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HomeSportsEngland did not let us recover our 2010. And Holland: an opportunity...

England did not let us recover our 2010. And Holland: an opportunity for the long-awaited revenge

Date: July 18, 2024 Time: 13:30:32

The English national team, after beating the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the European Championship, deprived us of a new version of the legendary final. If Ronald Koeman’s team had won, the Netherlands and Spain would have faced each other again for gold, 14 years later. The 2010 World Cup final is the main match in the history of the Spanish national team. Let us remember how the Red Fury was proclaimed world champion, although now they will face England and not the Netherlands. By the way, an Englishman also played a key role on the football pitch that day.

The period from 2008 to 2012 was a time of total dominance by the Spanish national team. During this short period in football history, La Furia Roja won two European Championships and one World Cup. At Euro 2008, the team was led by Luis Aragonés. After winning gold, the 70-year-old specialist left the national team, managing Turkish side Fenerbahçe (the first foreign club in his career and the last in his life), and was replaced by former Real Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque.

The Spanish national team, with the legendary trio of Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta in midfield, thanks to which the opponents of La Furia Roja mostly saw the ball at each other’s feet, unexpectedly started the group stage with a defeat to Switzerland (0:1). But in the next two rounds they beat Honduras (2-0) and Chile (2-1).

In the playoffs, the Spaniards won sparingly: in each stage they needed only one goal to advance. With the same scoreline 1-0, Del Bosque’s team beat Portugal in the round of 16, Paraguay in the quarter-finals and Germany in the semi-finals. Five of the seven goals for the Spanish national team before the final were scored by striker David Villa, who eventually became one of the quartet of top scorers at the 2010 World Cup.

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The Dutch national team was managed by Bert van Marwijk, who won the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord in 2002. Curiously, one of the main midfielders in his national team was Mark van Bommel, who was married to van Marwijk’s daughter. However, Van Bommel then played for Bayern and really stood out among the Dutch. Including his rather dirty way of playing.

The Netherlands won all three group matches: Denmark (2-0), Japan (1-0) and Cameroon (2-1). In the playoffs, they never went to extra time either. In the round of 16, they beat Slovakia (2-1), in the quarter-finals, Brazil (2-1) and in the semi-finals, Uruguay (3-2). The Dutch’s main star was midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who scored five goals, as did the Spaniard Villa. He also became the second best player of the tournament, only behind the winner of the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball, the Uruguayan Diego Forlán.

Victory in the final at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium would be the first in history for both the Netherlands and Spain. Until now, teams from these countries had never won gold at the World Championships. The match between the teams of Del Bosque and Van Marwijk was refereed by the famous English referee Howard Webb, who had two hours of hard work ahead of him.

Vicente del Bosque and Bert van Marwijk

Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images

The match turned into a full-blown showdown and set a final record for the number of yellow cards: Webb issued 14 warnings, one of which led to his expulsion. Constant fouls slowed down the pace of the match. Perhaps the most famous episode of the 2010 World Cup final was the one-on-one between Dutchman Arjen Robben at the end of the hour and the brilliant save by Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Both teams missed several opportunities, so the match went into extra time. In the 109th minute, Dutch defender John Heitinga received a second yellow card for a foul on Iniesta. La Naranja finished the match with ten men and could not reach the penalty shoot-out. In the 115th minute, Iniesta himself, recognized as the best player of the final, received a pass from Cesc Fabregas, skilfully avoided the offside trap and sent the ball into the net of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Spain achieved a fair victory overall, winning its first and so far only World Cup.

The Dutch national team was not happy with Webb’s refereeing: the Englishman was accused of being a supporter of the Spanish national team. However, the legendary Dutch player and coach Johan Cruyff, on the contrary, criticised his compatriots for playing “ugly and tough” football. In his opinion, shared by many experts, Webb could also dismiss Van Bommel and Nigel de Jong.

Webb himself, commenting later on De Jong’s foul (who kicked Xabi Alonso in the chest), admitted:

“Sitting in my chair and watching this episode again, I understand that I should have sent De Jong off. But the problem with the match was that I couldn’t see the moment properly. Being behind Alonso, I wasn’t sure of the extent of the contact. It’s not that I didn’t want to send anyone off in the World Cup final. But I remembered that this match was the pinnacle of the footballers’ careers and my own career, and it was only the 25th minute… After showing a large number of cards, I felt a little depressed. Why did the ending turn out like this? Maybe there was too much at stake. Neither team had won the World Cup before, so the players were willing to do anything to win. I remember saying to my assistants: “This isn’t working out the way we expected.”

The victory of the Spanish team, which had possession for about 60% of the time, was described by football analysts as beautiful but boring. Del Bosque, recalling the battle with Holland years later, said that van Marwijk came to him in Madrid to apologise for his team’s dirty play in the 2010 World Cup final.

“He was a bit insecure, but he didn’t fully agree with these assessments,” said del Bosque. “We respected Holland and their style a lot. At the beginning of the game, trying to ruin our game, they did some things that weren’t very good. But I’m not the one to scold them for this. In fact, in December van Marwijk came to visit us in Madrid. He’s a gentleman, a great guy. You have to be a special person to do something like that.”

By the way, van Marwijk himself publicly admitted after the final that Del Bosque’s team deserved to win. Although the Dutch coach complained about the chances wasted by Robben. Bert called Spain the strongest team in the world. Four years after that final, the Netherlands beat Spain 5-1 at the World Cup. But that was in the group. And there will still be no revenge in the final.

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* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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