Saturday, July 10, 2010
Finally the big party has been decided, this Sunday - June the 11th. It's down to the final show of the Netherlands facing Spain which promises to be a thrilling encounter to decide who takes the World Cup home. On their stairway to the throne of Soccer City Stadium, this is all the key facts and stats ahead of the final tournament in South Africa (which is the worst performance by the first host to be eliminated in the first round ever):
The Netherlands held the final for the third time after a 3-2 win over Uruguay, Spain reached its first ever final with single goal to send Germany home. Both are becoming as the first new champion which one of them is the first new finalist since France in 1998.
This final battle will be the first ever World Cup held outside Europe to be won by a European side, also between two teams that have never won the title before and without home advantage since France 1998.
This will be the first time ever for those two different teams from the same continent to win the successive World Cups after Italy won the 2006 tournament. As the first time for the national team has won consecutive cups was Italy retained the title in 1938 (after 1934) both in Euro, then Brazil has won consecutive cups 1958 in Sweden also in Chile 1962.
Both Euro and American continent have won the World Cup for 9 times during 18 tournaments that have been held. This will be the seventh all-European final which means an European nation will win the tournament for a record of 10th time over the American.
For the first time in final match without one of the former champion (Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, England and France) in it, so one of these finalists will become the eight winners after them.
Netherlands and Spain are the only teams to have won all their qualification matches for the 2010 World Cup, with the Dutch also won all games on their way to the final. They've never met at the World Cup (or Euro Championship) before, both have previously met on nine occasions with each team winning four times and one draw in over 90 years of competition. Their most recent meeting was a 1-0 friendly win for the Dutch in Rotterdam 2002.
On the road to the end, both teams have the most goals scored by individual so far. They are David Villa and Wesley Sneijder with 5 goals, one of them could take the opportunity to reach a golden boot by advantage score. Total number of goals scored in World Cup 2010 was 139 with average goals per match was 2.24 before the final result. The most average goals per match in a tournament were 5.38 in Switzerland 1954 and the fewest were 2.21 in Italy 1990.
The title of final battle could be *the bad guys meet the innocents*, with the Dutch team holds the most yellow cards by 16 in this event so far and the Spanish only 3 yellow cards within 6 matches. The fewest yellow cards in World Cup 2010 was North Korea team with 2 for only 3 games.
Both teams spread around with stars from big clubs such as Kuyt and Babel versus Torres and Reina (Liverpool), Van Persie meet Fabregas (Arsenal), Van der Vaart find his colleagues in Real Madrid. They play in typical of Total Football system with the Orange invented it and La Furia Roja to master it.(*)