This Sunday, July 11, the Netherlands vs. Spain World Cup Finals game will be contested. It marks the end of the month-long festivities, upsets and heartbreaks of the 2010 World Cup.
Heading into the Quarterfinals, it seemed like the 2010 World Cup was destined to be all about South America. However, with Spain vs. Netherlands, we have an all-Europe Finals game, and will have a European World Champion. Additionally, neither team has ever won the World Cup, so there will be a new winner adding their names to the illustrious, short list of countries who have won the title.
The Netherlands vs. Spain game time is Sunday at 2:30 PM Eastern. The game will be broadcast on ABC, and the pre-match coverage will begin at 1:30. Until then, take a look at this Netherlands vs. Spain preview to get ready for the last hurrah of this year’s tournament.
The third place match of Uruguay vs. Germany will be held on Saturday, July 10, at 2:30 PM Eastern on ABC. It marks Germany’s second consecutive trip to the runners-up game in the World Cup.
The Netherlands vs. Spain Preview World Cup Finals Game
The Oranje of The Netherlands ride into the 2010 World Cup Finals match with a perfect tournament record. They have gone 6-0, and along the way have knocked out the powerful Brazilian side, the co-favorites to win the tournament. They haven’t lost an international match in about 25 matches, and entered the tournament as the number 4 team in the latest FIFA rankings.
The Netherlands has never won a World Cup Championship, and twice previously reached the Finals match, in 1974 and 1978. The team doesn’t utilize the Total Football style of old, but they are a balanced squad with dynamic players all over the field.
Wesley Sneijder has been lighting up the competition, with a total of 5 goals, many on headers and redirects from close quarters. Heading into the World Cup Finals match against Spain, Sneijder is tied for the most goals scored in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Arjen Robben is healthy and at full speed, and has scored twice. In the match against Uruguay, it was the captain Giovanni Van Bronckhorst who opened up the scoring, putting in one of the best goals of the entire tournament, a long range shot that found its home perfectly in the upper corner of the net.
Rather surprisingly, this is Spain’s first trip to a World Cup Finals match. They have lost just twice in more than 50 previous matches, and as the number 2 team in the last FIFA rankings, were the co-favorites along the Brazil to win the Championship. What a fitting way for them to reach the Finals match as well, rehashing their 1-0 victory over Germany to win the 2008 UEFA Euro Championship. It was also their third straight 1-0 win.
La Furia Roja has been led by David Villa, who’s tied with Sneijder for the World Cup goal scoring lead with 5. Villa’s dominance has been crucial, since striker Fernando Torres has never really gotten healthy and rounded into game shape.
Xavi has been dictating the game from the middle of the field as per usual, and it was Barcelona captain Carles Puyol who headed in the winner against Germany. Goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas has come up huge time and time again, making great saves and great decisions in each and every game to give his side a chance to win.
Spain has been known to have the occasional lapse in judgment or focus, but make no mistake about it, they are the superior team to Netherlands. If you had to start a team with any two players, they would most likely come from the Spanish side, from the likes of Casillas, Villa, Xavi and Puyol, although Sneijder and Robben of the Netherlands wouldn’t be too far behind.
No team has ever won the World Cup after losing their first match of the tournament, so Spain is looking to break that curse. The far more substantial curse they are trying to break though is winning their first World Championship. After winning UEFA Euro two years ago, it’s only natural that this group of Spanish players raises their credentials that one, final step. A 1-0 victory from the feet of David Villa, with Casillas robbing Sneijder of an equalizer would be the perfect ending.
Netherlandsvs. Spain Prediction: 1-0 Spain