Del Bosque tips Spain to dominate

July 12th, 2010

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque tipped his side to dominate world football for the foreseeable future after leading them to their first World Cup triumph.

Andres Iniesta’s strike gave Spain a 1-0 extra-time win over the Netherlands in Sunday’s Johannesburg final to add the World Cup to the Euro 2008 triumph.

And Del Bosque said: “I think our effort, our flair is never-ending.

“This World Cup draws from what we did in 2008 and it is the continuity and continuation of a very good legacy.”

Iniesta’s strike deep in the 116th minute settled a nervy, ill-tempered affair – one that failed in many ways to live up to pre-match expectations.

However, that did not temper Spain’s joy in victory and Del Bosque declared: “Everyone in the dressing room is ecstatic.

“Spain, the country, deserves this triumph. This goes beyond sport. We have to celebrate and are delighted to be able to offer this victory to all the people of Spain.”

Much of the focus in the immediate aftermath of the match centred on the physical approach by the Netherlands, with their players being shown nine yellow cards, two of which led to Johnny Heitinga’s extra-time dismissal.

However, while Del Bosque said the result “was a reward for beautiful football” he was keen not to criticise the Dutch for the way they played the game.

“I should congratulate our opponents,” stated the Spanish coach. “They made it very difficult for us to play comfortably and they had some good chances.

“To try and match Holland when they are playing at that pace is very difficult but we did it and, for the most part, I think we dominated the match.

“Yes it was rough at times but that is part of football.”

One key to Spain’s success proved to be the introduction of Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who provided the crucial pass to Iniesta for the winning goal to cap a fine cameo late in the game.

“Fabregas came on and we began to dominate,” commented Del Bosque. “We had greater ball possession and depth in our game. We created chances for Cesc and David Villa which we could have converted.”

Spanish captain Iker Casillas conceded it would take some time for his team-mates to realise the magnitude of what they had achieved in South Africa.

“It’s a historic moment for Spanish football,” said the Real Madrid goalkeeper. “This achievement is something that we, the players, are still not aware of, what the significance really is.

“I think it’s something we will only realise over time.”

Casillas, 29, who also picked up the Golden Glove award as the best keeper at the tournament, added: “It’s what we have dreamt of since we were children.

“It is a much happier moment than when we won the European Championships [in 2008]. We are now the world champions.”

Match-winner Iniesta could barely hide his delight following the final whistle.

“I can’t quite believe this yet. I had the opportunity to score that goal that was so important for my team and it’s incredible,” he enthused.

“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.

“Spain deserved to win this World Cup. It’s something we have to remember and enjoy and should feel very proud of everyone in this squad.

“The manner in which it happened, we gave everything. To win the World Cup – there are no words to describe it.”

After scoring the winning goal, Barcelona midfielder Iniesta took off his shirt to reveal a T-shirt paying tribute to Daniel Jarque, the Espanyol player who died from a heart attack in August, with the message ‘Dani Jarque is always with us’.

And Iniesta explained: “I wanted to carry Dani Jarque with me and with my other team-mates. We wanted to feel his strength. We wanted to pay tribute to him in the world of football and this was the best opportunity to do so.

“This is for Dani Jarque, for my family, for all of the people. It is the result of hard work over a long time and some difficult moments.”

Asked about Spain defending the title in 2014, Iniesta replied: “Now’s the time to enjoy this World Cup. We’ll see what happens four years down the line.”

Source: BBC Sport

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