour out a vitriolic spume of ignorant hatred.

    What a surprise that Germans are better at football than us - it's like the ancient Greeks versus Cro-Magnon man...

  • Comment number 24.

    Great blog and a good anlysis though i think tork's comment above about ther generoisty of the germans is valid.

    but when are the BBC going to do soemthng about their commentary team. The deeply unpleasant and narcisssitic Alan Green said this morning Spanish could have won three or four nil and what a poor game it was - one would hope that the BBC could choose a commentator who could appreciate the tactical cut and thrust of two excellent teams. He then went on to complain that all the six World Cup finals he went to were dull and the traffic lights on the way home were more interesting.

    We have the choice of him or the by now just embarrassing Mark Lawrenson, whose inane banter adds nothing. When the BBC has some excellent commentators and analysts - Moyes, Dixon and Keown have all been excellent and Taylor and Pleat's analysis is consistently helpful why are you persisting with these pompous windbags.

  • Comment number 25.

    Oh joy! I just found the following statements from Franz Beckenbauer:

    "The way [Germany] play, their style, is fantastic. Everybody on the move, wanting the ball - the team spirit is tremendous," said Beckenbauer, who identified midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as the best player at the World Cup ... "This is historic - you can always count on Germany. We do not have players such as Pele, but there is this sense of being ready to fight, tactical awareness and also the capacity to concentrate to the maximum for the World Cup."

    Do you think he will now be quiet for a little while, having seen his "historic" German team utterly played off the pitch by Spain? As for his earlier arguments about English football being "kick and rush", he should note that a very poor, underperforming England team should have been going in at half-time at 2-2 against his "dream team", coming back from 2-0 down. And I bet the Germans would have loved to play kick and rush against Spain ... if they could only have got hold of the ball!!!

  • Comment number 26.

    Spain will simply keep the ball while Van Bommel riuns around trying to kick them up in the air. We have had pundits saying this will be an open final - I disagree. It will be a match where both sides work harder at closing down than they do when they have the ball. Most of the attacking will be done at walking pace. Don't expect a classic, but a 1-0 win for Spain after a bore fest.

  • Comment number 27.

    yep i agree will be a boring final

    i dont expect a 4-3.

    probably will be a 1-0 to spain. pique with a header from a silva corner 81st minute..

    boring world cup.

  • Comment number 28.

    Good blog, reading the posts has made my brain melt though. It's a blog, not a text message! And as for Busquets being a diver, have you ever seen Robben play??! That bloke wrote the book, produced the DVD and sang the song when it comes to rolling around screaming every time he gets tackled!!

    Anyway I think both teams will probably count themselves fairly lucky to be there as neither of them have really stood out during the tournament but have shown a lots of guts when it mattered and it's got them through. Spain found their best form so far last night and I think this will give them the confidence to go on and win it. Their play can be a bit boring to watch at times but for pure technical ability and being comfortable on the ball they can't be matched. Can't say a enjoy watching the dutch, just because Robben plays for them!!

  • Comment number 29.

    Holland have been good but they have had time and space with the ball... so far no team has gone out to beat Spain they have set out to stop them playing by marking real tight and closing down. However, the Spanish players have been brilliant with and without the ball and it was a real pleasure to watch 'ze Germans' chasing shadows last night albeit I was expecting more goals

    I can see Spaindoing the same thing to Holland on Sunday, especially as they are not as defensive as the Germans were (I also believe Spain will finally score more than one goal)

    On the other side, because of the huge effort from Germany they are going to lose the third place play-off to Uruguay which is a shame - Germany have been the exciting team to watch this time round, in fact I believe they were too bad in Berlin four years ago!!

  • Comment number 30.

    28. At 10:47am on 08 Jul 2010, Bearsridingbikes wrote:

    ----------------------------------------------------

    yeah fair play ;) no pun intended. robben is a diver as well as busquets. but then again which team doesnt have divers. probably teams like japan china korea.

  • Comment number 31.

    I mean ' WEREN'T too bad four years ago '

  • Comment number 32.

    Spain. What a team! the fact that they lack a decent number 9 who plays in the box is the only detail that makes them slightly below amazing. With that, I would put them up there with the great teams in the history of the WC.

    Yesterday, they completely outplayed the Germans. I do not remember a semifinal so one-sided, and these were the Germans!! blimey!

    it is not just the passing, it's the way they chase the ball after they have lost it. Germany did not even realized they got it, before it was back in Spain's control.

    They rode their luck against Paraguay, who I thought played a more tactically astute game than the germans. If you know they can pass, just make them pass the ball in their own half not yours. The Paraguayans run like mad, and to be honest with them, they had the chance to kick this spanish team out. That's what makes football so incredible. That chap Cardozo, will have nightmares for the rest of his life.

    Anyway, every winner needs luck (ask the dutch if not..), and Spain are a pleasure to watch. The only unfair thing is that they are, in reality, a club team, as 80% of their players play together week in week out. In these days, that is a great advantage to have. I can probably coach them: "hey guys, go and do what this other guy Pep tells you to do every week, ok?"

    On Sunday, only thing that can prevent them winning is the fact that the dutch have the ability to be outplayed and score...and god you need that against the spaniards.

    PS: will be fun to see Van Bommel getting more and more irritated by the tiki-taka.




  • Comment number 33.

    So, Spain against Netherlands. Both countries play the same Christmas Tree formation (4-2-3-1), so let's do a head-to-head comparison of the likely starting 11's:

    Stekelenburg - Casillas: Up to the semi's, it would have been even, but now the edge is to Spain: 0-1

    Van der Wiel - Ramos: Both attacking right backs, but Ramos is miles ahead. 0-2

    Heitinga - Puyol: Captain, team leader, inspiration. Puyol gets the mark. 0-3 Spain

    Mathijssen - Pique: Nothing to chose between these two. Dead even. 0,5-3,5

    Van Bronckhorst - Capdevilla: Neither the strongest link in the team. But Van Bronckhorst takes the edge due to his screamer against Uruguay. 1,5-3,5

    Van Bommel - Xabi Alonso: Both extremely good in defense and attack. The engine of the respective teams. 2-4

    De Jong - Busquets: Main job is protecting the back four. Busquests is a little more adventurous, De Jong more defensive. Even stevens. 2,5-4,5

    Robben - Pedro: Robben has opposing teams shaking in their boots and is a real matchwinner. He gets the nod. 3,5-4,5

    Xavi - Sneijder: Xavi is a an absolute genius, but Sneijder isn't close to being man of the tournament for nothing and has 5 goals to his name. Sneijder it is. 4,5-4,5

    Kuijt - Iniesta: Kuijt is maybe the most underrated player on the Dutch team. But without him, the team would fail. Iniesta, although fantastic to watch, has yet to make a telling contribution. 5,5-4,5

    Van Persie - Villa: no discussion here. Villa by a country mile. 5,5-5,5

    So we end up all square. We'll just have to wait until Saturday...

  • Comment number 34.

    I want to know why Hansen, Shearer and Lawrenson didnt seem to know who Pedro was last night, saying before kick off what a big shock his inclusion was. Thank goodness Clarence Seedorf knew what he was talking about, the BBC pundits and commentators are so sloppy at their jobs, they have such little knowledge I find it very frustrating to watch.

  • Comment number 35.

    Congratulations to Spain and commiserations to Germany - the only team to really light up the tournament. Germany will be stronger in 4 years as this young team matures and will be a good bet for 2014.

    Holland should look at the champions league 1st leg (inter vs Barca at San Siro) for a few ideas on how to beat the Spanish. Finding the right balance btween defence and attack will be key. There is no point parking the bus against Spain, this is playing into their hands. An overly gung-ho approach will also lead to disaster. Defend and attack as a team, hope that Sneijder can find the spaces between Spain's midfield and defence, and try to expose Alonso as he lacks pace.

    Good luck Netherlands!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    I think it will be a great final! Spain, of course, the heavy favourite but so was Brazil, against Holland. The Dutch made clear that the game is not won by talent or style alone, and they will certainly be able to copy Paraguay's performance, unravelling the Spanish machine.
    Spain has difficulty scoring. So do the Dutch strikers, but they have dangerous long-distance shooters. Characteristically, it is Sneijder who is the team's top scorer.
    In all, I think it's an even bet. I'm Dutch, but completely neutral about it. And VERY relieved that it's not Holland-Germany, for which my country isn't ripe yet.

  • Comment number 37.

    There's a way to beat Spain. It sounds stupid but it's true. You have to score a goal. You're going to defend and run after the ball for virtually the whole game anyway. So you have to be ruthless in the final third, shoot on sight, show huge aggression in the offensive third. Otherwise Spain will strangle you with their passing and control. Spain are the best international team since Platini's France 25 years ago, but they struggle without a fit Torres to kill teams off. Their dominance last night really ought to have translated into a comfortable 2-0 or 3-0 win. But they can't score goals.

  • Comment number 38.

    34

    So true. I did not know who Pedro was but if my job depended on it I would read up on the whole squad beforehand. Surely they do not play golf all day? Perish the thought.

  • Comment number 39.

    11. At 10:27am on 08 Jul 2010, tork wrote:

    Just a very minor point, cos i dont want to get on your case about the Germans. But.

    "They did it in a clear, honest and analytical way, displaying an emotional control that struck me as being a very German quality."

    This is a very common way of describing "german" behaviour, and it seems to me to be slightly unfair. Surely they are being generous, rather than "emotionally controlled".

    i also wanted Germany to win last night, mainly because of the brilliant attitude of their players in every aspect of the game. In the old days of Schumacher, Stielike, Moller and evern Matthaus, it was easy to hate the german team, but now - they've lit up the tournament in my view. You've got to like players who work as hard as they do but can also take defeat with grace.

    -----------------------------

    Couldn't agree more.

    I think it's just lazy journalism making statements like "They did it in a clear, honest and analytical way, displaying an emotional control that struck me as being a very German quality.".

    How about they are able to accept defeat gracefully and generously? I find this a very positive attribute in this young team.

    I do honestly hope they keep their attitude going and the spirit alive. If they do they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in Euro 2012 and Brazil 2014.

  • Comment number 40.

    #33 marcel

    Good work, nice to see someone really get down to the nitty gritty.

    But the key factor, particularly with 2 new teams in the final is, who can rise to the occasion. if you put inter and barca up aginst each other before the Champ league semi, you'd have taken barca every time. If holland can stop spain doing what they like to do (enter Van Bommel, thug that he is) the spanish won't know what else to do.

    And #25 Grow up and get educated. Beckenbauer's comments were fair and proved true, and Germany played England off the park. Or what match were you watching?

  • Comment number 41.

    Paul

    Are the Barca players aware that their club is skint? The TV company that should have paid the comercial rights has been placed under protective bankruptcy. This TV money is also disproportionately skewed in favour of Barca and Real Madrid, but now the rest of La Liga are pushing for equal shares. I'd say that Barca's problems are only beginning.

  • Comment number 42.

    If Spain wins the final the question for all pub quizzes will be: "Name the only unbeaten team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament"




    ANSWER: New Zealand!

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm broken, and craving to eat that Paul octopus after the defeat of the Germans last night.

    The amazing German boys can hold their chin up though after the defeat, because they keep giving their best in last night match even after the goal (not falling apart like Argentina) and in the overall tournament, and IMHO, the best attitude on and off the pitch.

    They truly lite up this year World cup.

    May them win Euro 2012 and WC2014!!!! DFB-Elf weltmeister!

  • Comment number 44.

    Agree heartily with the contributor who criticises the ravings of Alan Green. When his sole selling point seems to be that he divides opinion, surely his position on Radio 5 'live' must come into question. It has come to the stage where one no longer needs to listen to a commentary to know what Green's 'opinion' of the match will be. And his opinion will always be the one that he conjured up before the match started. Is there a campaign to eject Green that I can sign up to?





  • Comment number 45.

    Personally I can't wait for the final. It's the irresistible force against the immovable object. Spain are the best team in world football on paper and play beautiful football, Holland are the best team in the world on form and, like Italy in 2006, on a stunning unbeaten run and coming into form at just the right time. There are class players all over the pitch for both teams. Aside from 2006 the final has been pretty dull in the last few tournaments, hopefully this one will be a cracker.

  • Comment number 46.

    43 - I'm with you there.... some ginger, chilli and garlic would go down a treat with that 8 legged critter

  • Comment number 47.

    I don't think Spain is unbeatable or unstopable. They did not score many goal's. With the possesion they had, they should have scored more goals.Their major weakness is that they are passing the ball to much around and forget to put the ball into the net.
    Don't think their defence is as good as praised by commentors. Both Puyol&Pique can't cope with physical play.
    At this World Cup spain seem to have only Plan A and if plan A doesn't work keep trying plan A.
    Chile had a real go at them and Spain did not look comfortable until a player got send off( due to a bit of theatre).
    I liked Spain in the Euros 08, but they looked far from the team 2 years ago.

  • Comment number 48.

    @33

    As good as Sneijder is I think Xavi could make a serious case for being the best player in the world. Even when Spain struggled against Chile and in the 1st half against Paraguay he was a joy to watch. I'd also take Xabi Alonso ahead of Van Bommel as the latter is one of the dirtiest players I've ever seen.

  • Comment number 49.

    @33.

    Please carry out a similar analysis for both England V Germany, and Argentina V Germany. It is good that you remain cautious and urge us to wait for Saturday. The only sad thing about your analysis is the length of your blog and the time it takes you to reach a fairly obvious conclusion like that. By the time someone is through with analysis, the Octopus in Germany could have come up with a winner, one way or the other..

  • Comment number 50.

    spain germany was certainly the most boring semi i have watched in my life, and believe ma i have seen many a semi-final, it was so one-sided, too many useless 5 yard passing by the spanish, as though they were aiming to get them selves into the guiness books for the most passes ever in a footie game, it was boring to say the least, there was no cutting edge to thier passing, too many similar midfield players,
    i definitely felt they neede a certain cesc fabregas, its unbelievable how he opens up games, with clever runs and passes, but take nothing away from the spanish though, they kept the ball very well, before the game i was talking with agerman friend , told him spain was abridge too far for them, cos germany relies so much on the speed of thier breaks, but spain really does keep it tight at the back and i knew there wasnt goong to be any space for those german fast breaks. looking forward to the finals though, in any case spain vs netherland was my predicted final so whoever wins it i would be happy.

  • Comment number 51.

    Now then - hope you are all well.

    Thanks for some cracking comments, not such hearty praise for a few that would be an embarassment to infant one.

    As for the line about the German team being emotionally controlled - that is intended as high praise. They did not look for excuses (I'm sure plenty of other teams would have moaned about the penalty decision that went against them late in the first half) or try to blame anyone or anything else. I thought it was very refreshing. They knew they had been second best on the night and said so. Respect.

    I also watched the behaviour of both teams at the final whistle. Only Schweinsteiger on the German team fell to his knees. Very unusual I thought. Slumping to the turf seems to be pretty standard these days.

    Instead, several converged and talked for a while before leaving the pitch. Normally the losers in such a big game go straight off but many German players remained on the field for longer than plenty of the Spanish side.

    It is the sort of thing that persuades me that the young German players will be able to use this experience to become stronger and better.

  • Comment number 52.

    Spain played the Germans at their own ame and just about edged it. I saw nothing, though, to inject fear into Dutch hearts. Conversely, Holland haven't displayed any such tendancies either.
    It should be a decent final, with neither teams very keen on penalties, and could go either way.

  • Comment number 53.

    The Spanish played a very good game and managed to neutralize the German threat. On the other hand, they only scored one goal, and have only scored 7 goals in 6 games. Also, they have lost one game, whereas the Dutch have won all their six games. I agree, that on last night's performance the Spanish are the favourites,
    but they do have weaknesses as well, and I hope the Dutch will be able to exploit them.

  • Comment number 54.

    More terrible BBC reportage. Yesterday this clown wrote that Spain were "far from their best" or words to that effect. Elsewhere on the site, endless negativity about the competition.

    Imagine if the World Cup had produced the same semi finalists for the last 16 years. Imagine the media scorn.

    Yet that is what the premier league produces. the unbelievably exciting season that the BBC kept going on about hinged on who finished fourth.

    Also, since when were Arsenal actually entertaining? van persie and arshavin are great players but lots of their games are in fact quite tedious.

    my point really is why the poor old world cup gets so much stick while the epl gets hardly anything, relatively speaking.

    i thought it was a good game and spain were imperious. They are a genuinely great football team - better than Brazil (2002/1994), better than France (1998) and far better than Italy.

    In fact, there are few World Cup winning teams who are better.

    It's fantastic to watch them in full flow. And with a fully fit Torres, they would hammer any premiership side more often than not.


  • Comment number 55.

    If Spain win the final, but fail to score at least 4 goals in the process, they will become the LOWEST SCORING WINNERS OF ALL TIME - to date they've managed just 7 goals in 6 games!

    ..and you call that great attacking football? I call it over elaborate and it can be as boring to watch as a team trying to defend

  • Comment number 56.

    #51 PAUL

    point taken, but is that how you normally praise people highly? If you had just beaten a german friend at tennis and he said well done, would you say

    "thank you for being so emotionally controlled and peculiarly german about it"

    only kidding. Well, sort of, but i still think the germans are so underrated, as people as well as footballers, because of stuff in the past.

    a peculiarly english quality is to give other nationalities qualities that they themselves might not recognise.

    put me down on the "Alan Green out" petition. Anyone remember Peter Jones?

  • Comment number 57.

    @ 25

    Hahahahahahaha brilliant comment. Clearly still smarting from the footballing lesson handed out to ‘The Golden Generation’ by a team far, far superior in every department. It’s telling how Germans accept defeat graciously and yet a small minority of bitter English fans, with limited knowledge of the game, still continue to whine about Beckenbaur’s CORRECT comments and Lampard’s disallowed goal. YOU GOT WALKED OVER.

    Get over it; your team was, and is, rank rotten, Rooney isn’t even in the Top 20 players on the planet, and Germany are miles ahead in terms of skill, talent, ability, youth etc et al.

    Honestly, you must have a subscription to Kleenex you seem to be drying your eyes so much.

  • Comment number 58.

    The people labelling Spain as "boring" needn't worry, the PL season starts in a month and they'll be able to get back to hero-worshipping millionaires who couldn't control or pass a football or read a game if their lives depended on it.

  • Comment number 59.

    IT WAS A VERY GOOD MATCH, SPAIN PLAYED VERY CONCENTRATED, I AM GONNA BE HONEST, I WAS EXPECTING THAT GERMANY WERE GOING TO WIN,CAUSE SPAIN HAD NO SHOWED THIER BEST PERFORMANCE. BUT SPAIN SHOWED WHO IT´S THE BEST, I THINK PEDRO GAVE THE MATCH A VERY GOOD BREATH, AND THEY WERE ABLE TO FIND MORE SPACES, THERE WAS MORE ENERGY FOR SPAIN, AND IT´S SURE THEY ARE WINNING THIS WORLD CUP AGAINST NETHERLANDS THE NEXT SUNDAY...

  • Comment number 60.

    I saw a comment the other day Spain were primarily a defensive team, and I agree. Most teams try to stretch the play, but Spain condense it so that when they lose possession, which doesn't happen very often, it's often no big deal because most of their players are still behind the ball. German had been so devastating before yesterday because, firstly the other teams had cheaply given away possession, and, secondly, had overcommitted forward, leaving space at the back. Spain do neither of these. They remind me of George Graham's Arsenal. They primarily play in the tight spaces and because they do it every game they've honed it to a fine art. Just like Spain, that Arsenal team won a lot of games 1-0 and were called boring.

    That's not to say Spain aren't a great team, or it's not enjoyable watching Xavi and Iniesta masterclasses in retaining possession, making space and waiting for the right moment, playing the ball in the pockets that a lot of English football doesn't even know exists. It's 5-a-side football outside the opponent's box. They are saying "We want to play as far away from our box and as near to your's as possible." This is what I had liked about Fabio Capello pre South Africa and had made a pleasant change. If you want to get across that gain line you're going to have to spar toe to toe with Xavi, Iniesta and Alonso on the half way line. Very difficult, especially when they have the variation of Alonso's inch perfect long range passing.

    I think we'll see a similar pattern on Sunday to what we saw yesterday with Spain dominating possession, waiting, waiting, waiting, passing, passing, passing, grinding away, grinding away, grinding away at Von Bommel and De Jong, but Sneijder, Robben, Kuyt and Van Persie have it upstairs to hurt Spain so shouldn't be written off.

  • Comment number 61.

    Like I said before the match, when Germany finally met a team and didn't get an early goal and that dealt with their counter-attack tactics well, they didn't seem that great.

    Against England and Argentina that early goal led to them being able to sit back whilst the other team was over-stretched looking for an equaliser and that gave them results that flattered them.





    Having said that England could still learn a lot from them, why on earth they weren't playing a flexible 4-5-1 (which is strong in defence and with the right players can be an effective 4-3-3 in offence) I have no idea.

    Especially when England's WC squad seemed built for that formation instead of a clearly non-functioning 4-4-2.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well played the Spanish, but I also have to echo a number of the comments about the game being a bit lacking in excitement, the Spanish not really creating the chances for the amount of possession they had. Germans were a well organised team this tournament they have the right attitude and surely will be a future force to be reckoned with.

    @57
    The English fans wont get over it anymore than the anti-English will not be able to get over rubbing their noses in it.

  • Comment number 63.

    For me as a German, the game yesterday was horrible and leaves us in agony. We were surprised about the last games against England and Argentina since we didn`t "work" football but really "played" football. It was always fun to watch the games and brought excitement to everyone I guess.

    However, yesterday had been quite different. All my (german) friends agreed that Spain totally deserved to win.

    I think we might have been better with Thomas Müller, but I am sure we still would have lost it. I am convinced though that we can play better football like yesterday. The respect for Spain has been very, very hughe. I am not quite sure why that was the case. Of course, Spain has been the best team in the last few years winning 29 games out of the last 31! That is defenitely not just pure luck but shows their high quality! Nevertheless the victories against England and Argentina should have encoured the young team to go on and not to hesitate in their own half.

    To sum it up: we were to slow, too frightened, and too harmless in the offense so we deserved to lose.

    However we are proud to have a good team for the future that will hopefully be more successful at the next world cup and european championship.

    Greetings from Germany to all people in the world!

  • Comment number 64.

    May be we are seeing a shift in the manner in which world cups are won, 2006 was won by Italy who well organised and caught teams on the counter attack.

    The same can be said of this years finalists, two teams who both well organised and comfortable on the ball but nothing too exciting.

    Could well be a long time before we see a team winning it with sincilating football like Brazil did in 1970 and Argentina in 1978 & 1986.

  • Comment number 65.

    West London Blues:

    To compare the present Spanish Team to the great Brazil team of of 1970 is an insult to the likes of Pele, Jairzinho, Riovaldo etc. This present Spanish team could not tie their shoe laces!!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    Number 57 - Speaking of tears in the eyes, it was quite fun watching the end of Lahm's post-match interview on German TV. Asked about the third-place play-off, he offered an abject "Heute ich habe keine lust". Ah, bless him!

    Of course the Germans played very well, but they were also quite erratic. They destroyed an Australia side that was among the worst in the tournament, and they beat England and Argentina sides that were badly underperforming. The England team was awful at the world cup, and Argentina had had a dreadful qualification campaign and clearly missed Walter Samuel and Estoban Cambiasso in defence and Mollito up front. But even that terrible England team put two goals past Germany; against Argentina they only had 30% of the play (as against Spain). And they carried on their poor record against Eastern European teams by losing to Serbia. They are vulnerable in the air, as we saw in the Serbia, England and Spain matches.

    And, in conclusion, number 57 - I have to admit that there IS a certain satisfaction in seeing Beckenbauer's dream team given a footballing lesson. It was clearly the most one-sided match among the top teams in the tournament. And Beckenbauer thinks Schweinsteiger is the best player at the tournament. That's quite hilarious! Alongside Xabi and Iniesta he looked like an Under-21 player, to be honest.

  • Comment number 67.

    I don't know why people seem to think Spain deserve to win. They've lost a game, won the last 3 1-0 and have bored the socks of me with their midfield play. Holland have produced some fascinating matches, scored some blinding goals showed a lot of passion.

    I completely agree that Spains midfield play is very attractive and they are the most exciting passers of a ball i've ever seen, but it does'nt make any of their matches entertaining. The most entertaining points of the match yesterday were a couple of passes from spain but mainly Germany's breaks late in the 1st half.

    I hope Holland win, but I fear that Spain will open them up

  • Comment number 68.

    Spain don't inspire me, I think Hansen got it right when he said that there is "much to admire..." but honestly the frequency and intricacy of their passing sometimes leaves me cold and wishing (praying!) for something more direct, it's rapier vs an axe, sometimes you just want the axe to crash down and end it. It's all those spanish clay courters playing 50 stroke rallies from the baseline - FINISH IT OFF PLEASE! I don't think that's how football should be played, it's too much like some training session at a "passing skills" academy, yes, yes we get it, you can pass the ball forever, how about you actually try and score a goal now?? I prefered Germany, they were skilful, athletic, quick
    AND incisive but Spain dismantled them, they didn't lose the ball enough to give the Germans the counter-attacking possibilities they thrive on. I guess you have to admire Spain but I don't like them, I don't want them to win, they don't excite me...it's all beginning and no end or to quote Jeffrey "We are preluding too largely, and must come at once to the point"...No doubt they will bewilder and dizzy Holland the same way, score one goal and leave us thinking " is that it?"

  • Comment number 69.

    It was a 1-0 thrashing. Just watching spain pass pass pass and pass again is skillful but to a lot of people used to the high tempo excitement of the epl it can seem boring. Tbh at times i was bored and frustrated Spain really should score more they create so much space. 7 goals to reach a final is poor Italy won with 11 goals in 2006. And at the time i though that was low.

    And now we have two teams in the final who have not been their before but also everyone says they can both play better. I really think the Netherlands have got to come out and harass spain unsettle them and get the ball if they dont its game over. Spain will keep hold of the ball and they wont see it again.

  • Comment number 70.

    65

    Your passionate defence of 1970 Brazil and disdain for 2010 Spain would be more persuasive if you actually knew anything about the former. Excuse me, but "Riovaldo"? Lol

  • Comment number 71.

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH MARK (FUNNYMAN LAWRENSON)?

    Does this man not like football or something all he seemed to do last night was complain at how the Spanish went about there game. Maybe he start commentating on basketball or some other yank high action sport if he does n not appreciate how the Spanish play football, which in my view is something as an England fan can only dream about! Simple pass after simple pass, patience eventually opening up a team. Why did Lawrenson view differ so much from the boys in the studio, Hansen was practically salivating!
    Having listened to the full match of this man constantly moaning and trying to crack funnys I believe his co-comentator was even starting to get annoyed with him. Why did Lawrenson ask if his colleague was "alright?"
    im guessing that he was non plussed with all of what Mark was saying, but rather than take him to task about this, which would have been highly unproffesional and not very bbc like, he may have pulled a face at the loon!?
    For my final point i would actually like to congratulate for unearthing MR Clarence Seedorf who has been a natural at presenting and it has been a joy to hear his points of view over the tournament. Meanwhile poor old ITV have struggled with the moody mumbling Edgard Davids! ha ha!

  • Comment number 72.

    Paul...do you think that the Germans are actually from Vulcan or are we just falling for that same familiar stereotypical German stolidness we're always being fed? Even defeat is seemingly examined logically with little or no emotion...give me a break!

    Truth is, they'd find it very difficult to argue being outclassed by a team who could afford to leave the likes of Torres, Silva and Fabregas on the bench.

    They were gracious in defeat and fair dues they had a belting tournament overall for such a young squad, but defeat is a pill a lot easier to swallow if you've far exceeded expectations and can find zero complaints.

    The only discernable consolation is that their youth gives them plenty more opportunities to 'LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!' Otherwise - just like the losing finalists this Sunday - they may end up rueing not seizing that 'often once in a Golden Generation' opportunity like many others before them when it was presented.

  • Comment number 73.

    "But I felt that the Germans played slightly into Spain's hands by sitting too deep and hoping to strike on the counter attack"

    That's the only way I think you can play against the Spanish. Have your defensive line too far up tbe field, and Iniesta and Xavi will play incisive balls behind the back four for Villa and Torres to run on to. I think you just need to pack the centre of midfield and force them wide, then hit them fast on tbe counter attack whenever you get the opportunity.

  • Comment number 74.

    1-0 to the Espanol. Again. And again. And again. Boring, boring Espanol.
    Every single one of their matches so far in this World Cup have reminded me of the legendary Portugal/Mexico game as featured in "The Simpsons", which, if I recall rightly, provoked a riot led by Groundskeeper Willie & several other "handy" Scotsmen.

    I hope the Dutch win the final, but if truth be told they're not much better. At least Team In-ger-lund were good entertainment value, though not in the way they'd hoped.

  • Comment number 75.

    I think the reason the Spanish team are soo good is because that 7 of the starting 11 last night all play for the same team in the same style. If Capello had taken the majority of Aston Villa players to the world cup,plus a couple more i.e Rooney, Gerrard ,I m sure they would have gone further. The Spanish team also adopt the Barcelona philosophy of football which ironically is Johan Cruff's ideaology he created at Barcelona.
    ALso like to point out that Spain have double the amount of Uefa licensed coaches than any other country despite it taking twice as long and twice as expensive than the same qualification in the U.K.

  • Comment number 76.

    Maybe the Spain-haters on here would agree that what Xavi, Iniesta and the others need is some morose bloke on the touchline yelling "don't faff around, welly it!". Yes, the Spanish should really coach their boys the way we do. That would lead to more "entertaining" football.

    There's been plenty of comment on here about why England are no good. Reading some posts on here, it's clear that one reason is most English people's complete inability to appreciate good football. We're lucky to have Spain - enjoy them while they're here. If what you're into is 1000mph footballing thud and blunder, with everyone giving the ball away cheaply and hitting long "passes" into row Z, then the EPL is starting again in a month. If you don't like caviar, KFC will be opening again soon.

  • Comment number 77.

    70. Brazil scored 20 goals in six matches to win the 1970 World Cup, Spain have scored 6, I think that alone speaks for its self!!

  • Comment number 78.

    74

    Boring, boring Espanol.

    --------

    Espanol are a club side. Spain or Espana won last night.

    ----------

    75.

    If Capello had taken the majority of Aston Villa players to the world cup,plus a couple more i.e Rooney, Gerrard ,I m sure they would have gone further.

    -----------


    ROFL

  • Comment number 79.

    Holland - Germany would have been a better final. Spain are like Nadal - too good for most of their opponents leading to one-sided contests which aren't a great spectacle.

    Holland and Spain has no heat, no history, no rivalry. It'll be sterile and I imagine Spain will win 1-0 or in extra time. It's a shame but you can't have any complaints if Spain win. They're the best team in the world right now.

    Tiki-taka is the best form of catenaccio ever devised.

  • Comment number 80.

    48.
    As good as Sneijder is I think Xavi could make a serious case for being the best player in the world. Even when Spain struggled against Chile and in the 1st half against Paraguay he was a joy to watch. I'd also take Xabi Alonso ahead of Van Bommel as the latter is one of the dirtiest players I've ever seen.

    Are you talking about the best player to watch or the best player? Surely Sneyder has been way more effective then Xavi has been (all year)?

    Apart from the tackle against Uruguay when have you actually seen Van Bommel make a dirty fool in the last couple of years? Annoying and cynical he definitely is, but dirty he isn't. And to me he's been Holland best player so far.

  • Comment number 81.

    In light of the dour defensive displays at this world cup, I'd like to see qualification for Brazil 2014 opened up to the smaller footballing nations who play a more open game and could learn from the top nations. This may make the spectacle more interesting and increase the goal tally for neutrals.

    For instance, if the European qualifications allowed a few wild-card entries, we might see teams like Lichtenstein, Iceland, Malta, Scotland or Wales play at the highest level. I for one would welcome the diversity.

  • Comment number 82.

    Heart says Dutch ,brain says Spain 2-1

  • Comment number 83.

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH MARK (FUNNYMAN)LAWRENSON?
    Does this man not like football or something all he seemed to do last night was complain at how the Spanish went about their game. Maybe he should start commentating on basketball or some other Yank high action sport if he does not appreciate how the Spanish play football. Which in my view is something as an England fan can only dream about! Simple pass after simple pass, patience, then eventually opening up a team. Why did Lawrenson view differ so much from the boys in the studio, Hansen was practically salivating!
    Having listened to the full match of this man constantly moaning and trying to crack funnys I believe his co-comentator was even starting to get annoyed with him. Why did Lawrenson ask if his colleague if he was "alright?"
    Im guessing that he was non-plussed with all of what Mark was saying, but rather than take him to task about this, which would have been highly unprofessional and not very BBC like, he may have pulled a face at the loon!?
    For my final point i would actually like to congratulate the BBC for unearthing Mr Clarence Seedorf who has been a natural at presenting and it has been a joy to hear his points of view over the tournament. Meanwhile poor old ITV have struggled with the moody mumbling Edgard Davids! ha ha!

  • Comment number 84.

    79

    Why don't you write to the Spanish FA and suggest that they adopt a slightly more useless way of playing so that it entertains you more?

  • Comment number 85.

    #76-Youve hit the nail on the head

  • Comment number 86.

    Firstly I hope the English players were watching the game last night to see how modern day football is played.

    I think it was Hansen who commented that it was like a game of chess and I agree, not so much exciting as intriguing. For all Spain's possession, I wondered if they'd ever score and until they did I think Germany still had a chance of a breakaway maybe in extra time or the inevitable penalties. I thought Spain's defending was immaculate and certainly something the English could learn from.

    Really looking forward to the Final and although it's a cliche, I really think it will depend on who scores the first goal and when. I think if there is an early goal, we shall see an exciting game otherwise I think it will be very similiar to last nights game of chess.

    Had Germany in the sweepstake at work but pleased that there will be a new name on the Cup.

  • Comment number 87.

    A little bit of caviar is great but I don't want bowls full of it, will make me sick. It's not a question of a 100 passes vs one long ball, it's balance. The Spanish play a fantastically skilful game, it can be a joy but it can also be immensely frustrating when they hardly venture 20yds into the opposing half - so much skill, so little end product - and remember all that passing and all that possession didn't create a single goal last night, that came from a corner and was pretty rudimentary and direct (and should have been better defended)...

  • Comment number 88.

    Spain make it impossible for teams to beat them. They have such a huge percentage of posession in each game and I was always taught as a youngster that if your team has the ball then the opposition can not hurt you.

    Germany have been great in this tournament, the difference against England & Argentins was that those 2 teams do not have good ball retention, so every 5 or 6 passes the move breaks down and Germany are on the counter attack again. Against Spain they simply could not get the ball back and at times there were spells with 30-40 spanish passes at a time.

    This is how football should be played. I truely believe taht if England want to win anything in the next 30 years or so then they need to learn how to retain the football. We should send our best 17, 18 & 19 year olds to Barcelona for a year to learn how to keep the ball and not want to give it away so cheaply.

    Take Gerrard, Lampard & Barry for example, all average footballers that look a lot better in the premiership because its 100mph and the ball is in the air most of the time. they all look for the hollywood pass each time and give away posession, whats worse is England fans cheer this as it was close to being a good pass.

    Spain do not know how to play the long ball, they do not look for the hollywood pass until they are certain it will work.

    barcelona and Spain have a 7 second rule . . . . this means that if you give the ball away you have to get it back in 7 seconds, and this is why you see all the spanish players working so hard when they are not in posession.

    To say they have been bhoring because they have not had a blitz of goals shows a real lack of football understanding. They have lost 2 out of their last 55 internationals and the majority of the players in the squad still have another 5 years in them.

    lastly would just like to say that Xavi & Iniesta are fantastic footballers and before people in this country describe Lampard & gerrard as world class they should watch these boys and have a re think.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ 83
    I just think that the English media are just frustrated that they can't go on about how brilliant England is and how great they are now that they were humiliated by a better and younger German side.
    I do love the German fan who was interviewed by the German media after that game..... "your just a small part of Scotland, small part of Scooootland"...... class!!!

  • Comment number 90.

    @76 'If you don't like Caviar then KFC is opening again soon'

    Great comment!

  • Comment number 91.

    What this World cup has given me is.... a reason to stop watching international football.

    Spain Vs Germany a technically competent snoozefest.

    In the name of victory Spain flooded the Midfield playing pedestrian passing football.

    Puyol scored the decisive goal & deserved it was.

    However, a few minutes later I happened to brush past my Television, I swear that Puyol fell over & several spanish players waved imaginary yellow cards at me.

    World Cup 2010 : a further degeneration into diving & gamesmanship.

  • Comment number 92.

    I think what's ironic is that players like Ozil and Schweinsteiger will most likely be signed by english clubs in the near future, whilst younger english players like rodwell, wilshere, cattermole and johnson will fall out of the picture.

  • Comment number 93.

    87

    Your balanced view is a fair one. I did think Spain played too slowly in much of the first half and came out in the second half with a much more aggressive attitude in the final third. Some of the first half was a bit tedious and sterile because Spain were asphyxiating Germany without producing enough themselves. As a spectacle it improved massively after the break. Basically, though, with an unfit Torres Spain are nothing like as good in attack as in midfield and defence, and their lack of the ruthlessness to kill teams off may come back to haunt them on Sunday.

  • Comment number 94.

    84. At 1:06pm on 08 Jul 2010, Johnnygray26 wrote:
    79

    Why don't you write to the Spanish FA and suggest that they adopt a slightly more useless way of playing so that it entertains you more?

    --------------------

    Did you even read what I said? At what point did I demand entertainment? Where did I ask for a "more useless way of playing"?

    I'm lamenting the fact that Spain - Holland won't be as good as Germany - Holland would have been. What does that have to do with the Spanish FA?

  • Comment number 95.

    Another disappointing end for Germany.

    But I think Spain will win the world cup. Because if a beats Germany, they can beat anyone.

  • Comment number 96.

    Watching Barcelona is exhilarating. Watching Spain is both exhilarating and frustrating. Watching Spain is like watching Barcelona without Messi. Actually, watching Spain IS watching Barcelona without Messi

  • Comment number 97.

    Great Blog Paul; and some interesting posts on here especially those about the BBC Coverage - I am flabberghasted by the ignorance inside the MOTD studio sometimes. I refer specifically to Alan Shearers "shock" to Pedro's inclusion - surely a so called football expert watches La Liga? It seems to me that Alan Shearer's only knowledge of football comes from the EPL because how can you not know the quality Pedro possesses, he went on to prove it during the course of the game. Secondly - Shearers implication that the Germans, Spanish and Dutch are somehow inferior to England neared to hysteric xenophobia - suggesting they had no right to be there. Could someone give Mr Shearer a tap on the shoulder and let him know that football not only exists outside England but sometimes is played at a better quality. And for the record I just got back from SA where I maxed my Credit Card to watch England!!

  • Comment number 98.

    94

    Holland - Germany would have been a better final. Spain are like Nadal - too good for most of their opponents leading to one-sided contests which aren't a great spectacle

    -------------------

    You're arguing that Spain don't provide "a great spectacle" because they are "too good". The solution to this would seem to be that they be less "good" so as to provide a better "spectacle". The Spanish FA is ultimately responsible for the style of the national team. Do you read the posts you write?

  • Comment number 99.

    Not all the time best team wins the cup. In this world cup, Germany impressed everyone with their young players ability which was enjoyable for the viewers. However, I think this young team's in-experience was against them in the semis. Spain got plenty of time to analyze the matches Germany played against England and Argentina to figure out how to stop the Germans. However, good to see Low did not take physical football strategy to stop Spain but also at the same time fail to pass the information to his youngsters to try long range shots or at-least attempt to get some more free-kicks near the box against the Spaniards.

    Spain was a better team yesterday and I like players like Iniesta and Xavi a lot. But watch out against the Dutch because they will play more physical than the Germans.

    This world cup is a lot of learning experience for the new German players and they were in the semi-final in the last 3 world cups and runners-up in the Euro. Hope to see an end of this trend soon, as they should continue to play like this and win the cups (that matters).

  • Comment number 100.

    91

    saying "World Cup 2010 : a further degeneration into diving & gamesmanship." is just like saying "World Cup 2014 : get rid of most of the teams in Europe, all of them in Southern America and some of them in Asia"

 

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