Spain survive ferocious final to claim first World Cup triumph
Andres Iniesta’s extra-time winner gave Spain a dramatic 1-0 win over Holland in a tumultuous World Cup final.
The Dutch had eight players booked and one, John Heitinga, sent off as they tried to brutally block their opponents’ path to a first World Cup.
There was no stopping Spain, however, as they persevered with the brand of patient, attractive football that earned them the crown of European champions two years ago.
Vicente Del Bosque’s team are now the 4/1 favourites to defend their European title in Poland and Ukraine in two years’ time.
Having completed the ultimate double of Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, this Spanish side will be remembered alongside the greats.
Holland, meanwhile, tarnished their impressive run to the final with a belligerent display, which caused English referee Howard Webb to show 14 yellow cards. The Dutch are 7/1 to win Euro 2012.
Germany, who finished third in South Africa, at times provided the World Cup’s most exhilarating football, and their young charges are a good bet at 6/1 to be victorious in Poland and Ukraine.
Africa’s first World Cup, however, belongs to a Spanish side whose principled footballing philosophy prospered against the brute forces of their opponents.
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