Campeones, campeones, oe, oe, oe! Or as my new Scottish friend Philip McCuppal (I think that is what he said his name was?) who I have just met says, oh aye, oh aye, oh aye! We are in Sun City celebrating the greatest triumph in the history of Spanish sport, and there have been of few of those, for sure. But surely this is the best ever, the crisis is over and Spain is on the road to recovery, peace has broken out throughout the world, all diseases have been eradicated and the Martians have landed and they are all two metre tall blonde women with big boobies dying for sex with Earthlings (actually I made that last bit up)! But let me talk you through it, I know you have all seen it seventeen times on the tele and you are already fed up of it, but just let me tell you one more time, and then I’ll go away, honest!
So we get to Soccer City on Sunday night and pass through the body searches, and we are in! But oh no, we are in the Dutch side of the ground, and we are surrounded by massive Afrikaaners wearing orange shirts and Ruud Gullit wigs. Of course, we got our tickets from Uruguayans who lost to Holland, so they have this side of the ground! Not only do we fear for our lives, but we can’t see anything over the wigs, so when the lights go down for the pre-match festival we sneak through a hole in the fence in to a section with a group of Spanish fans. Safe!
Things get under way, and we are soon in to our rhythm. Villa is ruled off-side by English referee Howard Webb and his linesman (never!), and the Dutch keeper Steak-and-chipselen-burger has to save after Sergio Ramos heads in a Xavi free kick. But Holland are going to be difficult to beat, someone said they have won fourteen in a row including all their games here, and Casillas has to save from a Sneijder free kick soon afterwards. They are also very physical – Robben said before the game that they would rather win ugly than lose pretty – and the yellow cards are coming thick and fast, even for Van Bommel, who has diplomatic immunity from bookings, and why has Webb not sent off De Jong after he kicks Xabi Alonso in the chest? Mr. Webb, this is football, not kick-boxing!
The Dutch are sporting as well though despite that, and Van Persie passes the ball to Casillas from a corner after a player was injured. Chapó! Some worries before half time as Mathijsen completely misses a good chance and Casillas stops Robben from squeezing a shot past him, but after Don Vicente’s half time talk we are back on top. Capdevilla misses one after a corner and Xavi shoots a free kick over, and after an hour has gone Del Bosque makes his first change, Navas for Pedro, who never imagined he would be starting a World Cup final a year or so ago when he was playing in the Spanish regional third division!
Then a girl next to us screams, and we look up and see Robben bearing down on goal! Oh no, but San Iker stands his guard like Gary Cooper in “Solo ante el peligro” (“High Noon” to you English), and he clears the ball for a corner with his leg! A quick trip to the bathroom after that, but we return just in time to see Villa in front of goal! Vamos Pichichi, but Heitinga recovers quickly and blocks the shot as it is going in. Our best chance!
Things are starting to hot up, Villa shot is deflected for a corner by Steakburger and Ramos heads Xavi’s corner over with the goal at his mercy! Our second best chance! But Robben is away again, he’s faster than greasy lightning, but this time Puyol holds on to him long enough for Casillas to grab the ball. Time stops, Puyol already has a yellow card – surely Mr: Webb is not going to send him off when it’s Holland who should be playing with eight or nine men – but he waves play on. Phew, back to the door marked “caballeros” again as the full time whistle goes, we are going to have extra-time!
Del Bosque has brought on Cesc Fábregas for Xabi Alonso just before the end, if he joins Barça that will mean eight of their players in the final! Valdés on the bench makes nine, and add to that Messi, Dani Alves, Abidal, Márquez, Keita, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, etc., if Barcelona don’t win the Inter-Galactic tournament next year we don’t know who will! Anyway, back to the game, and Cesc is through only for Steakburger to make a great save. Probably the best two keepers in the world on the park right now? If this goes to penalties, who knows what will happen? Mathijsen heads a corner over, Gio tackles his old team-mate Iniesta as he advances on goal, Navas has a shot deflected past the post and Cesc shoots wide again. But still no goals and in to the last fifteen minutes!
Change ends again, but three minutes later Holland are finally down to ten men after Heitinga is booked for the second time for pushing over Iniesta. Can we do it, but be careful, Sneijder has a free kick deflected away, but Mr. Webb gives a goal-kick. Wrong, but we are not protesting, he has already made a few decisions the other way as well. Nerves, four minutes to go to penalties, but then Cesc picks up the ball, slips it out to Iniesta, and it’s in the net! 1-0! Pandemonium, the Dutch protest for offside (which it wasn’t), Iniesta runs to the corner flag and takes off his shirt to reveal a T-shirt with the message “Jarque, siempre con nostros”, dedicated to his fiend the Espanyol defender who died last year. Everybody is in tears, especially Casillas, and Iniesta is buried in a mountain of players.
Calm is restored, and then comes the longest seven minutes of our lives. Torres had come on for Villa earlier but he pulls up with another injury, real this time (how unlucky he has been this year), and another minute is added on. But eventually it’s all over, and Spain are champions! The players know about the star on the shirt (they must have read about it on our blog!), and they pull on red shirts over the blue ones with the star already on it. The King of Spain couldn’t make it as he is recovering from an illness, but the Queen is there as well as Prince Felipe and his wife, and they are with Mr. Blatter and everyone as Casillas collects the cup.
Again Holland show good sportsmanship making a “pasillo” to congratulate the players as they come down (many of the Dutch team play or played in Spain – our commiserations to you all, you put up a great fight), and it is hugs and kisses all round, especially a surprise one on camera from Casillas to his girlfriend Sara Carbonero, who is a pretty reporter for Telecinco, the channel who are showing the game in Spain. And then the celebrations start, with millions taking to the streets of Spain all over the country. We are World Champions! Now, where are those Martians?