Spain 1-0 Holland: Iniesta settles a tight game

July 12, 2010

“Spain are the World Champions. They were the better side and played a more positive, cohesive brand of football throughout. There were no surprises when the team line-ups were announced just over an hour before kick-off, they were as predicted in the preview. Vicente del Bosque kept with the side that beat Germany in the semi-final, meaning Pedro Rodriguez started ahead of Fernando Torres. Holland, meanwhile, welcomed back Gregory van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong from suspension, meaning they returned to their first choice XI – as evidenced by them lining up with the numbers 1-11.” (Zonal Marking)

Spain dominates in distinctive way

July 12, 2010

“Now, that is a postmatch interview. And what a difference a month makes. At the end of Spain’s first match at this World Cup, a 1-0 loss to Switzerland, Sara Carbonero was waiting in the tunnel for Iker Casillas, clutching a microphone. Now, for those who have not been acquainted with her, Carbonero is a journalist and interviewer with the Spanish television channel TeleCinco. She is also Casillas’ girlfriend. Not that you would have known it as she held out the microphone and asked bluntly: “How did you manage to lose that?” Casillas barely looked her in the eye, mumbled some cliché and departed.” (SI)

It’s not the Cup, it’s the qualifying

July 12, 2010

“A European team has finally won the World Cup outside its home continent. More than that, for the first time since 1954, Europe is now ahead of South America in the number of World Cup wins – with a strong advantage. Europe has staged the tournament 10 times and South America just four – but in 2014 the World Cup will return to the continent of its birth for the first time in 36 years.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

The 2010 World Cup Final: Netherlands 0-1

July 12, 2010

“It’s a curious sight. The BBC’s panel is sitting, for the first time in this tournament suited and booted, in its base studio outside the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, almost eight hundred miles from Johannesberg, where the match itself is being played. It looks deserted, behind them. It probably is – everybody will be at home, watching the build-up to the 2010 World Cup final. Still, at least they won’t have anybody banging on the glass behind them and laughing at Alan Shearer’s male pattern baldness. The preamble to this match carries a somewhat curiously dislocated air to it. The Netherlands have never played Spain in either the European Championship or World Cup finals, so there is no historical precedent between the two teams that can particularly drawn upon, no matter how irrelevant it may be.” (twohundredpercent)

Our team of the tournament

July 12, 2010

“Our writers pick their team of the tournament in the 4-2-3-1 formation employed by most of the better teams on show in South Africa” (Guardian)

Africa, FIFA and Government Interference: Dealing With Corruption In Soccer

July 12, 2010

“The most important development in African soccer taking place this year might not be the World Cup in South Africa — despite its successful staging (oh, yeah, it seems to have turned out that Cabinda is not in South Africa) — argues Paul Doyle in an excellent Guardian piece on domestic African leagues, specifically, the possibility that Kenya might be leading the way with new leadership in the Kenyan Premier League…” (Pitch Invasion)

Spain v. Netherlands – Red Herring Revisionary

July 12, 2010

“The end of the World Cup is like quitting smoking cold turkey, only you can’t cheat. No matter how hard you try, no matter how many old recordings you have of classic games, the sensation, the media overload, the frenzied tidal wave of live games cannot be reproduced. As the tournament progresses, the teams get eliminated, and the games get even tighter, you find yourself searching for an equivalent fix. But there’s no hidden pack in your car’s glove compartment. There’s no friend who you can bum a smoke off of. There’s just an old archive of youtube clips, a tome covered in dust wit a few words written about something that people back in the day thought was exciting. Take a deep breath. And try to hide your disappointment.” (futfanatico)


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