Thursday, July 8, 2010


Last time when Rafael Nadal won the Wimbledon, it was 2008. It was also the same year in which his country Spain won their first major international football title... the Euro 2008!

Now in 2010, Nadal has regained his Wimbledon title... and a week later, few thousand miles down south... Spain will compete against the Netherlands in the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2010 at the Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg. So is the history about to repeat itself?

Right from the start of the tournament, there were three teams that I was supporting: Argentina, Netherlands and Spain. I am glad that two of them are in the finals and all of them are in the top-5. So I am lost as to whom should I be supporting! May be, I'll just sit and enjoy as a neutral... hoping for some quality football.

The semi-final clash against Germany was a hard-fought win. Yes, Spain did dominate possession and had more chances... but then Germany has been the best team on the counter-attack in this World Cup. Even during the loss, it could be seen that the chances created by Germany were really good ones. Iker Casillas was forced into making some fine saves. In fact, when Spain had not opened their account after 30-35 minutes, when Spain did not open the scoring despite really good chances, I thought that it will be Germany's day. They will remain solid at the back and one of their counter attacks is bound to succeed.

But Carlos Puyol's head had some other ideas. He had had another opportunity earlier when he headed over the bar. That one, I felt, should have gone in. But he compensated later by scoring the winner.

Germany, as I had predicted in a comment on some other blog (can't remember which one), missed Thomas Muller. He has been exceptional for them, and in his absence, their brilliant left-footer Mesut Ozil was not able to combine well with anyone else.

In the finals, I would like to see Fernando Torres start in the First XI... something he didn't do in the semis. I know he's been off-colour in the Rainbow Nation thus far... but he had been off colour even in Euro 2008. That didn't stop him from scoring the winner in the finals!

Whatever the First XIs, I am just hoping for an exciting game of football... a fitting finale to a wonderful event! So will this be a Spanish season once again or will Jo'burg be painted Orange on Sunday? It will be worth watching!

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