World Cup Final

So we will have a first World Cup trophy for either Spain or Holland.  Multiple past winners Uruguay and Germany were well beaten in each semi-final.
Uruguay put up a good fight but in reality the Netherlands could have scored 5 (and probably should have).  Wesley Sneijder was as excellent as he has been the whole tournament, Van Bronckhurst’s thunderbolt in the first half was probably the goal of the tournament and Arjen Robben caused problem after problem for the left side of Uruguay’s midfield and defence.
Spain v Germany was a closer game, with Spain on top for most of the game and they were so assured in possession and pressed and harried the German’s in to mistakes whenever they had the ball.  Germany looked nervous early on and for the first time in this tournament they looked short of attacking ideas.  The tournaments top scorers missed the unpredictability of Thomas Müller when going forward but for most of the game they were unflappable in defence, until the 72nd minute and Carles Puyol gave us the dictionary definition of a bullet header.  It was beautiful to watch as he started his run from outside the box and made sure that ball was his.  Great goal.
It is a shame that Germany will have to contest the game no-one wants to play in instead of the final.  I honestly don’t understand the point of a 3rd place play-off, this isn’t the Olympics.  No matter, the German team showed great potential and will be some team in future competitions, here’s looking forward to Euro 2012.  Spain were the best team tonight and deserve to be in the final, not least because of their incredible performances over the last 3 years.  This is a national side that has re-defined a way to play football and given hope to all purists of the game.  Away from the negative or route one to a vibrant game of passing and movement.  It helps when you have the magic dwarfs Xavi and Iniesta, who are blessed with perfect touch, timing and vision.
So there is only one more (real) game to go in the World Cup, which is a little sad.  What is positive though is that teams who played great football prospered and if both the finalists play to their top ability the final will live long in the memory.  What is also important is that we should place a bet on whatever Paul the psychic octopus tells us, also maybe after the World Cup has finished he should be allowed to have his say on issues other than football.  Some of the world’s biggest problems could be solved by his clear view of yes or no.  If we ever need to send a representative to meet aliens on behalf of the planet Earth, I am voting for Paul.

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