Netherlands-Spain: 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Preview and Prediction

Bryan FlynnAnalyst IJuly 9, 2010

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 07:  Fernando Torres of Spain skips the tackle of Arne Friedrich of Germany during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Germany and Spain at Durban Stadium on July 7, 2010 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

How fitting is the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final?

Here is a look at just some of the firsts in this 2010 World Cup:

France and Italy are the first finalist from a previous World Cup to fail to advance out of the group stage in the preceding World Cup, that is when both teams qualify for the World Cup.

South Africa becomes the first host nation to fail to advance beyond the group stage.     

All five South American teams advanced to the knockout stage.       

New Zealand’s Winston Reid scores the first-ever World Cup goal for his country.

This is Serbia and Slovakia’s first World Cup since they have formed their own countries. FIFA does not see it that way, but I bet the people of these two countries, to a certain extent, do.

Paraguay and Ghana reached the quarterfinals for the first time.

The firsts did not stop in the group stage or the knockout stage. They carried all the way to the finals.

This final will feature Spain against the Netherlands. Here are some of the firsts the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final:

This will be the first final won by a European team not on European soil.       

Whoever wins, Spain or the Netherlands, it will be their first World Cup title.

This is Spain’s first World Cup Final.

Also this is the first World Cup Final not to have Germany (in some form), Italy, or Brazil.

For the first time ever, the two European powerhouses, Spain and the Netherlands, meet in the final of a major tournament.

If Spain wins, it will be the first time that a team has lost its opening game and went on to win the World Cup.

2010 World Cup Final

In a wonderful side story, the top two scoring players will meet in this World Cup Final. Both David Villa of Spain and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands lead the tournament with five goals apiece.

Villa and Sneijder are in contention for the Golden Boot Award, given to the player who scores the most goals. Both players will also be contenders for the Golden Ball Award, given to the best player of the tournament.

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas will be a top contender for Yashin Award, given to the top goalkeeper of the tournament. Casillas has kept a clean sheet in three straight games and four out of six games in the World Cup.

The amazing thing about Spain is the fact that, besides Villa, only two other players have scored for this team. Andrés Iniesta scored the game-winner against Chile, and Carles Puyol scored the only goal against Germany to send Spain into the final.

Since the knockout stage, Spain has controlled games, keeping possession and playing tough defense. The Spanish have found the only goal they needed while playing keep away from the other team and defending.

The Red Fury is trying to win their second straight major tournament since winning Euro 2008. To do so, they could possibly need some sort of production from injured star Fernando Torres.

Torres was relegated to a substitution role in Spain’s last game against Germany. A goal in the final from Torres in a Spanish win would forgive his disappointing play in the rest of the tournament.

No team has ridden one player like Spain has Villa since Italy rode Roberto Baggio to the final of the 1994 World Cup in the United States. For those who do not remember, that Italian team lost in a penalty shootout in which Baggio sent his shot over the goal.

The Netherlands have been offensive-minded since the opening of the tournament. Just be careful not to bump your television while watching the final or all the Netherlands players will go down.

Holland has been criticized for the way they flopped against Brazil in the semifinals and Uruguay in the quarterfinals. The Dutch have been accused of being overly dramatic in their group stage games as well.

After being runner-ups in the 1974 World Cup to West Germany and the 1978 World Cup to Argentina, the Netherlands are hoping to finally break through against Spain. With the help of superstar Arjen Robben, who has scored two goals, the Dutch have a chance to win their first title since Euro 1988, held in West Germany.

The men from Holland are the last team in the World Cup to be undefeated and untied left in the tournament. If the Dutch win the 2010 World Cup, they will become the first team since Brazil did so in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea/Japan to finish with no losses or ties on their way to the title.

This game will be decided by who can impose their style of play on the other team. For a half, Brazil was able to do just that against the Dutch.

Switzerland was able to the same thing against the Spanish in their opening game of the tournament as well. If Spain can keep possession of the ball they will have a good chance to beat the Netherlands.

If the Dutch can get an early goal, they could ride that goal all the way to a title, since the Spanish have not been a goal scoring machine. With all the players on the pitch that can create shots and manufacture goals, this game should be decide in the first 90 minutes.

One thing that is for sure, my picks for the 2010 World Cup have been opposite of the German super soccer-picking octopus. While Mr. Eight Legs has been perfect, my record is not so stellar.

It seems the team I pick always loses, with the exception of Uruguay in the semifinals. I missed my chance at the quarterfinals, due to family affairs with the holiday.

If I had done a quarterfinals pick, I would have gone with Germany and the Netherlands. Not telling what would have happened, we could have spent Sunday watching a Uruguay vs. Spain final.

So, enough about the terrible picks I have made or my lack of picking skill in this tournament.

No guts, no glory. So here it goes.

I will take Spain to win on a hat trick by David Villa, who barely missed having one earlier in the tournament. I also think Torres will score but so will Robben and Sneijder for the Neitherlands.

Pick: Spain 4-2

Third Place Game:

Just for fun, the third place game will have Germany taking on Uruguay. It will be fun to watch this game to see if Dorian Forlan of Uruguay, Miroslav Klose, and Tomas Muller, both of Germany, can put any pressure on Villa or Sneijder.

All three men have four goals apiece and this will be the last time they get to put their hat in the ring for the Golden Boot or Golden Ball award. For Muller, it will be a chance to redeem himself after missing the Netherlands game for acquiring two yellow cards.

Forlan has been a star in this tournament and this game will be a nice swan song to his international career if he can put up some goals. Klose will also be playing in his swan song with a chance to catch Ronaldo with one goal and become the all-time World Cup goal scorer with two goals.

Looking to redeem himself like Muller will be Luis Suárez, whose hand ball against Ghana turned the continent of Africa against Uruguay. Much like his German counterpart, things could have been dramatically different if he could have played in the quarterfinals as well.

Again, my picks have not been great, but why not give it that old college try? I will take Germany to win off of two goals by Klose and two goals by Muller.

I will take Forlan to score two goals, as well and Suarez gets a goal himself. Both Muller and Suarez get the most bittersweet goals of the tournament.

Pick: Germany 4-3


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