Now that the world cup is over and Spain has been newly heralded as the top soccer nation in this planet on top of being the champion of Europe. Finally Spain managed to shed their underachiever tag. Prior to 2008, when they won the Euro 2008, many a time Spain has been a favourite team in a tournament but they never actually able to deliver on those promises. I remember in 1980, Spain was the host for the European Championships and they were the favourite, but they never got past the semi final. So, on Monday morning, when Ineasta scored that all important goal with four minutes left in the extra time, Spain finally exorcised their perennial underachiever status.
As for poor Holland, I’m afraid they still have to carry the tag of "The perennial bridesmaid but never the bride" a bit longer, at least for another four years. They made it to the final in 1974 and again in 1978, but they lost on both counts, even with stars like Cruyff, Rensenbrink, and Neskeens. With ageing stars like Bronckhorst, Bommel, and Schneider, Holland probably has to wait a lot longer. It was unfortunate that Holland did not make it despite their attractive and robust play. But in a competition, somebody had to lose. The winner may not be the best team but they are the team that managed to produce their best consistently during the competition period. Think of Greece in Euro 2004. As for me, for this world cup, I still think the best team is Germany but they made a mistake of playing like schoolboys in the semifinal and they paid the price.
Speaking of Holland, one report cited that, Holland is a team that is very good at hiding their dirty play. The report stated that Van Bommel kicked, shoved, kneed, elbowed many players but got away with it. Amazingly the final saw 14 yellow cards dished out and one red card. By the final whistle,The Holland team had only the goalkeeper and one other player remained orange so to speak. Maybe Howard Webb was a bit over the top in flashing those cards.
Now that the world cup is over, the kedai mamak is a bit quiet now at night and probably less red eyes in the office. But to those so enamoured with football, they have to wait till Mid august before the major leagues of Europre start their 2010/2011 season. We have to make do with replays and old footages to satisfy the footbal pangs. The wives can have their husbands back, thank you.