It was the Netherlands versus Spain this year in a match to see who is the world’s best soccer team of 2010. The history of both of these two teams is steeped in winning traditions and hard-nosed soccer. In the ’70s, the Netherlands invented what became known as total football, in which each player on the field could play any and all positions, confusing defenses and scoring chances all over the field. They never won the World Cup with this type of play, and it will not be the type of soccer the Netherlands used this year. Instead, Spain will use this play type, and the Netherlands will use a much more static play type, in which everyone sticks to their position, with very little swapping at all.
Despite strong showings almost every year, neither of these two teams has won the big game in the past. It may surprise the casual soccer fan, but it is true:Both of these teams have been powerhouse teams in the past, but just fell short of expectations each year.
This year is going to be a year of vengeance for one team, and this should make for a very hard-fought game, with two teams fighting to make up for the shortcomings in the past. The past winners of this trophy are heavily dominated by Germany, Brazil, Argentina, and Italy; in fact, there have been only seven different teams to ever win this cup. This year will end in an eighth team to hold this honor, which will be a breath of fresh air for soccer fans of other teams who have become smitten with the dominance of this Cup by an almost evil empire-type of atmosphere surrounding the Cup.
Competition was tough for this year’s final, with Spain spending most of its time onthe attacking end, giving the Netherlands’ keeper much to do early on in the match. Spain managed to attack and get shots on the net as early as eight minutes into the match, and other opportunities coming at 11, 12 and 28 minutes. The Netherlands had fewer chances, especially early on, with good scoring chances not coming until almost the end of the first half of the game.
Spain won the game in overtime 1-0, and they deserved it; they had the edge on play the whole game, with more time of possession and more shots on goal, and better field position the entire match. They did it with two minutes left in the game, with Andres Austere streaking up the right side of the field against two defenders. One defender lunged as Austere kicked the ball, and the keeper narrowly missed getting his hand on the ball and scored to win the game as they went on to be named the best team in the world.