World Cup Final Post-Mortem: Why Spain Became Champions.


To those who are not Spanish or indeed Barcelona fans, Spain stole this one.

"Spain; 'Catch Thief'."

Spain became the first European country to win the World Cup outside Europe and  the third to hold both the European Championship and the World Cup. It was the first nation to lose the first match and win the Cup.  


Holland does not feature mutch in the data that matter. Germany seem to have strong claims in useful statistics provided by FIFA and Castrol.

Spain scored 8 goals and conceded 2, goals coming from 3 scorers, Villa, Iniesta (2) and Puyol (1) and the Netherlands netted the ball 12 times against 6. The Spaniards ran a total of over  767 kilometres passing the ball 4782 passes with an 82% pass completion rate compared to Germany’s total 3948 with 2865 passes completed. Averagely, each player ran 9.9 km and touched the ball 62 times a game and an average ball possession of 58% a match. Uruguay were second here clocking 763 km.

Spain were the second least attacked team, for the teams that played 7 games. Germany were the least. However, Spain launched 107 attackes firing 121 shots at goal, 32 of them by David Villa. Torres did not manage even 5 shots though. Germany attacked 91 times and fired 102 shots.


Spain comes as an organised and efficient unit that fight tooth and nail for each component of their well oil machine. The disciplinary levels in terms of stategy were high, players keeping their positions and operating within strict tactical peripheries. They respected their roles and did not get attracted out of their comfort zones as did the Brazilians against the Netherlands.


Spain’s tactics were based on excellent technique of ball passing and reception. They trapped the ball dead at their feet in tight positions and played the ball off their feet with the first touch if given space. They did not lose possession cheaply and they kept on their feet when defending, without diving into tackles.


Their tactics were simply based on taking the game to their opponents, reducing the risk of attack by other teams. They moved the ball well and almost every time, moving left to right, back and forth probing for cracks in the opposition. The fact that they did not have to score lots of goals or have a lot of players on the score-sheet or taking shots other than than David Villa, shows that Villa was the only player assigned to attacking duties while the midfield was entrusted with clean supply of ammunition.


The World Champions were not convincing in the way they dispatched their victims on the way to the final. Honduras stood by to give Spain hope of going to the second round while Portugal froze in the quarter-final match. Paraguay were unlucky to fall to a last minute sucker-punch. Spain came to life in their semi-final game with Germany. The Dutch imploded in extra time when reduced to 10 men in the final, showing heavy legs just before the goal. One reason for this, was their high tempo matches from the first round till the end compared to Spain’s several pedestrian performances. The 1-0 wins with last minute goals tells one simple story. Spain were the strongest mentally and psychologically, and that wins games above all else.


Howard Webb was terrible. While the game was tense and physical, he went on to set the wrong tone in a bid to stamp his authority. Instead of taking control, things spiralled out of control, udoing his noble intenstions. Iniesta was not supposed to have lasted 90 minutes intha game. He finally got a yellow card though, for removing the shirt while celebrating the goal he should n’t have scored.


In football, a win is a win. Viva the Champions. Viva Espan’a.


2 comments on “World Cup Final Post-Mortem: Why Spain Became Champions.

  1. You got it right on the nut my boet. The refs made too many wrong calls that crucially affected the palatability of the game entirely as well as disrupting the Dutch psychology. However, Spain has played well through the tournament and the Coach proved himself the thinker and mastermind here as evidenced by his team lineup choices and timeliness of substitutions. In the end it’s Viva Espana


    • Could it be that the referee was under duress to give it to Spain or it was the pressure of the occasion?

      It is great Mayenziwe, that we see the effect of good coaching in football. Argentina and Brazil were as careless in that regard as African nations. A coach must see and effect substitutions and tactics for the betterment of the game. We will be talking a lot of football from here on.

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