Thursday, July 08, 2010


Spain are not the most exhilarating team to watch. That's because they're patient. But they may very well be the best team in the world right now.

Spain 1, Germany 0

Spain have lost twice in their last 54 games. That's absurd, especially playing in European Championships and competing against European teams to qualify for the World Cup. And they don't thrash their opponents, either. They're the masters of the 1-0 and 2-1 wins. And this domination was on display against Germany.

You can't counterattck if the other team keeps the ball. And that's basically what Spain did. In the few times they did lose possession in dangerous areas, their defense aggressively clamped down, not on the guy with the ball, but on the 2nd and 3rd guys with the ball. Guys like Schweinsteiger and Özil had no time or space to matriculate the ball forward to Podolski or Klose.

The Spaniards inflicted their game on Germany. And ironically, it was a set-piece that decided the matter. The Germans are historically the masters of set-piece chess soccer. But maybe so much focus on mobility and speed has reduced their adeptness at corner-kicks.

Whatever. Germany will win the World Cup in 2014. But for the 2010 World Cup, we are guaranteed to have a first time winner. We'll have a preview of the Finals on Friday.

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