Monday, July 12, 2010

Spain's press hail 'poetic justice' after World Cup final victory

World Cup Final - The Spanish press hailed Spain's World Cup victory as "poetic justice" for its style of passing football against the negative tactics of the Dutch.

Under the front page headline "World champions," El Pais described the 1-0 win in South Africa on Sunday as "an ode to happiness." The paper said Spain "gave an injection of universality, showed its style of football despite those who sneer at it, after an emotional, uncomfortable game against a coarse Netherlands.

"It succumbed to a rival that was well-versed in the art of the unpredictable, as well being intoxicating and mature."

Holland's physical approach – which saw the team receive nine yellow cards and have one player sent off – was heavily criticised by the Spanish press. Sports daily Marca attacked "Netherlands' intimidating plan". "The violence restricted Spain's usual play but not enough to negate its superiority," the paper continued.

The winning goal came with four minutes of extra time remaining, as Andrés Iniesta controlled a pass from Cesc Fábregas and blasted the ball past the goalkeeper.

"It was poetic justice because football won and football, that marvellous universal folklore, is Iniesta," El Mundo said. "The little wizard had to be the one who in minute 116 put the nail in the coffin of the 11 most quarrelsome Dutchmen in history."

Iniesta's role highlighted Barcelona's contribution to the victory. He and his seven team-mates at the Catalan club including Xavi, Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol formed the spine of the national team.

Pro-Barcelona daily Mundo Deportivo pointed out that "yesterday there were eight privileged ones who joined the select group that can presume to have achieved the greatest honour a sportsman can manage: to be the best on the planet."

Some reports saw the national team as an example to follow for a country that has severe economic problems. "The Spanish team is a metaphor for what Spain can aspire to be, as long as we are prepared to apply the same criteria that have been the basis for the successes of the national team," ABC said.

"It would be good if the collective enthusiasm for the team became a stimulus for Spanish society in the face of the current problems and even that it became the motive to demand that our country should resemble and work like this group of young men."


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