July 12th, 2010
Spain won the World Cup for the first time on Sunday night but the final descended into a blizzard of cards and bitterness.
English referee Howard Webb dished out 13 yellow cards and a red in a bruising encounter settled by Andres Iniesta’s goal four minutes from the end of extra time.
Holland coach Bert van Marwijk bizarrely accused Webb of favouring Spain, despite the Rotherham official failing to send off Nigel de Jong for a gruesome kung-fu style kick into Xabi Alonso’s chest in the first half.
Unpleasant: Nigel de Jong was one of 13 players cautioned in the match, although he was lucky not to be dismissed
Webb finally dismissed Everton defender John Heitinga in extra time for a second bookable offence as Spain refused to be intimidated.
Their coach Vicente del Bosque said: ‘We have fantastic players who knew how to respond to problems.’
Holland betrayed their Total Football heritage and Dutch legend Ruud Gullit said: ‘It was a terrible game. The Dutch must blame themselves.’
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