Final of the FIFA World Cup 2010
The 2010 World Cup was the 19th iteration of FIFA’s championship for national football teams, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup final served as its conclusion. Spain and the Netherlands squared off in the game, which was held at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 11, 2010. A total of 31 teams from the qualification round, which was run by the six FIFA confederations, competed alongside the hosts South Africa in the event. 16 teams from the 32 competing teams advanced to the knockout stage after the group stage competition. The Netherlands won three games and took top place in Group E on their way to the championship. They then defeated Slovakia in the round of 16 as well as Brazil, Uruguay, and Slovakia in the quarterfinals. at the top was Spain. Howard Webb of England served as the referee for the championship match, which was broadcast to almost 900 million viewers in front of 84,490 spectators.
Path to the final
The Netherlands qualified for the World Cup by winning all eight of their qualification matches. They were subsequently placed in Group E for the World Cup, alongside Cameroon, Denmark, and Japan. On June 14, 2010, they played their first match at Soccer City versus Denmark. Denmark’s Simon Poulsen cleared a cross from Robin van Persie, but it struck the back of Daniel Agger and rebounded in for an own goal, giving the Netherlands the lead just after halftime.
Dirk Kuyt scored on the rebound after Danish custodian Thomas Srensen had stopped Eljero Elia’s shot on the goalpost five minutes before the finish to secure a 2-0 triumph. The Netherlands met Japan in their second game on June 19 at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.They scored the opening goal just after halftime, as they did in the first game, when Wesley Sneijder got the ball on the edge of the penalty area following an attempted clearance by Japan and hammered the ball into the goal. The victory, combined with Denmark’s win over Cameroon, meant that the Netherlands had advanced to the next round before playing their last group game. Uruguay’s players argued that van Persie was interfering with play while in an offside position, but the goal stood. Soon after, Robben doubled their advantage with a header, before Pereira scored during injury time to give the Netherlands a 3-2 victory.
Spain, like the Netherlands, won all of their qualification games. They were then grouped with Chile, Honduras, and Switzerland in Group H. Spain kicked off their finals campaign against Switzerland on June 16, 2010 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Switzerland won the game 1-0, in what The Daily Telegraph reporter Jeremy Wilson called « one of the bigger shocks in the competition’s entire history, » with Gelson Fernandes scoring in the second half after teammate Eren Derdiyok collided with Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas when through on goal.
Likewise, the final score of the game was 0-0. In the 82nd minute, Villa finally broke the scoreless tie with a goal that went in off both goal posts and gave Spain a 1-0 victory. On July 7 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, they played Germany in the semifinal. Spain prevailed 1-0 for the third match in a row thanks to a Carles Puyol headed goal. Afterward, Kevin McCarra of The Guardian noted that these results did not suggest that Spain was « grinding out » results. Their performance was « both masterful and enjoyable, » he remarked.
The final’s referee was an Englishman named Howard Webb, and the assistant referees were fellow Englishmen Darren Cann and Michael Mullarkey. Since Jack Taylor officiated the 1974 World Cup final, Webb was the first Englishman to referee a World Cup final. Webb, a former Rotherham police officer, has been presiding over Premier League games since 2003. He is a member of the English Select Group of referees. He was added to the FIFA list of international match referees in 2005, and prior to the World Cup, he presided over the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2009 FA Cup Final. At the 2010 World Cup, Webb had already officiated three games. Both Japanese citizens Yuichi Nishimura and Toru Sagara were the fourth. Members of the Dutch and Spanish royal families were among those who also attended the game. Charlize Theron and Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, were among the dignitaries and celebrities who attended. Plácido Domingo, Rafael Nadal, and Pau Gasol were present to support their nation’s team. Morgan Freeman, an American actor who portrayed Mandela in the 2009 movie Invictus, was also present at the game.