SPAIN: WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS

The World Cup came to a close today in South Africa with Spain announced World Cup Champions for the first time in their history after beating The Netherlands 1-0 in extra time in the World Cup Final today at Soccer City in South Africa, out of form striker Fernanado Torres was dropped to the bench in place of Pedro with both sides keeping faith with the teams that saw them through their semi final encounters.

Spain were quickest team out of the blocks applying early pressure to Dutch side, having a few shots on goal with one hitting the side netting. Both teams were getting stuck in with some heavy tackless and English referee Howard Webb issuing four yellow cards within the first half hour with Robin Van Persie, Mark Van Bommel, Nigel De Jong and Spain’s Carlos Puyol all going into the referee’s book. With De Jong being lucky to stay on the pitch after fly kicking Xabi Alonso in the chest.

Neither side not really having any clear cut chances on goal, and both sides going in goalless at halftime and really should of seen at least one player from each side sent off with tackles flying in left, right and centre,the game has threatening to boil over so the half-time whistle had came just in time.

In the second half both teams looking nervous to break forward in fear of a counter-attack from the opposing side, playing it safe. But it was Spain who got caught on 65 minutes when Arjen Robben broke free, one on one with Iker Casillas, only to be denied by the trailing foot of the Spanish goalkeeper sending Robben’s shot wide of the post.

Moments later David Villa latched on to a lose ball after Heitinga made a mess of a clearance in the six yard box, but Villa was denied with Heitinga redeeming himself with a great last ditch tackle blocking the Spainard out. With most of the possesion being fought out in the middle of the park, battle of the midfielders and deadlock still hadn’t been broke within the 90 minutes.

First period of extra time saw action for both goalkeepers with the best chance falling to Spain’s Cesc Fabregas in the area, only to be denied by the Dutch goalkeeper. Both keepers were both superb throughout the game, saving there sides on each occasion keeping the scores goalless.

Second period of extra-time saw Fernando Torres replace David Villa, Iniesta managed to find him self free on goal, only to be pulled back by John Heitinga who was already on a yellow card and he got his marching orders from referee Howard Webb on 18th minute of extra time leaving Holland with ten players on the pitch, then Xavi sent his free kick over the bar and on the 26th minute of extra-time, Spain went on a counter-attack threading the ball down the right-hand side of the pitch. Sweeping the ball from right to left just outside Holland’s area, with The Dutch being down to ten men, Spain had the extra man over with Iniesta free and he drove it hard and low into the back of the net to win Spain the World Cup for the first ever time.

SPAIN IN THE FINAL

Spain beat Germany last night in the semi final to setup mouthwatering match against Holland in the World Cup final. Holland or Spain have never won a World Cup before to the outcome will be interesting the say the least. A Carlos Puyol bullet header was enough to see Spaniards through with Spain hitting their stride at the right time. Start striker David Villa added, “When we play our best football we’re very hard to stop,”

“That was the best Spain have played at this World Cup,” said midfielder Sergio Busquets.

“We are so happy right now and we need to savour it,” added team-mate Andres Iniesta. “We played a great game and no one can argue we don’t deserve to be in the Final.”

Vicent Del Bosque’s men showed why they are current European Champions, seeing off an impressive German side, who had easily overcome England and Argentina in previous rounds. So now is all comes down to the Final on Sunday, will it be Holland? Will it be Argentina? We shall see, but one thing is for certain. We are in for one hell of match up.

CAPELLO STILL IN FOR ENGLAND

The FA have just announced that Fabio Capello will continue as England manager, there had been a lot of speculation as to whether he would stay on as manager following England’s disastrous World Cup campaign, getting knocked out by Germany losing 4-1 last week.

It would be interesting to see the reaction to the England team when they play Hungary in a friendly on August 11th at Wembley, considering their woeful display in South Africa this summer.

ENGLAND RIFT?

A rift between England’s Steven Gerrard and John Terry are starting to surface in today’s media, rumours are circulating that Steven Gerrard had an affair with his sister in-law & Terry is incensed that he was allowed to be England captain considering why Terry was stripped of the captaincy. Back in April the internet was full of rumours that Gerrard had got his wife, Alex Curran’s sister pregnant. Alex was then quick to squash the rumours then as pure gossip.

But today the Sun has revealed that David Beckham had to act as peacemaker between the pair at the World Cup as tensions reached boiling point. Apparently Gerrard is involved in a scandal that the whole England team knows about, there had been a 2 week gagging order issued by the courts & It involves another woman.

TIME FOR VIDEO TECHNOLOGY

Fifa President Sepp Blatter has said that he will consider using video technology in wake of England’s Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal and Carlos Tevez goal which was wrongly given could of been prevented had the use of video technology been implemented.

Video technology has had successful spells in Tennis, Rugby and Cricket. But only one man can’t see common sense, video technology has been called from all the hierachy of the sport. Even Prime Minister David Cameron has joined the calls for video technology to be used.

Guus Hiddink has said that Fifa President Blatter should either allow video technology or resign. The Dutchman who coached South Korea to the semi-finals in 2002 said, “Blatter should announce now that video replay will be implemented or he needs to resign.”

Spanish striker Fernando Torres added, “We’re tired of asking for technological help for these kinds of situations because they can determine something as important as whether you get knocked out of a World Cup.”

ENGLAND BACK ON FORM

So, here it is – what you were all waiting for. England back on form and kind of team you know you have to support. With a 1-0 victory over Slovenia (who you can’t help but feel sorry for, due to the USA pipping them at the proverbial post) here are the highlights of the first (and let’s face it, most important) part of the match.

A shame that they didn’t follow through with more spectacular goals in the second half, but never mind. They are through!

ENGLAND QUALIFY

England have qualified for the next phase of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory against Slovenia, advancing through to the next phase. Manager Fabio Capello made three changes to the side that drew with Algeria at the weekend. With Matthew Upson replacing the suspended Jamie Carragher, James Milner replacing Aaron Lennon and Emile Heskey giving way for Jermain Defoe.

England avoided humiliation by securing their place in the next round of the World Cup with The Three Lions dominating most of the game and deserving their win with Jermain Defoe getting the decisive goal. Jermain starting his first game of the World Cup, took his opportunity well getting on the end of a James Milner cross from wide on the right.

England started the second as they begun the first half, having most of the possession and chances. On 57 minutes Wayne Rooney found himself free in the area, but only to scuff his shot on to the post. England by now were launching an onslaught of attacks and showing displays that we remember from England’s qualifying matches.

Slovenia’s goalkeeper kept the deficit to one pulling off some tremendous saves. In the final third of the game, England were sitting back to much and Slovenia nearly got back into the game, but only for England defenders chucking everything in front of the ball, blocking three shots on the spin in the England penalty area. It was England who came out victorious, collecting all three points.

In the other match in the group, USA hit a late winner against Algeria to send USA through as group winners and England occupying second spot.

FRANCE IN TURMOIL

The French national team are in turmoil, having sent Nicolas Anelka home for a bust-up with team coach Raymond Domenech.

Since then, the French fitness coach has quit and the players have refused to train. There’s never a dull moment in the French camp and Patrice Evra has stated that there is a traitor in Les Bleus suggesting that they had played a part in Anelka being sent home.

This comes after virtually all the French press condemned the team for its inability to do well in the tournament. The isssues go way back, before even the Henri hand ball which knocked Ireland unfairly out of the World Cup.
“The problem of France is not Anelka, but the traitor among us,”

Patrice Evra said, said at a press conference. “We must eliminate the traitor from the group, because he wants to hurt the team”.

He also added, “There is no little mouse in the locker room, this comes from someone who is on the team and wants to hurt the team. We are not going to lie, the reporter from L’Equipe did not make this up.”

EUROPE STRUGGLE

Europe’s elite teams could all be on their way back from the World Cup in South Africa next week. With teams like Italy, France, England and Spain failing to making a big impact this week then a lose or draw for the teams could well see them coming home.

This will be biggest shock to ever grace a World Cup tournament. We will see next week the outcome. The minnow teams at the World Cup have looked impressive so far and this proves that there will be no team in a walkover at the World Cup.

HOLLAND LOOKING GOOD

Holland eased past Denmark with ease today in a 2-0 with win against the Vikings, an own and a Dirk Kuyt tap rounded off the victory and sent the Dutch on their way in this Group E encounter at Soccer City. The Danes matched their European counterparts, keeping them out for most of the first half.

But it was early in the second half when Simon Poulsen ironic clearance hit the back of Daniel Agger only fot the ball to go into his own net. Holland were starting to control the game with an impressive second half performance from the Netherlands earned Bert van Marwijk’s side a 2-0 win and send them top of the group.