2010 World Cup: Wesley Sneijder & David Villa, a Tale of Two Stars

Coverin' The SpreadCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2010

Whether you are a football fanatic or just the casual sports fan that tunes into the World Cup, you now know who Wesley Sneijder and David Villa are.

How could you not?

Both Villa of Spain and Sneijder of Holland have been the catalysts to their respective teams’ World Cup final berth.

Sneijder and Villa are battling not only for their countries’ first World Cup trophy, but for the individual honor of the Golden Boot Award.

David Villa and Wesley Sneijder each have five goals in this World Cup, and barring any outstanding performance between Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose or Diego Forlan in the third place game, one of these newfound global stars will take the trophy.

The Golden Boot is not the trophy Villa and Sneijder are after though.

The Netherlands is in its third World Cup final and are considered the greatest football country to never have won the World Cup.

Spain, who has been a global power for years and even won the UEFA Euro Football Championshio in 2008, is in their first ever World Cup final.

If the Dutch take the trophy, Wesley Sneijder will have to put up the type of performance he did against Kaka, Robinho, and team Brazil.

In Holland’s extraordinary 2-1 win over Brazil in the quarterfinals, Sneijder scored the game-winner when the 5’7" midfielder put a header in the back of the net in front of the 6’0" defensive midfielder Felipe Melo.

While Sneijder’s goal may have been the biggest goal in Netherlands history, it was Sneijder's free kick in the 52nd minute that won the game for the Dutch.

After a first half completely dominated by Robinho and the Brazilians, Sneijder and the Dutch got the equalizer off of a laser by Sneijder that deflected off Felipe Melo and past goalkeeper Julio Cesar for an own goal.

The mistake by Melo was unfortunate for Brazil but Sneijder’s kick was a knuckling rocket that got by two great Brazilian defenders.

Wesley Sneijder is the man for the Dutch and will have to continue to be if he wants to get past Villa, Fernando Torres, Xavi, Sergio Ramos, and the mighty Spaniards.

If Sneijder plays like he has during his entire visit to South Africa, he gives the Dutch a great shot to upset the favored Spanish.

A win from the Netherlands not only will give Holland its first World Cup title ever, but Wesley Sneijder will go down in history.

If Sneijder can help the Dutch win the cup, he will go down as one of only three footballers since 1974 to win the Champions League title and the World Cup in the same year.

Sneijder is coming off of a title with Inter Milan in May and hopes to be celebrating an even bigger title Sunday night. Not bad for a guy who is just now constructing his own website.

If someone is going to stand in the way of Wesley Sneijder and the Netherlands, it will be David Villa.

David Villa has by far been the most exciting player to watch in the 2010 World Cup with five goals, one assist, and an astounding 13 shots on goal this tournament.

To put this in perspective, Andres Iniesta is second on the Spanish team with just three shots on goal.

Villa, who was the leading goal scorer in Spain’s European championship in 2008, has been clutch all tourney long as he scored game winners against Honduras, Paraguay, and Portugual.

Paraguay and Portugal were both elimination games in which Villa’s lone goal in each game was the difference.

David Villa’s brilliant play has allowed Spain to go with a one striker attack as of late even putting global superstar Fernando Torres on the bench in the semifinal and possibly again vs. the Dutch in the final.

Only a player such as Villa could make Fernando Torres (slumping or not) a substitute in the biggest tournament of the world.

Villa is certainly a superstar but it has taken the world stage to give Villa the recognition he has always deserved.

Playing for small-market club Valencia since 2005, Villa has not gotten the recognition the Rooneys, Torres', and Drogbas have playing for world-renowned clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea.

Now, with an entire nation behind him and the globe watching, Villa has a chance to become just as famous and renowned as the Messis, Rhonaldos, and Kakas of the world.

With a goal in his country’s first ever World Cup win Sunday, David Villa will become the biggest thing in Spain since King Ferdinand and the 28-year-old’s life will forever be changed.

El Guaje, or “the kid’ as he is called in Spain, will no longer be the kid but the man of international football.

Sundays’ World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain presents the world with a great matchup between the two best teams in this tournament.

Sunday in South Africa, Wesley Sneijder and his Dutch or David Villa and his Spaniards will take their nation's first ever World Cup title home with them as heroes for a lifetime.

Whichever stud comes up big will not only probably take the Golden Boot but will become one of the most famous athletes on Earth and a World Cup champion.

Big game? Nah.