Viva Espana Adios SA 2010

Donn Morgan Kipgen *

"To win or lose is not the only thing;
It's all in how we play the fairest game.
This is what we've worked for all our lives,
Reaching for the highest goal we can,
We've got to give it all when we hear the call;
Time records the victory in our hearts."

This inspirational theme song of the Italia' 90 World Cup football could well be attributed to the 2010 World Cup winning Spanish football team on two counts.

Firstly, the so-called perenniel under - achievers, ie., the Spaniards, won their first World Cup trophy to cap it with thier magnificent 2008 European Cup. The Golden Generation Spanish football team under "St. Iker" Casillas gave, sacrificed, and played for everything with guts, mental and physical courages, superb vision, selfless team-work, excellent technique, versatile tactics, low-profile but match-winning attitude and all-round skill led by a methodically and technically sound manager-coach, Senor Vicente del Bosque.

The magnificent irony of it all was the undenialable fact that Spain dominantly beat Paraguay (my regrets, Miss Larissa Riquelme), Germany (sorry Miss Weidart), Protugal (hardluck Miss Shayk) and Holland (sadly grounded, Ms Manya Block's Flying Dutchmen) in their very styles and tactics by an agonisingly identical 1-nil margin.

The decisive goals coming from centre-forward David Villa (pr Viyya), attacking midfielder Andres Iniesta, and full-back Carlos Puyol. Ironically, all of them will henceforth be playing together for Barcelona FC, alongside Xavi Hernandez, Pique (pr. pee-ke) and, of course, Lionel Messi (badluck Miss Antonella Roccuzzo) at the Nou Camp, Barca.

With, amazingly, without any Red Card, nor any Yellow Card to the central defenders and central midfielders in both the semi-final and quater-final matches, Spain managed to reach their first ever World Cup Final to deservedly lift the Italian-made and designed FIFA Fotbol Mundial Coupe-2010.

Yes, indeed, the Spaniards did win the FIFA Fairplay Award despite receiving the inevitable four Yellow Cards, same number of bookings in their last four games!!! By the way, the Fair Play award winner is officially decided by the FIFA Fair Play selection committee before the World Cup Final matches were being played ever since its inception.

The fantastic double-achievements, alongwith the more remarkable record of an European Nation's Cup (2008) followed by the prestigious 2010 World Cup, led by team captain Iker Casillas outside Spain and Europe have surpassed the then West Germany's (1974 World Cup as a host nation and the 1972 European Cup) record, led by equally dominating skipper Franz "The Kaiser" Beckenbeaur. Of course, time will definitely record the Majestic Spanish Victories in all football lovers' hearts & souls and shall endure the test of time. It always will.

The beauty of it all was the fact that the tournament's two highest goalscoring teams and favourites Germany and Holland were methodocally beaten by the equally versatile Spanish team without conceding a goal in both the hotly contested Matches. Like the 1974 World Champion West Germany, beaten by East Germany the 2010 Champion Spain was also beaten by Switzerland in their opening match by an identical 1-0 scorline.

And both West Germany and Spain beat the more versatile Dutchven by just a single goal margin (2-1 & 1-0) to lift their first FIFA World Cup Trophy. It is worth mentioning that the Jules Rimet trophy was permanently gifted to the Brazilians when they won their third World Cup in 1970, Mexico.

The 2010 South Africa is the lowest goal-scoring tournament, below 2.40 goals per Match on average. It was all about misses, kisses, brushes and shockers & howlers, thanks to the light and unpredictable "Jubalani" balls of highly questionable quality. Even the best goalkeepers, defenders, Midfielders & Centre forwards struggled when it comes to free kicks, crosses, passes, penalty kicks, etc.,

The "Jubalani" ball lacks the pace, swerve, swing, dip and the typical bending which made Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, Torres, Cannavaro, Casillas, Rooney, Kaka, Ribery, Gerrard, Cole, etc, looked like amateur footballers playing local club games.

Well, of course, some new and young footballers playing their first or second major tournaments like Thomas Mueller, Villa, Suarez, Lohm, Higuan, Gyan, Maicon, Otzil, etc delightfully adapted to the nature of the controversial ball, the flow of the game and, of course, the climatic conditions of the first "Winter" World Cup football in their own styles.

Perhaps, the stiffness of muscular reflex due to very cold and wet weather conditions in the wintry climatic environment, the natural skills and physical playing techniques were visibly hampered and sub-standard in comparison to their outstanding ball plays with precision goal scoring & making skills in other world cups and top-flight professional football clubs.

But the swift change into defensive tactics whenever an early goal or two is scored in both the first or second half by an even attacking and versatile teams like Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy, Portugal etc, had dried up goalscoring and aggressive natural tactics in this 2010 World Cup. Nevertheless, it's quite exciting at times in high scoring matches.

* Donn Morgan Kipgen wrote this article for Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 28, 2010.

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