It was July 2010 and the World Cup final was between Spain and the Netherlands. The match went to extra time, with Andrés Iniesta taking the match into extra time.
Memorable Moments is a special project by Ruiku that commemorates the most iconic moments in football. Today we look back at Andrés Iniesta’s decisive goal.
Spain had a luxury selection then. Two years earlier, La Roja had dominated the European Championships, Barcelona and Real Madrid were the absolute world leaders at the time, and the basis of the national team was drawn from both rivals. And that was the problem.
In the famous El Clásico, there was a lot of sizzle and rivalry between the players. So much so that it even carried over to the national team and some members reportedly didn’t speak to each other at all.
“Vicente Del Bosque (then coach) did a tremendous job, he managed to bring us all together, there were a lot of Real and Barcelona players in that team. We all had to put our egos on the side because otherwise we would have killed ourselves,” Sergio Ramos described to Prime Video in 2020.
At the start of the tournament, the rifts were still evident. The European champions lost their very first game to Switzerland 0-1 and there was a bit of panic in the country. But it was also the last loss of points in the tournament.
In the next match, La Roja beat Honduras 2:0, then defeated Chile 2:1 and advanced from first place in the group. In the playoffs, the team that stamped the Tiki-taka style found a simple equation – win every match 1: 0.
The closest possible result was to knock out Portugal in the eighth round, and Paraguay in the quarter-finals. The semi-final against Germany also ended with a 1-0 result for Spain.
In the final, the team of captain Carles Puyol faced the Netherlands. No goal was scored in normal time, and the final went to extra time.
Even there, however, the scoreless draw lasted until Jesus Navas kicked the engines on the right side in the 116th minute. Through Iniesta, Fabregas and again Navas, the ball came up the left wing to Torres, who tried to find Iniesta in the whitewash with his centre.
His centre was still turned away by the Oranjes defence, but only to Fabregas. The agile midfielder worked the ball and found Iniesta in the whitewash, which sent the 50 million man country into absolute ecstasy.
with 3 minutes to go, Iniesta thus decided the first ever World Cup trophy for Spain.
Source: Twitter, FIFA
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