Spain’s soccer World Cup win “goes beyond sport,” coach Vicente Del Bosque said after his team beat the Netherlands 1-0 to take the title for the first time.
Andres Iniesta scored with four minutes of extra time left to seal the victory at Soccer City in Johannesburg last night after the teams finished regulation tied 0-0. It was the latest winning goal in a World Cup final.
The game featured 14 yellow cards, a record for the championship match. Nine of them went to the Netherlands, who played the last 11 minutes with 10 men after John Heitinga was sent off for his second caution.
Spain, which became the first team to win the World Cup after losing its opening game, added the global title to the 2008 European Championship. It was the third final the Netherlands lost after twice finishing runner-up in the 1970s.
Following are post-match comments from players and coaches from both teams:
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque:
“Spain, the country, deserves this triumph, this World Cup. This goes beyond sport and we have to celebrate. All the people have been behind us in Spain, and we’re delighted to reward them with this victory.”
“We have hugely talented players on this team. This success, being world champions, is a success for all of us, not just Iniesta or Xavi, or any specific player. All these players deserve the prize and the reward that we earned.
‘‘I should congratulate our opponents. They made it very difficult for us to play comfortably.
‘‘If we didn’t play well, it’s because our rivals were good. To try and keep up with them, with the pace they kept up for 90 minutes, was difficult. But we still dominated the match.
‘‘Holland played a good game. It was very intense, balanced and even. It was rough at times, but that’s part of football.’’
‘‘Football is moving forward and, in this World Cup in South Africa -- which has been an extraordinary success for this continent -- the reward today was for beautiful football.’’
Man of the match Andres Iniesta:
‘‘I’ve made a small contribution in a very tough game, a very rough game -- there were all sorts of things happening on the pitch -- but Spain deserved to win this World Cup.
On Paul, the octopus that correctly predicted all of Germany’s matches at the World Cup, and forecast a Spanish victory
‘‘As for the octopus, what can I say? We won. The octopus will be very popular in Spain.’’
Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets:
‘‘We’ve been waiting a whole life for this.
‘‘We’ve got better as the tournament has gone on and though the first game didn’t go our way we managed to turn it around after that. There were times today when we weren’t ourselves but we managed to get the win in the end. I still can’t believe it.”
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk:
“It’s just sad, really sad, to lose a final in this way.
‘‘It’s not our style to commit horrible fouls, not our kind of football. It was a World Cup final and people were tense.
‘‘It was our intention to play beautiful football, but we were facing a very good opponent. Spain are the best footballing nation in the past few years, so we needed to have a top day to beat them.
‘‘I would have loved to have won that match, even with not so beautiful football.’’
Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas:
‘‘It’s a great moment for me, for every Spanish player, for the Spanish people.
‘‘We’re very proud, we never thought we could do it. It’s something special and we’re very, very happy about it.
‘‘It’s been hard, but believe me now, it’s one of the best moments of my life. Today we are living the dream.’’
Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong:
‘‘It was a close game. We both created really good chances. Both teams knew that if they scored first they would win.
‘‘For us, it’s 32 years since we were in the finals, so this is a historic achievement, but if you are in the final you want to win it.’’
Netherlands winger Arjen Robben:
‘‘It hurts and it’s very disappointing.
‘‘There were two very aggressive teams out there trying to win the World Cup.’’
Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder:
‘‘We fought to the end. This is football, you can win and you can lose. I won three titles this season and I lost tonight the fourth title. It’s a pity, but I think we can be proud of it for the whole country.’’