July 12th, 2010
01:42 AM ET

Spain: The greatest of all time?

Spain's players lifted the World Cup for the first time in the European nation's history. (AFP/Getty Images)
Spain's players lifted the World Cup for the first time in the European nation's history. (AFP/Getty Images)

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) - After 64 games and 145 goals, we have new world champions. And worthy ones at that. Spain were the best team at the 2010 World Cup, and they deserved to take home the trophy from South Africa.

As I walked away from Soccer City Stadium on Sunday night, I felt privileged to have watched, in person, one of the best national teams of all time. You could argue the contrary, saying they scored only eight goals in seven games, but I can’t recall watching a national side that played with the class and the skill La Furia Roja did here in the Rainbow Nation.

In my view, the only reason Spain didn’t score more often was that every team they faced played in a counter-attacking style and tried to close every path to their goal.

So let’s look at why Spain were so good.

The first comment to make is an obvious one and it concerns the chemistry in their midfield. Andres Iniesta and Xavi have played together at Barcelona for eight seasons and it shows. It seems as if they work by telepathy, exchanging pass after pass with ease.

Now one can’t forget that both midfield maestros are able to do what they do best, thanks to two unsung heroes in the center of the park - Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets. They defend when they have to and help with the transition of play every chance they get. As we say in Portugal, they “carry the piano” so Xavi and Iniesta can play it.

At the back, the player who impressed me the most was Sergio Ramos. He added a dimension to Spain which few teams had in this competition. The Real Madrid star was always willing to gallop forward when needed and he created chance after chance for his teammates. In the final, he could have scored twice with dangerous headers. For me, he was simply outstanding.

At the heart of defense, Gerard Pique was imperious and Carles Puyol effective. The Barcelona captain also became a hero in this competition by scoring the goal which beat Germany in the semifinals.

Moving forward on the pitch, David Villa was his usual lethal self up front. He hit the back of the net five times and could have finished the competition with more goals had it not been for inspired goalkeeping from Spain’s opponents. The new Barcelona signing leaves the World Cup with his reputation enhanced and his price tag of 30 million Euros suddenly looks a bargain.

One final word about the Netherlands. Their unbeaten run came to an end at the worse possible time. Under Bert van Marwijk they had gone 25 games without tasting defeat. On the big night, they just weren’t good enough. Wesley Sneijder had a quiet game, and Robin van Persie was a shadow of his former self. It shocked me, actually, to see how disinterested the Arsenal man was at times. His nation deserved better.

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. TRex

    Ha! Good for you if you think this way!

    July 12, 2010 at 3:23 am | Reply
  2. sree

    Spain is good but yet great. They only manage to score after Dutch was reduced to 10 men. Puyol should have been sent off before the goal and the outcome could have been very different. A goal kick was given to Spain when it should have been a corner ... who knows what might have happened.
    Overall Spain was the best team in the tournament but I think Germany was the most exciting.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:24 am | Reply
  3. Miguel

    Please, Spain's team is definitely not the greatest WC champion ever. They may rank among the worst ever. Brazil in 2002 & 1970 scored an average of over 2.5 goals per game and most teams Brazil played against were simply playing defense waiting for the counter atack. Spain just passed the ball around, but they hardly even shot on goal. Please look at the stats: shots on target. Watching Spain play in this WC was extremely boring.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:40 am | Reply
  4. Margarita

    What about Casillas? Don´t you think he was great?
    Spain had the best team!!! No doubt !!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 3:47 am | Reply
  5. Jon

    C'mon that is hypobole to the extreme. Average of one goal per game is not the hallmark of a team I would call the "greatest of all time." Spain played well, but most certainly not the greatest team of all time.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:15 am | Reply
  6. Andrew

    This was such a boring, uninspired final. The Dutch played dirty for the first half, and the Spanish seemed to take the higher ground. However, the rest of the match was just punctuated by relentless flopping on the ground, and awful missed opportunities on goal. I stopped caring who would win, after a while.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:23 am | Reply
  7. kaz

    Spain did well, but the greatest! come on be real how old are you?
    they lost from switserland didn't they? the goal at the end...?in the past 50 years I've seen better.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:28 am | Reply
  8. Carlos


    July 12, 2010 at 4:36 am | Reply
  9. Angel

    Está la situación difícil económicamente en España y vi el partido sin emoción especial. Comenzó el juego sucio y estratégico desplegado por Holanda y me empecé a calentar, pero sólo era fútbol. Pasaba el tiempo y vi el penoso arbitraje (y no ha sido el único del mundial) y me dije, cosas del fútbol, pero seguí tranquilo. Metió el gol Iniesta terminó el partido y me emocioné un poco. Entré en internet y vi las felicitaciones de personas de méjico, perú, chile, paragüay y otros países de suramérica y no pude por más que llorar. Gracias por todo, gracias por vuestro fútbol de calidad y lucha, chile, paragüay, uruguay. No más juego sucio. Abrazos.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:40 am | Reply
  10. Ziggy

    Oh come on, they were far from the best. The only reason they beat Germany is because they had to play without Muller and their point against the Netherlands owes more to the fact that the ref was totally biased against the Dutch. There was no excuse for the number of yellow cards given in this match.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:41 am | Reply
  11. TheDood

    The passing by Spain in this tournament was at times, messmerizing. A Great team that deserved to win. Was a very disappointing final game though, De Yong's challenge on Alonso and the missed call against him was a criminal refereeing blunder. The game was almost decided by incompetent refereeing decisions, which, in my opinion, is ruining the international game. Blatter needs to step up and do something about it.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:44 am | Reply
  12. Jose

    Sorry Miguel, but goals is not only this game. Are you jealous??

    July 12, 2010 at 4:51 am | Reply
  13. Anthony

    Spain might have won both the European Championship and the world cup and becoming the second nation ever to have won the double in a consecutive manner after West Germany but I think Pedro is dramatically over-excited to suggest that Spain could be the greatest ever. They are nowhere near to that accolade. Here is why? You would agree with me that throughout the competition Spain only came into contention in most people's minds after their semi-final game against Germany before that the Germans were the strong favorite. In fact the Dutch could have easily finished off Spain if Robben had taken any one of his glorious chances. Also, don't forget that the Spainish were recently beaten in South Africa in the Confederations Cup and also literally beaten in the Champions league final by Inter Milan. So; cool-off Pedro and get over your nightmare. I tell you what–Ghana could have easily won the world cup had Suarez not cheated.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:02 am | Reply
  14. Kevin Enak

    I don't claim to know enough about soccer as many so-called "fans" do,
    Spain is definitely a great team. I don't have enough knowledge to compare them with other of the greatest teams of all time, but Spain's current formation is definitely up there. The Dutch, who are usually excellent, recognized this and gave up trying to beat Spain with technique even before the finalist teams even entered the pit.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:07 am | Reply
  15. Daniel

    No way!
    Brazil 1970 was magic!

    Pedro Pinto, you must be kidding or your experience in World Cup started in 2010...

    July 12, 2010 at 5:17 am | Reply
  16. Richard

    Among those stats, who scored more goals last night? End of discussion.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:18 am | Reply
  17. Burty

    I'm sorry, but am I the only one who saw a very, very biased referee? This was scandalous... The last to yellows to Holland were not fouls, and many more... I'm not saying the ref was bought, but he certainly influenced the game big time with unjust decisions...

    July 12, 2010 at 5:27 am | Reply
  18. John

    Come on!

    On paper it is indeed a very very very good team but you cannot say of a team that lost to Switzerland, scored only 1 goal per game, needed a corner and the referee to beat Germany and had to go to extra-time to beat a pretty average Dutch team that it is the greatest ever.

    Do your research before writing stuff like that!

    July 12, 2010 at 5:29 am | Reply
  19. Paco

    Viva España !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 5:36 am | Reply
  20. Sebastian

    I was always a fan of Holland. But not anymore. The current coach has killed the beautiful Dutch football all of us love to watch. I am not even sure if winning is everything is football. Spain's victory is a victory for the game of football.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:51 am | Reply
  21. Magnus

    The greatest of all time wouldn't have suffered defeat to Switzerland, nor went through their games with such uncertainty. They are growing with sparks of brilliance at times, but greatest? That's a long way far, and many are ahead.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:52 am | Reply
  22. Simao

    Hell, even Italy scored more than Spain in 2006 Italy got 12 goals. Looks like the author only started watching football this summer. The German team of the 80s were outstanding reaching three consecutive WC finals and winning one in 1990 I mean who does that?!

    July 12, 2010 at 5:53 am | Reply
  23. André

    To quote John McEnroe: "You cannot be serious!!!!"

    Spain's definitely a worthy WC winner, but the greatest of all time? What a joke!
    Sure, they are awesome at passing the ball around in midfield but they totally lack any drive towards the goal – the stats speak for itself: 5 other teams at this WC scored more goals (sure, all of them conceeded more also).
    Still, for Portugal they needed an offside goal, for Germany a standard situation and for Holland almost 2 hours to score once.

    Maybe they're the most efficient team to ever win the WC, but greatness looks different.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:13 am | Reply
  24. Pieter

    I am ashamed of this Dutch team, even as a Dutchman. This style of play is not ours. The bone-breaking tackles were awful...and yes, the Dutch started it, you can't expect Spain to sit back and accept that. And now they are howling about the referee...they should have been down to 9 men after the first half...so they should be extremely grateful for the referee

    July 12, 2010 at 6:18 am | Reply
  25. BEN

    We can look at it any way we ant. The efficiency of how the Spanish team won the world championship is unbeatable. It takes only one goal to win and that's exactly what they did.

    My favorite team bringing a fresh breeze of air along was actually Germany ...however, this young team will show their strength in the next championships.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:19 am | Reply
  26. Samuel

    Did we watch the same game? Spain the best team are you serious? that shows how much you don't know about soccer, neither finalists deserved a spot on the final game, and that was portrayed by the weak game they played yesterday.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:22 am | Reply
  27. Rico

    C'mon Pedro Pinto...You gotta know better,Raise up this question so that people got to react to such a statement.....!Thats including me.he.he.he..Brasil,and Ronaldo,Pele,Ronaldinho and company

    July 12, 2010 at 6:24 am | Reply
  28. Yunny

    Whoever said that Spain's 2010 is the greatest of all time is not understand what soccer is all about. He or She is never watch Brazil 1970, 2002 (even 1986 when they lost), Argentine 1986, Netherlands 1974 etc.....

    July 12, 2010 at 6:31 am | Reply
  29. tumalaca

    What about Casillas? he's made amazing saves throughout the tournament... it seems that the Spanish side had tough barriers, impenetrable...
    Fabregas was also missed... the real Xavi/Iniesta/Fabregas chemistry was observed in the extra time...

    July 12, 2010 at 6:36 am | Reply
  30. elizabeth

    Sorry, I seriously think you miss the big errors of the arbiter. As in all the games of this world cup the matches were decided by errors. The spaniard that makes the goals first makes a great fooul against a dutch and then with another error of the arbiter the get to score. And that means that the best team won. No way!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:41 am | Reply
  31. mj

    If Mr. Web was biased, he was certainly bisased towards the dutch! De Jong foul deserved a red card even then it would still have been an underpunishment-kind of like the red card Suarez got-he got it but it was so unfair on the part of Ghana. Robben should also have been sent off after kicking the ball into the net long after the whistle had gone. Wesly Schnider deserved a couple of yellow cards in my view. To sum it up, this was a refereing disaster-maybe Mrs Webb was right. The best team of the night won-we cant take that away from them anD congratulations!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:42 am | Reply
  32. nwinburn

    People, you may think and say all you want. Yes, Spain was kind of boring, but so was almost every other team in the cup. However, Spain IS European Champion AND World Cup Champion. This has only happened once before. So, the best of all time? Probably yes. It is not about how many goals a team scores, but how well the team does in the rankings!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:49 am | Reply
  33. Ken

    You are forgetting Casillas. His goalkeeping skills were phenomenal. He made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the tournament. If it were some other goalkeeper, most of Spain's games would have been drawn. And besides, he's the captain of the team, and he has no mention in your article?!!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:49 am | Reply
  34. paininthedong

    The Dutch were a disgrace to football. Tried to kick the Spanish off the pitch and only for poor refereeing should have been reduced to nine men in the first half. Would have been a totally different game if refereeing had been stronger.

    Dutch football's reputation has been shattered. Total Football? Yeah right!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:50 am | Reply
  35. Peter

    Dude... Mr. Pedro Pinto had one too many before writing this... Keep your hype in check sir! Spain did win a world cup by 1 goal during extra time. But that is a Looooong shot from being the best soccer team of all time...

    July 12, 2010 at 6:51 am | Reply
  36. Ed

    South Africa was the one and only true winner of the World Cup.
    Well organized tournament. Well done! Thanks.

    The referee was on the hand of Spain. Certainly in the minutes before the only goal of Spain. Also the yellow cards he gave to the Dutch players was dubious. If a footballnation needs to win this way I don't believe we can call it 'the greatest of all time', right?

    Greetings from Malaysia, truly Asia!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:51 am | Reply
  37. Jean-marc

    Spain played a good tournament and were indeed worthy winners but The Greatest of All Time??? Does this assessment take into consideration their loss to Switzerland? Give me a break. I agree that no team is as good as keeping possession but I would argue that if it hadn't been for one David Villa, they might not have made it past the QF. Germany put in much better team performances at this WC, so did Argentina. Neither of them are worthy of being considered "GOAT". Spain are worthy winners of the WC – and were definitely the better team on Sunday – but a great passing game is not enough on its own to be considered the greatest. At this rate, you will also rate Arsenal as the greatest English club of all time...LOL! (and I am an Arsenal fan!)

    July 12, 2010 at 7:01 am | Reply
  38. España

    Viva España!!!! ^_^

    July 12, 2010 at 7:02 am | Reply
  39. Kezang Tobgyel

    I am very happy to win Spain,and not bad for Netherlands players.Congratulations both the teams.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:03 am | Reply
  40. Oloffson

    From a 72 year old football fan, certainly the Spaniards are the greatest of all time. Total soccer is what defines what they do. Discipline and creativity, clean play and sportiness, individual talent and team work, balanced game and personality. Chapeau, really.

    Lots of bitter comments and bad losers here today, Spaniards were, simply the best despite blatant biased referees and kick-boxing adversaries. Shame on them, they are a disgrace for sport in general. And hats off to the elegant and silent resilience of the Spanish team, they endured as gentlemen.

    The mentioned Brazil, Holland, Argentine, had their moment as well, but that does not diminishes a bit that this decade, Football is Spain and Spain is Football. Viva España!

    July 12, 2010 at 7:05 am | Reply
  41. victor

    Pinto, are you out of your mind? Or you just started to watch soccer recently. This is Spain is not close to be one of the best. Even Brasil's '82 team which lost to Italy is far superior to this one.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:09 am | Reply
  42. Harsh

    To all those naysayers – let me point out one small fact. Spain did indeed lose to Switzerland – no argument there, but then they beat the other teams that came their way, did they not? Oh yes, Germany didn't have Mueller – why? Because he got 2 yellows up to that game and had to sit out! RULES are part of soccer. Secondly, Biased refereeing? Please point out when Karate became part of soccer? I for one am seriously shocked that such a tackle did not result in a Red straight away as many other referees would have done so please keep quiet with biased refereeing. And finally, they may not have scored goals but they played in a very strategic style restricting opposition chances and building on theirs. The hallmark of a great team is not to bulldoze every other team on the pitch but quite simply to recognize your weaknesses and protect against them getting exploited – which was what Spain did because they knew their finishing needs improvement. At the end of the night, the team that played a better overall game won, and the way in which they built up their confidence and improved their game through the tournament is testament to their greatness.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:09 am | Reply
  43. John

    Holland did not went out onto the field to play from the very first minute, they broke down the game and its excitement with a very rude and non-sportive play. Spain deserved to win, not only because they wanted to play football and win, and so they did and that's what the game is about, but also because they showed a veryrespectful and sportive play. They are obviously the best team of the world now, maybe their game has not been very exciting but they have won and defeated very hard teams

    July 12, 2010 at 7:09 am | Reply
  44. John

    Spain's performance was outstanding. Beautiful piece of play from all the players though. Both teams had crucial chances that they squandared but Spain managed to come out on top. That game could have gone either way. The Dutch were also outsatnding, Robben played well. The ref was a bit too hard on the players but the game was tought and I understand his decisions to dish out alot of cards. He wanted to control the game.

    South Africa you were the best. The fireworks after the match were magnificent.

    Congrats to Spain, you deserve to be champions.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:15 am | Reply
  45. Alejandro

    Pedro Said:
    "Spain were the best team at the 2010 World Cup" I'm agree. Once said that also I'm agree is not the best team ever, but after 30 years following the Spanish selection I can tell you that this is the better Spanish selection ever and they deserve the cup.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:28 am | Reply
  46. Clyde

    Worst piece of sports journalism i have read in quite some time...

    This team BARELY beat the Netherlands today.. this squad would have not beat the Brazil of Pele or the W.Germany of Beckenbauer, heck the Nederlands that lost to W.Germany...

    Heck the 2002 Brazil squad would have wiped the floor with Spain,

    July 12, 2010 at 7:32 am | Reply
  47. Sasquatch

    Obviously the author hasn't a scooby about football! Sure the Spaniards should have won the thing long ago and this current team can be a joy to watch but during this tournament they were the best of a bad bunch in what was such a dire competiton! Let's look at all the pre tournament "stars". Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo, Kaka etc all flopped, some of the officiating was shocking and the atmosphere non existant due to the vuvuzelas!
    As for this current Spanish team being amongst the greatest- sorry but I could name losing world cup teams that were better than most winners- namely Brazil 82 and Holland 74. Add that to Brazil 70, Germany in 74 and 90 and Argentina 86!
    By the way, France have also won the double of Euro/World cup albeit the other way around in 98 and 2000 so we'd have to count them in the mix!

    July 12, 2010 at 7:37 am | Reply
  48. Carmen


    July 12, 2010 at 7:46 am | Reply
  49. Kurt

    An interesting phenomenon in journalism: unnecessary exaggeration. First of all: Spain won the World Cup. It IS the best team in the world. That's the point of this thing.

    Is it the best of all times? The best of the solar system? The best of our galaxy? Who know, who even COULD compare? Other teams have scored more goals, or have won every game. But what does that mean? Let's be happy with the statement: SPAIN IS WORLD CHAMPION!

    Interestingly, though, journalists feel the need to make that statement. Every olympics is the "best olympics ever", every world cup the "best ever". Maybe we suffer from amnesia. Maybe we are emotional. There would be other points more deserving of being reported: the Spanish Constitutional Court published its opinion on the Catalan Statute so cleverly that the masses of people marching for independence (?) / autonomy (?) in Barcelona on Saturday have been replaced by people shouting "yo soy español, español, español". Soccer as the continuation of politics with other means...

    July 12, 2010 at 7:52 am | Reply
  50. Shahid

    As usual, whatever is said about a winning team is correct be it an excerpt from Sindbad's 1001 night story.
    To me, luck better than Spanish play, played well.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:58 am | Reply
  51. maria

    the Dutch team was playing Karate an the spanish team were playing football, that is all, and the best player won,I FEEL VERY PROUD OF BEING SPANISH

    July 12, 2010 at 7:58 am | Reply
  52. David Kleinbaum

    As a dutchy i have to say, that the ref was really on the hand of spain. Why is it that spain can ask for yellow cards at the ref, and not receive cards for it? When the dutch players asked for cards, they received cards! And why did Puyol did not get his second yellow card?? Why was it not a corner? Why did the ref not waved for offside, while iniesta was way offside? why did iniesta did not get a red card??
    Offcourse Nigel de Jong should have gotten red for his roundhouse kick, however, not sure if he really intended to do it this way...
    All with all, we did not get many chances, but robben should have scored when he had the chance..

    July 12, 2010 at 8:00 am | Reply
  53. DuDu

    FACT – Spain Won the Euro Cup.
    FACT – Spain Won the World Cup.
    FACT – Spanish league is one of the most followed in the world due to the dynamic way of playing.
    I just wonder why people has to be so envious, arrogant, insulting instead of saying "Great! Congrats people! Good luck for coming games & competitions". Spain played amazingly well in most games, the team understands each other so well that is "easy" for them, why can't we all just see that as it is?! Sure other teams were great, what do you expect?? Is a WORLD CUP! Only the best are there! This time was Spain's time to win, so just be happy for them!
    Man as long as we all keep "hating" for small stupidities there really won't be peace, when you just can't be happy for another nation and be nice about it something is wrong.. Really lots of haters here..

    For all of the people saying Spain is far from being the best futbol team – u know what, we WON the World cup which means right now, as of 2010 WE ARE THE BEST TEAM on earth, like it or not – nobody gave us a present on this one, not the bold brit asswipe referee and not the orange players launching Karate kicks instead of playing Futbol..For now, Red & Yellow is the color and Spain is the country, whoever dont like it go on holidays elsewhere we dont want haters in Spain!


    July 12, 2010 at 8:00 am | Reply
  54. Ahmed A. Meguid

    Just a minute .. why don't you publicate my comment .. what a discrimination .....

    July 12, 2010 at 8:00 am | Reply
  55. Eda Eskin

    When the Spanish team flies back home just title it:

    "The Reign In Spain Stays Mainly on The Plane."

    July 12, 2010 at 8:01 am | Reply
  56. Eda Eskin

    When the Spainish Team flies back, CNN should title the article:
    "The Reign In Spain Stays Mainly On The Plane".

    July 12, 2010 at 8:04 am | Reply
  57. jk

    I am sorry germany, brazil, argentina am afraid even ghana were more entertaining to watch.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:14 am | Reply
  58. Bart Hoedemaker

    I'm Dutch. And can tell you that Holland wasn't " itself " that night. Look at how different they played with Brazil in the 2nd half. They where to nervous, and Spain got away with the title. To bad, cause I wanted to see Holland win and deserve this 2010 title. Personally I also got tired of Web, he kept blowing his whistle to much, and interupt the game everytime.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:14 am | Reply
  59. Wilmar

    We can always talk about what went wrong and who was not fair or have different views. But at the end The Spanish Team resulted victorious, even after losing their first match.( according to the FIFA it is the first time in history that a team wins after losing their first match)
    May this help Holland to refine treir play for the comming years and try for gold in the next world cup. Congrats to all the teams

    July 12, 2010 at 8:21 am | Reply
  60. Warren

    I was absolutely disgusted by the fouls the Dutch committed against the Spanish. In fact I thought that the referee was too lenient with the Dutch, as Nigel de Jong should have been sent off immediately for that dangerous tackle, and to me it appeared that he let the Dutch off the hook more often than the Spanish.

    It was obvious that the Spanish were superior to the Dutch in quality of their play. The Dutch tried to play the same trick they did on Brazil and upset the Spanish by fouling them so that they could make mistakes which the Dutch probably hoped to capitalise on. Thankfully the Spanish kept their heads and eventually scored, which is what counts in the end.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:25 am | Reply
  61. Indi

    Sure, this Spanish team is a great team. I cheered loudly when they won last night. But to call them the greatest of all time is such a disgrace toward the soccer itself. I can't believe CNN would publish an article with such lack of research.
    Pedro, how old are you really?
    Even I can say that French 1998 is a much better team than this Spain and I can even remember vividly the best aspect of every team members (I'm not even French, fyi). And I'm sure before that there were better teams, unfortunately I'm too young to know and enjoy their greatness, like Brazil 1970 or Argentina 1986 as some people have mentioned.
    For me, in this WC 2010 Germany is the best team. They have shown what football should be about.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:29 am | Reply
  62. BJ

    Well done for the S.Africans for proving their critics wrong. They revelled in the fun and showed the Europeans that football and violence don't have to mix.

    For anyone over 50 who once enjoyed football, the 1970 world cup had it all and has been by far the most exciting in my 50 something years. The Brazilian team who won the cup that year were quite simply outstanding and provided great entertainment in every round.

    As to who is the greates of all time? Like most arguments, that one will roll on for generations.....

    July 12, 2010 at 8:32 am | Reply
  63. Daniel

    CNN r u PAYING this guy to write about football???
    please football is serious stuff and ur company has a reputation to keep...

    July 12, 2010 at 8:42 am | Reply
  64. Petisú

    I don't think spain has been the gratest team in history of WC, but for me, as a spanish, today is one of the happiest days in my life, obviously the refferee was not in our hand, what about the agression to Xavi Alonso? It was a red card, Holland tried to win the soccer match in a Bruce Lee stile and the refferee let them do it freely. Anyway, we finally won and that's the most important now, ARRIBA ESPAÑA!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 8:45 am | Reply
  65. Me

    Guys, the greatest national team of all time must be measure for the way it plays and the results that it accomplishes with its play. There were teams which played beautiful before, but for different reasons they did not win anything. It is very difficult right now to play against Spain and beat them. They are the best!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 8:46 am | Reply
  66. Tim

    I think the ref played a very important role at yesterday's game. He didn't acknowledge Holland a corner kick, and spain scored in the attack that followed. Also, Puyol should have been sent off the field. In both cases, Webb was completely blind, this stuff should simply not happen in such an important match. I don't understand how this guy can be a premier league ref. Anyhow, Spain was playing the better football, although Holland had the best chances. In sum, the cup could have gone to Holland just as it went to Spain.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:46 am | Reply
  67. jordi

    An article on the "best ever" of any sport will always be contentious, and impossible to prove.

    Having said this, many of the comments to the article seem a serious case of sour grapes. Spain arrived to the WC ranked No. 1 in the world with a record of 47W-3D-2L. They are European Champions and their teams in the Spanish League are almost always at the top of Europe's championships.

    Rather than wasting time commenting on the sour grapes, one can do better just reading what the Dutch and German trainers have said about the Spanish squad before and after their respective games: Spain is the best team in the word.

    Best team in history, maybe not. Best team in the world: Abstolutely !!

    July 12, 2010 at 8:48 am | Reply
  68. Mans

    Well done Spain, you deserved this WC.

    And enjoy it now while it lasts because the days ahead of spanish football are very somber. The debt level of all your star clubs (Barca, Real, etc) is mind-blowing and a huge economic crisis will undoubtedly unfold in the next 2 years. There is no discussion about this, it's just a fact, it will happen even if people delude themselves in thinking (actually hoping) it won't.
    Iniesta and Xavi might have had the luxury to play together for 8 years in the best club in the world, but this will end shortly. That no government body controls these debt ratios (italy, spain, england) is just a reflection of how the same countries handled their own debts...
    Again, Carpe Diem.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:53 am | Reply
  69. walt

    the mere mention that this Spanish squad is one of the best teams of all time truly shows Mr. Pinto's complete lack of understanding about the game of football. Spain are good and the far better team won what was an horrible boring and overly aggressive final. Holland should be embarrassed at the fact that over 1 billion people watched that disgusting display of brutality. Tactically it was probably a smart approach to the game because Holland obviously lacked the talent to keep up with a very strong Spanish side. But Spain cannot come close to the great Brazilian teams of the 50's, 60's and 1990's nor are they anywhere nearly as great as the domimant German teams of the 1970s. Then one cannot forget about Argentina and Italy. To be great, one needs to perform at the highest level in consecutive world cups which Spain has yet to do. Even this squad wins the next world cup maybe we can start talking about a great team, until then Pedro should focus on reporting on other things besides football.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:54 am | Reply
  70. Andres F

    sree said:

    "Puyol should have been sent off before the goal and ..."

    You missed to say: "after two 'karate kid' players from Holland in the 1st time".

    Al least Spain tried to play football from the begining.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:58 am | Reply
  71. Xavi

    Spain couldn't show their best game most of the WC, because their rivals allways tried to destroy their game. Most rivals were more focused on this task than in playing football. The most obvious example of this is Holland. I'm Spanish and I'm very decieved with the way Holland decided to go for the game. Germany was the best contender Spain had in this WC. They never resigned to their gameplay, which is what Holland did because they knew it was their only possibility to beat Spain.

    And about Spain only scoring 1 goal against Germany? How many did score Germany in 90 minutes? None

    My respect to Germany, the half finale was fifty fifty and should have been the Final.

    This Final wasn't a clasic, but should be a guide for the future about how not to face a WC final. The Dutch team should be ashamed.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:02 am | Reply
  72. kila

    ED, I don't think Rubben should spend time blaming the ref. Yes he may have given more yellows but what about the reds? You gotta agree he was a little more generous to the Dutch in that respect.

    And spain the best of all time ? Definitely not! Pedro i used to believe in your analyses but you scrowed up this time-big time !

    July 12, 2010 at 9:07 am | Reply
  73. Ad Rietveld

    As a Dutchman I am ashamed for tackles by de Jong en van Bommel. They should have been send off. Nevertheless it was sad to see a referee who (again) made wrong decisions that effected the result of the game. It was like he wanted to make a point for the need of video referee. But why against Holland? It is Blatter who is the dictator and refuses to accept it. Why did the English referee blame it on Holland and punished them by sending off a player after a show dive of Spain, refused to acknowledge the corner just before the goal while the whole world saw it and than ignored off side before the final pass was given? Soccer is a nice game but the organization around it is dirty....

    July 12, 2010 at 9:08 am | Reply
  74. Orange

    Spain was the best. Webb didn't go freely with a lot of questionable decisions. De Jong should have been sent off. Puyol should have been sent off. The goal should not have been given (it should have been a corner kick or even a free kick after obstruction seconds earlier on the other site of the pitch). But in the end Spain won and they were the best.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:09 am | Reply
  75. Unai

    Miguel, get a life (and a new name...)

    July 12, 2010 at 9:10 am | Reply
  76. Español

    The best for the Sport of Football: Spain won. It´s a big pity what Netherlands showed in the Final: violence + viloence + violence. Van Bommel and De Jong they would have seen the red card on the first half. Netherland would have been played with just 9 players from minute 26. Mechanic Orange became yesterday in Mechanic Knife. Congratulations football, Spain won.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:17 am | Reply
  77. Syed Arbab Ahmed

    Spain eradicated this stain that they are 'Underachievers' in just 2 years, they won Euro Championship in 2008 and then the biggest one FIFA world cup in 2010, congrats to Spain and well played Netherlands.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:17 am | Reply
  78. jose


    Thank you! Indeed what else do we need to say.

    Should the game change, add more technology, create new rules? Why? To improve on what?... new comers that do not understand what football is about? Did the Netherlands play dirty / anti-football? They got a just result, if you dont play to win you should not win ... , playing to entertain is what is about, if you play beautiful eventually with patience winning comes ... playing for a result is just too ... American

    July 12, 2010 at 9:17 am | Reply
  79. Basil

    To those claiming Spain only scored after Netherlands was reduced to 10 men (sree), there is a reason for everything. If Netherlands did not decide to play rougher than their own norm and in the process earn 6 yellow (I may have lost count) and a red card, Spain would have had other chances to score. You cannot use this fact as an argument to steal Spains glorious victory!!

    July 12, 2010 at 9:21 am | Reply
  80. Vinod

    Pedro Pinto.. are you on crack... i think this is the first world cup you have watched.....The World Cup Finals between Spain and Netherlands...was one of the most boring games i have seen..almost all of the group games were better..Spain Won.. good for them but they haven't entertained even once in this World Cup.. Now Germany on the other hand entertained us many times.. i say give them the cup...for a year out of the next 4 years.. at least..Spain sucked big time..

    A few more World Cups like this and the one in 2006 and people will lose interest ...they already have lost respect for the World Cup..the team that wins the world cup should show some dominance ..not win by one goal every single time..they were lucky is what i would say...also they lost to Switzerland.. who i say loses to Switzerland.. its insulting..

    July 12, 2010 at 9:22 am | Reply
  81. sree

    Spain was the best team in this tournament and probably the best in the world for the last few years. But to say they are the greatest is a bit far fetched. They probably deserved to win the game against Holland, as Spain played better football.
    But the game it self was not spectacular by any means. Spain never dominated the game, the Dutch had the best chance to win it in full time but Robben blew it.
    As others have pointed out, Spain will need to win more then one world cup to be considered great. Think of what happened to France after winning in 1998 ...

    July 12, 2010 at 9:23 am | Reply
  82. wisemann

    There is no denying that there is now a new order in football....and Spain is in command.
    There is something happening in the spainish football league, and soccer lovers all over the world have just been reminded in a very big way.
    This team by all qualifications is the best side these past three years in the world; 56 wins_3 losses in three years. They are the reigning European champions for Christ sake......beating Germany two years ago to take home the cup.
    They play the game fairly, with flare ....not what Holland displayed with their record haul of yellow cards in a single game.
    The better side won; which is very good for the game especially now, and after the poor refreeing we've seen in games during the competition. I think it's time FIFA implements a means of instant review of contested plays during matches........FIFA should flow with technology not oppose it.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:29 am | Reply
  83. Antonio

    The best must be among the ones that has five, four and three world coup champions stars at the shirts:

    Brazil: 5
    Italy: 4
    Germany: 3
    Uruguay: 2
    Argentina: 2
    England: 1
    France: 1
    Spain: 1

    July 12, 2010 at 9:30 am | Reply
  84. Stuart00

    Germany best team? When Germany played against Spain, they looked like a second division team!!
    That´s why Spain was the best team in the World Cup.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:34 am | Reply
  85. Carlos

    Amazing as some people say the referee was biased towards Spain? The ref was simply afraid to show the first yellow card on the first minute of play. The dutch should be ashamed the way the played the first half, de Jong and Bommel should have been sent off before 1st time. The penalty over Xavi is real, Heitinga didn't touch the ball only Xavi's leg and foot.
    Now really, the best team ever? It's just an over excitement from Pedro Pinto, Portugal is very close to Spain... Spain and Germany were by far the best teams in South Africa, though Germany didn't have as many talents as Spain, Argentina or Brasil, as a team they excelled, the only reason the were not able to beat Spain (with a big question mark) was because Joachim Loew refused to ask his players the carnage that the dutch coach ordered. But this is normal for the dutch team, the most violent game I ever saw was between the dutch and Portuguese, the dutch started and the then the Portuguese players loosed the heads, it's a game to show how football should never be played!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 9:35 am | Reply
  86. Leon Helmink

    Congratulations to Spain. They had the better midfield that night but other then that there is nothing to warrant the title of greatest of all time. It was bad to watch. Yellow cards were given when they shouldn't have, red cards weren't given when they should have. (Yes I mean you, de Jong)

    The only ones who performed well were Stekelenburg and Cassillas with some great saves (Robben should have netted that ball). In the end it were unneccesary fouls and mistakes by the dutch team (which they haven been making throughout the tournament) that kept them from winning. I just hope our team can progress from here towards Euro 2012 and Brazil 2014.

    So thanks South Africa for a nice World Cup but it won't be remembered for great football unfortunately.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:42 am | Reply
  87. Europe Rules

    Europe Rules!

    July 12, 2010 at 9:42 am | Reply
  88. Manolo

    You have to compare the type of football that is played today. Teams are just worried about winning and all they try to do when they encounter a very good team is to break their play. With too much defence and fouls.
    Spain are the best ever because in todays football to play as they play is absolutley incredible, what would west germany or romarios brazil do today? They would loose every single game.
    People, understand football and how it has evolved.
    Yesterday FOOTBALL WON.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:48 am | Reply
  89. Europe Rules

    Germany is the true Champion of the World-they've won with 4-0 all the matches....Spain won only with 1-0 so think about it:|

    July 12, 2010 at 9:52 am | Reply
  90. Sheriffo

    Give the devil it's due in commending the Spaniards of their talent they so displayed. They play football as borned with it in every minute. They are unlike the rest of the world scoring goal with hand and you term yourself as the world's super stars and or blocking the winning goal where africa could also maybe take the cup with the permission from the world's ever best team in history (Spain).
    This is the kind of football needed in modern day football and and not cricket..heating the ball and running before it just to finish it to the net. They play "LET'S PASS AROUND TO THE NET"
    The greatest Spaniards.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:52 am | Reply
  91. Furia ROJA

    Spain 1 – Karate Kid 0

    Spain Champion!!

    like in the films, the good beats the bad at the end of the movie

    July 12, 2010 at 9:57 am | Reply
  92. maxim

    i just hope you are not referring to the best team who oftens ,,dive" in this world cup and get rewarded with the title? Is that what you mean Mr. Pinto? I guess you have no idea about football. Research first before writing – it would be unfair for Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina and even to Germany. You dont have credibility anymore. You guessed it was Holland, and now you chose Spain as the greatest Team so far? The final game was Kung Fu and not football.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:02 am | Reply
  93. PPP

    I like Spain, but Germany was the most fun to watch team. Football, is after all, entertainment and Germany did entertain.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:02 am | Reply
  94. Cecilia

    Spain is the best.... even if you don't like it. Spain is the World Champion!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 10:04 am | Reply
  95. From Huesca

    I would say "Netherlands, the greatest of all times". But the greatest team playing KARATE in a football World Cup Final. A shame for Sport, De Jong & Van Bommel they destroyed the match yesterday. Viva España!

    July 12, 2010 at 10:06 am | Reply
  96. Alberto

    Hello from Madrid, Spain, after a very long night of celebration!!!

    First of all, for Anthony, the football team which was beaten by Inter Milan was FC Barcelona, not the Spanish National Team. Please, don't confuse things. One thing is clubs championships and very different thing is World Cup.

    Greatest of all time? Too early to say, but one thing is clear...nowadays, when "practical" football is wining adepts, with coaches like Jose Mourinho and teams like Inter Milan in the peak of popularity, practicing boring, tedious, defensive football, the Spanish team has shown that the essence of the game is still here. Football in the end is a beautiful, emotive, simple and funny game. And when I watch a team like Spain playing, I remember why I love this game.


    July 12, 2010 at 10:08 am | Reply
  97. Chirag

    Spain is currently the best in the world.....but certainly not the greatest of all time...

    July 12, 2010 at 10:10 am | Reply
  98. bob

    The dutch where so keen on defense, it lead to foul play. 🙁
    Spain was way more the aggressor in opportunities, and those sparse
    moments where fun too watch

    So yeah Spain deserved the title.

    Oh well you win some, you loose some.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:12 am | Reply
  99. Oriol

    Great game of Van Bommel and Nigel (no comments on their technical aptitudes)... and Robben, always lashing the "biased" referee, the same referee who did not sanction the penalty to Xabi Alonso.

    Spain Champion!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 10:13 am | Reply
  100. Ray

    come on people, the best team of the night won,a number of missed chances for both teams but iniesta took his chance scored a beauty and so that is football on the great stage.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:13 am | Reply
  101. Mansoor

    og the fascination with non-sense is reaching a new level. Best team to win the WC??? More factually the WORST team ever to hold the trophy (shots on goal, goals, shots...etc). In other words, when it came to what the game is about, GOALS, Spain is by far the worst team to lift the cup. For those who think passing the ball around is good, i suggest for you Handball.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:14 am | Reply
  102. sarrai

    The Netherlands team chose the way to play football yesterday again Spanish team. Instead of playing a talented football they decided to play a tough match. It is a pity to see that kind of football in the boots of who had invented the 'total football'. German squad didn't hit as those. Spain was the mechanic orange, and resisted like anti-chock watches against dirty play.
    Please, Johan, Marco, Ruut, show them what is football!

    July 12, 2010 at 10:26 am | Reply
  103. gengen

    not a football fan myself n just watching it only when the Dutch team is playing (during the EC n WC, since i migrated to NL), the style of play we've seen was not so Dutch-like. actually they are considered to be too consevative, not showing a lot of emotion, even in this WC. I think the dutch team got more yellow cards because they have adjust to the style of play of the Spaniards during this finals, it's the heat of the game n they wanted to win : ))), they have definitely not to be ashamed about. surely, there were moments when the game became dirty. but they came from both sides. the officiating was quite balance, giving right and bad calls for both teams. BUT TO SPAIN'S ADVANTAGE, ONE LUCKY BREAK, WEBB missed (or decided to miss) to blow his whistle on one crucial and important call and it made the difference, THIS IS JUST A PART OF THE GAME. NL settle for 2nd place and SPAIN became the WC Champions and they deserve to be congratulated.

    I found the final game quite exciting but no i am not going to watch football from now on only during EC n WC n only when my team, the Dutch team is playing : ))) til the next EC in 2 years time.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:36 am | Reply
  104. Raja

    Spain struggled to win against Holland. Even if the ref was good enough, Holland would not have won. Spain would have won during penalties.
    Both Holland and Spain lacked the preciseness to be a world champion...forget about the greatest of all times.
    Lets wait for the better teams in the next soccer finals.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:39 am | Reply
  105. Richard Morris

    I agree with all of your points and find it especially poignant to recall your "prediction" of Holland winning the final. As an American having lived for 14 years in Spain (Valencia), I was eager—despite having a Dutch wife, daughter and two Spanish children from my first marriage—to see Spain win. What I hesitate giving Spain, though, is any particular title or accolades above and beyond what they earned in South Africa. Are they "The Best Ever?" Surely not. One of the best? Perhaps. Though the won the final at the 2010 World Cup, I hesitate in saying that they were the best team at the games—that distinction in my opinion goes to Germany. What Spain is a unique game; a humble, diverse and dynamic game which is perfect against teams like The Netherlands and Germany because teams who are rigid, inflexible and (at times) arrogant make the perfect fodder for Spain. To win against Spain takes more than brains and brawn, it takes the ability to think in the most abstract and complex ways—all at once. On a final note, winning, in part, is all about sportsmanship—something that Spain—and the Spanish—know all about. That's not to say that they're not good losers as losing is hard, it's meant to suggest that Spaniards know how to take coming in second best. Best being the key word. Seeing Holland's head coach Bert van Marwijk removing his silver medal immediately after it was given to him during the awards ceremony was the single most disgusting display of sportsmanship I have ever seen in my 47 years and would love nothing more than to see him banned from the sport for life. That gesture went to show that he deserves neither the honor of having lead the second best campaign of the 2010 World Cup or the privilege of leading any team who aspires to the greatest heights of The Beautiful Game.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:41 am | Reply
  106. Antonio Guilabert Vidal

    I'm Spaniard and I follow the world cup since 1982. The spanish team follow the style of FC Barcelona who won everything last 2 years. FC barcelona has considered to play best football in decades. The Spanish team played at his best level only against Germany. The rest of the games they could not make their game because of the rivals pressure. Portugal and Paraguay denied to create game but focused on destroy Spanish game. However Spain could win thanks to the tireness of such teams in the last quarter of the games. Spain in general is one of the teams that played better in the world cup history (even though they were not as brilliant as they could), but definetely not the best team (maybe Brazil 1970 and few others are better). Finaly, the dutch attitude is ashaming trying to block Spanish game with fouls and aggresions with a very dirty Italian style. Spain victory is the vistory of the talented and honest.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:46 am | Reply
  107. KZ

    @ Ziggy: You mean Germany lost because of Muller? I think not.
    @ Ziggy: There was no excuse for the number of yellow cards. I agree, Dutch deserved more Red Cards instead. They felt technically inferior and that's why they had to play dirty. Yes, the Dutch played dirty!

    @ Miguel: Football is not just about lots of goals, is about control, tactic and possession. If you want lots of shots than watch a western movie.

    @ Richard: Awesome Post! LOL!

    @ Anthony: Technically speaking Spain was a strong favorite. Germany was also great and I admit it, but please don't discredit Spain.

    @ Burty: De Jong gave kicked Xavi on his chest, wait... let me say that again... on his CHEST! He deserved a Red Card for that and the ref gave him a Yellow, honestly I don't think yo should complaint.

    @ Magnus: Spain might have lost a battle, but not the war. We won, period.

    @ Simao and André: This is a different football style, is not about who scores the most, is about who wins the cup and Spain did. European Champions and now World Champions two in row. Coincidence? I think not.

    @ Pieter: I'm glad you acknowledge the facts!

    @ Oloffson: Great post man. Thank you!

    @ Harsh: I agree!

    @ Clyde: The teams you mentioned had their moment, now is Spain's, their tactic is simply outstanding.

    @ DuDu: Lovely!

    July 12, 2010 at 10:52 am | Reply
  108. Prince Michael

    The ref totally spoil the game and make it a awful one to watch...it is obvious how English ref blunder during the world cup...poor decision against the Dutch...Howard Webb, i hope you learn your lesson and know that one stupid decision can spoil your entire career. people will always remember you sally decision against the Dutch whenever they see u refereeing .

    July 12, 2010 at 10:52 am | Reply
  109. shahin

    Viva España !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    astalavista Holland 🙂

    July 12, 2010 at 10:52 am | Reply
  110. Mark

    absolutely not the best of all times!!!! What gives you that idea? Were you struck by lighting and lost reason?

    July 12, 2010 at 10:55 am | Reply
  111. thequang

    Spain is greatest

    July 12, 2010 at 10:56 am | Reply
  112. John

    Shouldn't it be for the referee, Spain would have won easily. Terrorific tackles of Van Bommel and De Jong were clearly red cards, not yellow. An there was a clear penalty from Heitinga over Xabi. Holland was really hard and the referee didn't stop it. Soccer was fair with Spain. They are clearly the best team of the world.
    John from Belgium.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:56 am | Reply
  113. Joel

    Everyone in here is ranting about how Spain is NOT the best team because they only scored one goal per match, blah, blah, blah....That's a shallow way to look at the match. Obviously they're great because that goes to show that they know how to put a defense up when needed yet score when it's appropriate.
    Look what they did to Germany. Germany came in strong, I mean powerful, they had trashed Australia, England and Argentina...They were pretty much unstoppable coming into the match against Spain. What Spain did to Germany was incredible. They completely build a wall or facade against the German attack. It was as if they broke them down. The Spanish team dominated the ball beautifully and there was no way for the German's to do anything. They seemed a bit shocked that Spain was putting up such a great show of class, style but above all, sportsmanship!
    I knew the Dutch were gonna put up a dirty fight. I saw the score cards before the match and Holland had 14 yellow cards throughout the tournament and Spain only had 2 yellow cards going in to the match, that obviously gives us an idea of how the match will be. So you see, it doesn't matter if you make 20 goals in the tournament of only 7 like Spain did...What matters is that you play with tactics like Spain and not by impulse as did Argentina, Australia, etc etc...
    Being the best doesn't simply mean making goals. Being the best means you play great together as a team by being well balanced, communication, effort, defense and ultimately scoring a goal when appropriate even if it's just one goal!
    Last night Spain took home the 1st Place Trophy! They deserved it, they played with integrity, unity, class, determination and balance. Best team of the tournament or not, they're the ones who go home with the Trophy and that's all there's to it so stop hating!

    July 12, 2010 at 10:57 am | Reply
  114. Ferdinand

    What?!Spain is the best of the WC,is that some kind of joke or sth?
    Well,they won the cup,but in a dirty way....meanwhile,i can`t say that holland have played sooo clean...but better than the MATADORES!
    the players of spain are great actors,not MEJOR JUGADORES,specially Iniesta,Puyol,Sergio Ramos y Busquets,they should be the best actors of OSCAR!
    I don`t like Holland,but Spain either.....i`m fan of ENGLAND & GERMANY!
    Spainish people,shut up 4 one sec,think about the way to the final from the very begining...Have u guys played so well that can conquest the fans from all of the world?the answer is DEFINITELY NO!
    Pack up the flags,Pack up the wuwuzula,stop shouting in the street,stop celebrating at the Cibeles,caus U DON`T DESERVE THE TITLE!

    July 12, 2010 at 10:57 am | Reply
  115. chris

    Am so happy for the worldcup that go for the spain people ok thx for that and bye for now..

    from chris...

    July 12, 2010 at 11:08 am | Reply
  116. Mark

    I don't think the ref was biased, but if he was it would be against Spain. Look, Netherlands were definitely kicking a lot more than Spain, still both teams were getting the same number of yellow cards in the first part of the match. Also, the kick on Alonso could have been direct red card.

    In the second time, some players who already had a yellow card deserved another yellow card, still the ref didn't want to show a red card until the very end.

    However, it's true that there were a pair of ref mistakes in favour of Spain too.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:08 am | Reply
  117. ms.piqué

    spain won last night's match as well as all their previous matches fairly and with intelligent soccer. the team's ability to pass the ball in circles around all the other teams they played is impressive as well as their ability to recuperate the ball when they lose it, which is rare with xavi, iniesta, and ramos. (dutch: stop crying, the ref missing a corner was nothing to missing a karate kick to the chest- if anything the netherlands should have ended the game with 9 players- they didn't play well and the better team one-despite the ref, you know you didn't win the match in any way- goals aside) spain displayed their skill and heart in the euro cup and throughout this year's world cup. half of the starting line up (puyol, piqué, xavi, iniesta, busquets, pedro) won the COPA, LIGA, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE on fc barça last year as well- they control the game and almost always work the ball up with superb passing rather than chasing long balls. casillas proved himself to be impenetrable when it mattered most. ramos effective, villa unstoppable, alonso controlled, fabregras sexy, navas, capedevila always outplayed their counterparts. the best team in history, perhaps not, the best team now, absolutely! spain proved that intelligent passing can win a match not just lucky breaks and long balls. i hope spain can use this victory to come together not to pull apart- catalans and spanairds won the game together!!! VIVA ESPAÑA!!! força barça!

    July 12, 2010 at 11:12 am | Reply
  118. humayun

    i think spain deserved the victory but it is not a all time greatest!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 11:13 am | Reply
  119. David Kleinbaum


    Spain should be ashamed as well, it was a hard game and the dutch karatekid kick wasn't nice but the fact that the spain players keep on asking for yellow cards it also a real shame. Webb should have sent iniesta and puyol off the field, just as de jong and van bommel should have. I really don't get why spain did not receive more cards or that people keep on saying that Holland was playing dirty, so to say that holland should be ashamed it just blind sighted of spain.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:16 am | Reply
  120. Hasanur Rahman

    It's a great combination of natural hits of Spain

    July 12, 2010 at 11:17 am | Reply
  121. astonished

    I really can't believe Dutch people complaining. Two Dutch players should have been sent off before half time. And at least two more afterwards. You should learn from Germany and just recognize Spain was better. Netherlands didn't even try to play football. Shame on you. You're really bad losers.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:18 am | Reply
  122. gvm

    no word about Iker Casillas?

    July 12, 2010 at 11:19 am | Reply
  123. Alf

    Spain played forward all the games. Their rivals never proposed paying, just wanted to destroy... Match against German team was the only one where the opponet wanted to play, (Germany 9 faults and Spain 7...) and you saw the difference of level

    On the finnal, Holland kept their 11 players until very late thanks to a horrible refeer that admitted the violence of the orange players. But even like this, Spain scored just playing. Was the ony team proposing.

    Spain team has showed to the world that it is possible win playing like angels and not thinking on destroy, or using the violence

    July 12, 2010 at 11:19 am | Reply
  124. Brad

    "Best World Cup winner ever"? Debatable. But to the naysayers who say they weren't remarkable because of the lack of goals scored (and naysayers of football in general), a low scoring game is rarely telling of what actually happened on the field and many of the games Spain played were riveting and could have easily been high scoring games.

    I'm also surprised Pedro didn't mention Iker Casillas, quite possibly the best goal tender in the world right now, and the real hero in this World Cup for Spain.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:20 am | Reply
  125. William

    Oh stop it! The Dutch played like thugs. They deserved to lose. Then whinned like babys. They should have played most of the game with 10 men. Bullies always blame someone else when they lose. And Robben – what a joke – he fell down every time anyone got close to him. I thought it was Cristiano Ronaldo out there.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:23 am | Reply
  126. mÓNICA

    VIVA ESPAÑA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    At the moment we´ve the best team in the world...I´m very proud of them....Spain is very proud of them, because they,re humble people with a big heart...

    July 12, 2010 at 11:27 am | Reply
  127. Dennis

    Sad for the result of last night, proud of the achievement of a tiny country in this big football-world. Yes, I'm dutch.
    Not ashamed at all for the play that was played. "Xavi" just felt sorry for the fact that all the other teams tried to destroy the game of Spain (...). What a shame that somebody has such a limited view on the game of football. OFCOURSE your opponent will try to break the play that you want to play as a team! That's the game. If that's the way to win the game, you just do that which will give you victory. Especially when you are against a good opponent. And so tried the dutch.
    They didn't succeed, therefor congrats to Spain.

    That said brings me to the next issue. Yes, dirty fouls were made by both teams. Van Bommel made one for sure, the one from Nigel de Jong I can't remember exactly but I'll agree with all of you people when you say it was dirty. But more important: what really is a disgrace to football is something that Holland, unfortunately, has learned from south-european and south-american football-countries (and still has to bring to perfection): drama / theatre / "schwalbes" (faking)! Makes me sick!
    PLEASE mr. Blatter: a video-referee to save the football-world!!! Mr. Webb (ref.) could have created a nice game for 700 mio people all over the world, with a little help from above. Although: We have enjoyed some games during this worldcup where the ref just smiled and ignored the fakers... why not this final?...

    July 12, 2010 at 11:30 am | Reply
  128. Haroldb

    Greates NO...the most boring YES

    July 12, 2010 at 11:31 am | Reply
  129. Johnny slats

    The greatest of all time? You imbecile. Spain were decent, but not a patch on the great Brazilian or Argentinian world cup winners. Yes, they can pass a ball, but they have great difficulty scoring. Watch the Brazil side of 1970 or the 1986 Argentina side to see what I mean. Typical American reporter, lacking in a basic knowledge of football's history.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:31 am | Reply
  130. james o neill

    there is far more to football than scoring goals. tactics, knowing your opponents game, patience, skill, communication, professionalism, that makes a great TEAM. spain showed and displayed all of the above. goals aplenty there were not, i agree, but, looking back on a truely great team, the goals are simply a factor in the overall product and the only factor with which the bare minimum should suffice. i want my children to see spains performance as the way to play the game, its not all about goals.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:33 am | Reply
  131. James

    What an awful world cup it was! Diving cheaters and crying cheaters. Inconsistent and too often wrong officiating. Whining millionaire athletes. Football bills itself as a 'pure sport', but it is clear that when 50% of the outcomes are due to questionable calls and non-calls (including in this final), the reality has to be acknowledged that the "simple, pure" rules of football are very broken indeed. Clearly, the best referees in the world are at a loss to keep up and the best players in the world are only too happy to exploit every loophole, often at the cost of that sportmanship that they give so much lip service to. In some sense, it is good that Spain won as they were legitimately one of the least cheating teams, but nevertheless it must be somewhat a hollow victory given the absolutely rotten state of football in general.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:37 am | Reply
  132. Eric

    If you can not produce more than one goal per game, you are surely not the best of all time.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:42 am | Reply
  133. Tom

    The Dutch played like a bunch of whining convicts. That karate kick to the chest of the Spanish mid fielder justified all the yellow and red cards in spades. Spain played well, honest, and with heart. It looked like a match of good versus evil...once again, good prevailed.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:49 am | Reply
  134. Jay

    I was so sad for Holland. I had been to 2 games they played and they were great and exciting and lots of fun to watch – not like the Spanish who play and play and play and hardly score. They were lucky to beat Paraguay (weird decisions) and Germany. Puyol cheated when he did the same tackle on one of the Germans very close to the goals. He did the same to Holland (Robben) last night. In the end both teams just played the most frustrating yet boring game of soccer, something had to eventually give and a goal was scored, it could have been by either. Ironically the Dutch maestro, Cruyff taught Barcelona this game. So Spain have won and congrats to them but they were not impressive, they didn't outshine the other team, they were very similar. Holland came second and I have great respect for them. I am sorry to hear that they won't even be doing a tour of their country. Maybe if they do it will change their luck!! I noticed the physicality of the game more from their side but they were dealt with and it wasn't just in front of the clear goal like Puyol did to Robben and to Oezil (correct player?) of Germany. In the end the world cup as a whole outshone play by Spain. Congrats to Spain, enjoy the next four years of glory. Holland keep your heads up, Bert (coach) has the most finesse and control i have seen on any coach on the sidelines. Pity that Kuyt and Capt had to come off.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:54 am | Reply
  135. bloke

    What defines the greatest? Memorable ? After 1 day I barely remember 2-3 players . Ask me in 4 years what do you think my answer will be? Come on . This is a joke article.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  136. Felipe

    It seems incredible that there are people who say that Spain won the Netherlands by the referee helped Spain. The Netherlands team played very dirty, should have played with two players less from the first half time of the game. But the referee not see the kick to Xavi Alonso? The kicks of Van Bommel? If anyone receives help of the referee, was the team Dutchman.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  137. Angola

    Pedro Pinto,

    Perhaps your Portuguese background is influencing you too much.
    Spain did not win because it was the best, not at all.
    I was really hoping Spain will win, but not this way at all – this was a shameless game of players falling like matches at every opportunity, dirtying the name of football just to get free kicks.

    If it weren’t for that referee giving out these yellow cards like they were a free gift, and if that corner had been given to Holland, things would have been a bit fairer.

    A really ugly game, not at all what should be shown to the whole world, especially not to all the aspiring football players out there.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  138. Matt

    It's impossible to say best of all time or worst of all time because the game changes so much and players change so much. Spain didn't score many goals but you only have to score one more goal than the opponent to win and they did that consistently. They dominated possession and demoralized their opponents. Even when Holland played physical to the point of excess Spain kept their composure. I was frustrated that they seemed to always make one pass too many in search of the pretty goal instead of shooting when they needed to shoot. All in all, it was a fun tournament to watch. I wish my fellow Americans who say the sport is stupid because there isn't enough scoring would keep their ignorant mouths shut. The game is full of action, smart passing, athletecism, and even some physical play, as the Dutch proved to us last night. Ole!

    July 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  139. Edmundo Dantés

    Spain has been the team to beat. Every team have change its usual way of playing to try to stop Spain. The only one that tried to play as usually was Germany, and they were beated by a tide of football. The fact that they only reciveed a goal was not fair seeing the football that Spain played. Spain has been the best team with no doubt

    July 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  140. k

    If you think a team that depended on disgusting dives to win the game is the best team ever, sure, Spain is the best. Not to say that the Dutch did not play a terribly dirty game and not to say that the ref was absolutely blind, but Spain played a terrible game as well. This was probably the worst World Cup final ever played, and nobody comes out looking good.

    I wouldn't say a word against Spain if they had played the way they did against Germany or earlier in the tournament, but the way they played in the final was just terrible. I could hardly watch most of the game.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  141. nabeel

    omg..is this pedro guy in third grade? how come he gets to contribute to CNN?

    spain destroys football.... see how the german and dutch matches were reduced to garbage because of their closing down and not letting the opponents play...

    stop listening to what everyone says ..and watch the games, they reveal the truth....
    all the way to the final.

    that is not beautiful football.

    remember fact- spains defensive style is to CLOSE DOWN opponent and not give them any time... the proof is right there....this causes UNBEAUTIFUL FOOTBALL....

    July 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  142. Hossen38

    The referee was defenitly not objective:
    -When Robben had the second chance to score, he was held by the shirt by his opponent. Robben should have been given a free kick, instead he got a warning (yellow card).
    -When the keeper hit the ball in the extension period, the Dutch did not get a corner out it.
    -The preceding shot before the Spanish goal was an off-side by Spain. The referee did not whistle for that, nor was he attended by the other referees.
    So the Dutch deserved to win, but the referee had a major influence to that.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  143. Samson

    Brazil 1970 was the greatest team of all time period. They were the greatest attacking team and they scored 4 goals against an Italian side who were considered the Masters of Defense. See the 4th goal of Brazil in the 1970 world cup final to truly understand this magical side.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  144. Benjamin

    1) Congratulations, Spain! You played with class in 2002 (I'm in Korea), and you've done so again.

    2) Best team ever? Seriously? Oh well, they're the best right now, let's leave it at that.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  145. Ramsi Hashash

    My suggestion for the future World cup is that the final four should play against each other and the team with the most points and goals is the actual world champion.

    This would mean a third game for each team out of the final four.

    I can not see Spain as the greatest of all times certinly not. However they did what needed to be done, the scored one goal more then the opposing team. Having said this greatness is a matter of definition.

    We can argue about the ref or the rough play of the Dutch etc, but Robben had the chance score and he missed. Iniesta did not.


    PS: If Germany would have been Spain 3:0 and then the Dutch 3:0 than one could discuss the possibility of greatness, obviously this did not happen.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  146. George

    What about Dutch? They didn't respect their style. What about the fair play? What about De Jong? What about teams played against Spain that always tried to destroy their football? What about Van Bommel? Heitinga? Come on, Spain was the best!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  147. myk0817

    Spain's the BEST in this world cup. They should be... else somebody should have been lifting that trophy – eluding them for some time – until now!!! VIVA ESPANIA!!! b^^d

    July 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  148. Luis

    In my book a World Champion that barely scores one goal per game and has not beaten world powers like Brazil and Argentina is a pretty flimpsy World Champion...too much superfluous passing, most of it inconsequential is boring...I would start considering Spain a great team after they win their third World Cup like the real superpowers...

    July 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  149. dave

    Spain wasn't great and very lucky to get in the final. This was the poorest wc in years. Spain and the Netherlands never made in to a game. To call this Spain the best champion is a crying disgrace for football and plain out stupid. Spain has offcourse a name to uphold when it's come to chauvinism...

    Can't believe Spain won the fair play cup too after all that asking for yellow cards. very very unsportive.

    Poor champion, poor quality of football from both sides, super bad referee (a referee that needs to book 14 out of 22 players is just not a good referee).

    Spain won, football loses..

    July 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  150. james o neill

    nable. 1-0 is all they needed, if somebody was able to put a goal past them you might have a basis for your point, until someone scores against them you point can be put back in the cereal box it came in. i say well done spain, the dutch did not deserve to win. spain were the most deserving. a team from start to finish. score what you need, act like you should!

    July 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  151. bob

    thats racist about you smell

    July 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  152. Pelé

    For those of you who think that Spain's football is boring just take a look at Holand's or Germany's football against Spain this WC. Germany won Argentine 4-0 and couldn't hardly run after the ball against Spain. That's the diference, if Spain has the ball the other team can only run after it until they get exhausted, that's why Holland played that dirty way to try to stop Spain. This way of playing is a fresh innovation in how soccer is played nowadays, don't forget that the former champion was Italy!. And yes, that makes Spain one of the best of all times.

    Thank you Spain !!

    July 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  153. zak

    Spain is far better side then anyother footballing nation. They make playing football so easy with their swift passing and moving the ball around. In football matches 9 out of 10 games are won by teams holding up mid-field, and for Spain, presence of Xavi-Iniesta and Alonso-Busquets for Spain to be in their middle of the park is the key to their success.
    I agree they were not as effective up front. They did not score more goals and David Vila was the only icing on top of the cake. I bet you, it would have been far different in the finishing front department, had Torres been 100% fit.
    In short they are just brilliant, silky and enjoyable to watch. They have shown the fairest play by a group of team until the semi finals and the whole team conceded just a single yellow card uptil then. 5 yellows in the final was more of response challenges Dutch team deserved. I was really ashamed of seeing Dutch players consistantly playing foul game. Worldcup final is the biggest stage in the footballing world, we (fans) deserved far better of a show then last night.
    Dutch were lucky to pass through quaterfinals. Had it been Brasilians, it would have been a perfect match of the century.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  154. Sami

    It's was greatest anti-climax ever if you were hoping to see Africa fail.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  155. Zee

    WOOHOOOO SPAIN won !!!! not Holland, not Germany, SPAIN!! VIVA Espania all the way!! I cannot believe all the hate people have ! Don't be sore losers, be happy for the team that won, and in this World Cup WE were the best and it wasn't about how many goals, it was who triumphed at the end. Euro Cup & World Cup Champions.. Bless them all xx

    July 12, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  156. chicamasurfer

    Congratulations to Spain and, Pedro Pinto: you really make for provocative journalism!

    Spain best of all time? Mmmmm..... all of us thinking Brazil, Italy, etc. receive these lines with a bit of surprise. But then, after all: why not? Spain were European Champions before coming to the World Cup, and in winning it they made such a display of balanced and inspired football. Every team playing against them did it with the mindset of the underdog, the lesser team, the ones playing against the best.

    As for the dutch team of this world cup, they were unworthy of their briliiant predecessors of the 70s and 80s. In only two respects the Dutch won in the World Cup 2010:

    a) Number of yellow cards (without counting reds) an amazing 23! More than 3 per game! Compare that with Spain's 7 (5 of which during the final, which the dutch played in a most violent way, earning nine yellows and one red). Now, I believe that's an unmatched record in the history of the world cup!

    b) Dutch football (total, fast, beautiful, balanced, effective, dazzling) won, but it was played by SPAIN!

    July 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  157. alehandro

    Well done Spain, the World Cup winners in a tournament filled with very mediocre performances. But all that glitters is not gold. The Spaniards slick passing may have fooled Pedro Pinto but the aim of the game is to put the ball in the net not to look pretty in the build up with no end product. Great teams don't constantly win 1-0, they dominate. Spain didn't. The midfield was solid, but David Villa was their only striker and faded to nothing in the semis and final. Ramos was an irresponsble glory-hunting defender, and Casillas looked shaky throughout. So, best team in the tournament? Maybe. The best of all time? Pele's Brazil, Beckanbauer's Germany, Cruyff's Holland, and even the French team of '98 might have a few words to say to you about that one.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  158. Nigel Powers (aka: DW)

    There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  159. juanmalitri

    Spain won eventually, and if I were Dutch I would be ashamed about my football team. They played the dirtiest way I have ever saw, so they loose because they deserved it.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  160. Roland

    The goal Spain scored was very questionable and i think it was offside looking at the replay, also it came after the Netherlands were denied a corner kick from a deflected shot.
    Two vital referee mistakes by Howard Webb and friends gave Spain the world cup.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  161. Yann

    Spain is the greatest of all time!!!!!!

    Iniesta is the best player.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  162. Woody

    Spain is very far from being the greatest. They won a WC for the first time and you call them great? Well, Spain, France, and England will ever win it again when we have a daily solar eclipse till 2014. It is one of those moments that can never repeat....

    July 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  163. Bone

    Thank goodness for Barça and thank goodness for Catalunya. Otherwise Spain would be even worse off then they already are. (And I don't mean that in just football).

    July 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  164. Salman

    Come home – Free holiday is over !

    July 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  165. Jacob Murphy

    The posters here have some dubious arguments, for sure. I disagree with the assessment that Spain is 'the greatest of all time' but more on the grounds that such a statement is generally ridiculous to make. It makes for good headlines, but such an assessment is – at best – subjective.

    On the other hand, to discount Spain's contribution to the game this World Cup – as some of my fellow respondents do – is preposterous. The arguments generally fall into three categories, as follows:

    1. "The ref was biased." – I agree; the ref was biased AGAINST the Spanish. There were a couple of calls made in favor of the Spanish in the second half, but overall (as has been pointed out by a few people here), Webb's calls fell to the favor of the Netherlands. There was no excuse for not immediately direct-redding De Jong for kung fu-ing Alonso.

    2. "Spain barely scored any goals in the whole [WC]." – Umm... and they also barely allowed any goals throughout the tournament. Iker Casillas (and thus Spain) holds the record for the fewest goals allowed in a tournament by the winners (2). This squad doesn't play a match pushing for goals, thus opening themselves up for goals against either. They are incredibly efficient and powerful. Best ever? Again, not comparable – but to say that they don't deserve a fighting chance on the basis of low goals scored is ludicrous.

    3. "Spain doesn't play the beautiful game." – Ugh. Spain played perhaps the most beautiful game throughout the tournament. Marred by few if any 'scandals', this squad has played efficiently, strikingly, and cleanly. They emerged as winner DESPITE the terrible play of (some of) their opponents.

    Again, the premise of the article makes no sense to me (except to market CNN) but to argue against Spain on the above bases is a stretch IMO.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  166. Natalia

    Les escribo desde España y me da mucha pena la envidia tan grande que se transmiten en los comentarios. Sean un poco mas solidarios y por favor, alegrense por nosotros. CAMPEONES DEL MUNDO!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  167. Ricardo Dunshee


    You have a long way to go as a soccer analyst. Read more and watch more movies of previous World Cups. Clearly your lack of knowledge is embarassing when you compare this average talented Spanish team to Hungary (54), Brazil (58, 70, 82 and 2002), Holand (74 and 78), Germany (70 and 74) and Argentina (86).

    These teams had players that belong to the history of the game. Name a single Spanish player that could compare with real geniouses that played for one of the teams I mentioned above.

    Pedro, do yourself a favor. Read more before you put a such strong statement on paper.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  168. soccerules

    To those of you who critizise Spain, look at the way they play. They play as a team and beautifully I might add. They treat the ball better than anyone. They beat and destroyed Germany who was playing the best soccer until they met.

    Look at how every team played Spain. Ultradefensively. So sure, the scores weren't as great as one would have expected. I would have liked to see you're respective teams play Spain without holding back.

    Next, to those who critizise the quality of play in the final, please look at the game closely. Netherlands got lucky they were left with 10 on the field. All they did was go after the Spanish players' ankles, knees and chest. So if the ref (terrible I might add) had been even close to decent, the scoreboard would have been much greater in favor of Spain. Than without keeping in mind the penalty he did not allow.

    To those of you who think it was bad football...please, when you actually play the sport and can actually appreciate what Spain has been up against, then you can comment. Otherwise, please abstain from doing so.

    Last but not least. To those who think a 1-0 is a poor final, a final is different form any other match in the entire tournament, whether it is football, basketball, etc. Nobody will remember how it was won, how both temas played or how they got there. History will only remember the team that won.

    Spain is a more than worthy champion. Football won.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  169. Vicente

    The final match of this tournament showed the worst view of football and unfair play by the side of the Dutch. The festival of rough play they developed from minute 1 reached a peak on the karate style kick in the chest on the first half that deserved expulsion. I can understand it was the only way they had to stop spanish team that clearly dominated the start of the match and make it to the penalties. It is not normal to have so many yellow cards and even a red one. I saw them use the same strategy with Brasil and they should have been disciplined as a team time before this happened

    July 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  170. DevColts

    The greatest of all time? The question is so daft it doesn't even warrant an answer. You don't watch football if you ask a question like this. Go to youtube and watch Brazil 1970, 1958. Even secondand third place teams were better than this Spanish team. Don't get me wrong, it is a great Spanish team, but by no means the greatest of all time. Not even close. I even tihnk this Brazilian team 2010 would have beaten them in the finals.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  171. Yoothana Mumme

    Spain? The best of all time? Are you kidding me? They played well enough to win the World Cup. Luck had something to do with this, also. The Germans had THE hardest route to the Final. First England, then Argentina, then Spain...so you could argue, Germany did Spain a favor by knocking out Argentina. And then having perhaps their worst performance against Spain. Plus that without Müller.

    Spain's Euro 2008 run was much more beautiful. Even if they beat my team, Germany...they fully deserved to win that one. But I'll say this...even West Germany was a better team when it won the '72 European Championships and then the '74 World Cup! And of course the '70 Brazil team may have been the BEST of them all. Even the '90 West Germany team was a better team in my opinion. Heck, I'll even put the '00 Euro Champion team France ahead of Spain.

    Spain was good, but not great of the best by any means.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  172. AGC

    hahaha, only on CNN can a question as dumb as this is asked. Spain the best ever? Please. 3 teams come as better without giving too much thought to the question. Brazil '70, West Germany '90 and Brazil '02. Hell, even Italy '06 was better than this Spain team.

    Spain did only what was necessary to win the games it had to win ( 4 straight 1-0 with goals in the last 15 mins ore in overtime), on one of the worst tournaments ever. (regarding quality of games)

    I think this guy just needed to fill his quota for the week with this column.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  173. Clinton AU

    This team is far far from the greatest. they would be the most borning. They had an easy run and caught germany playing an off game and then just got lucky against the dutch. if it is 1 goal on average for the spaniards lets just hope that it is 1 world cup trophy per hundred years average too so as to at least save us from boring football in future.

    July 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  174. Bob

    Congrats Spain. But the writer here needs some lessons. Brazil 1970 and 1982 are the greatest national teams of all time, being Brazil’s 1970 THE TEAM. It's just a fact. Please get yours facts in order. When Spain gets 5 cups … we’ll talk again.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  175. Juan

    Webb.... (the referee) played a mayor part in spains victory.....

    July 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  176. Esther

    Viva Espana...

    July 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  177. gilberto lawrence

    Congratulations to Spain, they proved to be the best team at the tournament which is the whole point of the 4 year cycle. They stuck with what they know works for them and played it to the end.

    Kudos to Switzerland for beating the team that would eventually win it all at the very beginning, that win seems larger now than it did then.

    The Dutch played a horrible game and if earlier in the tournament would have been reduced to 9 men by 90 mins and deservedly so.

    The ref was heroic trying to avoid being an impact to the game but he had a job to do and it was not made easy once certain players figured out he was going to let the 'lads play'.

    South Africa was a gracious and boistorius host and hopefully the naysayers don't get their way with the sterilization of the atmosphere of future WC finals. I do look forward to the samba queens in 2014, so please leave your children at home.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  178. Carlos Soto

    People, I think Pinto was referring to the greatest ever SPANISH team, not the greatest ever World Cup Champions...easy on the insults afterall its just a matter of opinion.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  179. Andre LePew

    We all know who had the greatest influence on the games, Paul the Octapussy...he played mind games with the teams. As soon as he declared who would win...bang, the opponent crumbled. Amazing talent, that also tastes good...

    July 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  180. Jonathan

    The best of all times????
    You can't be serious...
    Pedro Pinto shows he knows nothing about football. I have followed football closely for the last 35 years and I can name, at least, 10 teams that were better than this very good spanish team.
    Spains deserved this world cup title. They manage the ball very well, they have very efective defense, but they lack effectiveness when attacking.
    I am a fan of Iniesta and Xavi, but they can't be placed among players such as Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Zico, Platini, etc.
    The best team ever to play in a world cup is, according to the opinion of serious jornalists, Brasil in 1970.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  181. mike

    Hey, Pedro said that Spain was the team of 2010 World Cup and not the best team ever. I agree with my compatriot Pedro Pinto.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  182. Pindakaas y Calimocho

    "The greatest of all time?"
    Pedro Pinto (born in 1975) has had enough time to learn two things:
    -such a headline, with a question mark, will attract many clicks and comments
    -nobody can surely answer the question, as football is not a science

    As a half Dutch half Spaniard, I'm possibly more objective when judging the bad referee: he may have partly "compensated" at the end the many mistakes he did before that favoured the Dutch. The Dutch coach, with his ugly and unesportive gesture right after receiving the silver medal, confirmed to all what type of person he is.

    Is Spain the greatest ever? As a team, I think so. Specially if when meassuring greatness we value good sportmanship, politness, team spirit... It's not Maradona, Pele, Zidane, Cruyff + the others, Spain it's a team of very good players who could beat any other team, maybe by just one goal, but no more because the other team would have to defend with all they got.

    Spain's coach, contrary to the Dutch, before, during, and after the game showed what a true gentleman he is. Lovely. Thank you.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  183. David

    Dave: just a picture for your peace of mind


    A bit difficult "to make it in to a game" don't you think?.

    To watch good football you can enjoy the semifinal against Germany, a lesson of fair play during and after the match.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  184. Victor

    Football like most other sports is not about crushing your opponants, put about playing with style and grace. Iam not sure they are the best ever, but they definantly dispalyed what brazil calls joggo bonito.

    Unfortunatly The Netherlands forgot how to play and in their distress turned to violence as a method to stop the spanish way of play. This is what I didn´t like because if both teams woud have played their nice clean games it would have definatly been the most beautiful match ever played.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  185. Javi

    Holland said they did't fear Spain, but they played like Honduras, waiting at their field. When they saw that was not enough we saw the most violent team in a World Cup final...take a look of the pictures of hollands's karate style. The ref did't dare to let Holland end with 8 field players as they deserve.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  186. Sergio

    The spain team is surely the best ever on the following counts:
    – They are the world champions, so they are the best in the world.
    – Compairing them to teams in the past; This spain team, or any countries current team would have distroyed the teams in the past, for the level of play is so HIGH even pele would have been dreaming about it (he wouldn't pass one line of defense) (THIS IS A FACT).
    the only thing pele have done is to help to evolve the game.
    for example: the current dutch team against the old team of pele?? the dutch would have broken every bone in pele's body!!.
    – They are a complete team.

    p.s. the dutch are dirty players, they need to change sports to martial-arts.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  187. Miguel

    Jose, Richard, Unai and KZ:
    Most likely you are all Europeans and enjoy watching a boring team lift the cup. Soccer or Fubol is about scoring, winning in style, a.k.a. playing The Beautiful Game.
    Spain's game is about passing the ball back and forth and maybe take a shot or two while they are at it.
    Spain plays like Barça but they lacked Messi, Eto, and company.
    As a Latin American, I can tell you what the beautiful game is all about: 1970 & 2002 Brazil, 1986 Argentina, heck even 2010 Uruguay was more entertaining than 2010 Spain (had Uruguay have Casillas instead of Muslera).
    Funny how someone like Mr. Oloffson (most likely a Scandinavian), who's 72 years old, can even dare to compare a team that scored only 8 times in 7 games with the likes of 1970 Brazil (19 goals in 6 games), 1986 Argentina (14 goals in 7 games), 2002 Brazil (18 goals in 7 games), etc, etc.
    Those champions had something in common, great passing, excellent finishing, and most importantly: enough skills to score and entertain.
    Skills that no European can match: Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, Diego Armando Maradona, Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, etc. (maybe only Zidane)
    No Spain striker (or player) was even close to Diego Forlan, Spain's offense is a joke, there is nothing more to it.

    A los españoles que celebren bastante hasta el 2014, pues esa copa no vuelve a Europa y mucho menos a España por muchos años después.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  188. Simone

    De Jong's kick was something to be embarrased for indeed! But everyone is judging the whole game of being a kick boxing game by that one incident. Don't forget about the things the Spanish players did and they didn't get punished for none of it! And the goal was only because of Iniesta not receiving red before, the offside "wasn't seen" AND what about the corner the Dutch didn't get?? It looked liked Spain was playing with 12 players, Webb being one of them!!

    It would of have been penalties and who knows who would of have won the game! THAT will remain a mistery!

    July 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  189. JM

    Pedro Pinto, it is a pleasure to read such a professional – detached – review of this match. I would nevertheless like to leave a few additional comments here because I don't have any professional obligations conditioning them. When the Netherlands play superior teams they behave like thugs – they are very big – maybe because the viking raids to their coasts ... !??? – and that is what they use – bruit force – Brasil lost their focus because of that... and were eliminated ( should not have happened ). Spain was superior in every sense and managed to beat the football and the conduct of the orange thugs that – because they couldn't play enough – thought they could work there way through by brutality and intimidating the referee. It was a sad performance of an over-rated side. The orange "farmers" ( boers, isn't it? ) showed what they really are... an overrated inferior side... just look at who they beat and how they did it... football has won! Congratulations to Spain, by far the most able team in the tournament and shame on Holland because normally 2nds are not remembered but in this case they should be as the team that should not have ever been in the final. To finish, my compliments to all the other teams that showed art and heart coming from all corners of the world and my personal conviction that they were appreciated and that without doubt their time will come if they persist and carry on with the great work they have shown. Football can be beautiful as some of these teams have shown and can be disgusting as the Netherlands have shown.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  190. Worrell

    After reading 1/2 of this article I must say that The author started following Football this summer. I am not sure if this team should be considered better than the German team. Case closed

    July 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  191. George

    It's arguably, But I think that, indeed, Spain is the greatest. Why? I'll put it in simple words to all those experts who seeemed to have been playing, coaching and watching football for all their lives.

    Switzeland, Honduras, Chile, Paraguay, Germany, Portugal and The Netherlands. Their players and their coaches (people that earns his bread playing football, not comenting it in a pub) changed their styles and decided not to play footbal against Spain. They just placed 11 players back, ordered their midfielders to press hard, and waited, and in some cases prayed for, a counterattack. That's all.

    Never before happended this in a WC. Never before the people that is really good at this, the ones tha earn money "working" on it, had recognized the hegemony of a team by resigning to play against them (not one or two... ALL SEVEN TEAMS, europeans, and southamericans alike... even before the kick off...)

    And that's just because if you do, if Pelé's Brazil and Maradona's Argentina and those other fantastic teams had come to the pitch triying to play... these tiny spanish guys would have pick up the ball and would made 5 or 6 goals with ease...

    That's why Spain is the best: All the others teams resigned to play football against them. A thing that never ever happened before in a WC.

    I repeat it: Never ever seven teams changed his style to try to defend as a block against another team. Not a player or two against a genius. No. A whole team, eleven guys, just defending against the other. From the forwards to the keeper.

    All of them.

    Seven teams.

    And that's why "Italia had made more goals": Because the other teams, knowing that they just were unable to win, played to not lose.

    And that's why some people that have no idea of football, and look at the score, and says "buuu 1-0 soooo boooring" believe that is boring: It only plays Spain the other teams just put a minefield in midfield and await for a counterattack.

    Spain just played 7 games against Italian style teams... And won 6 of them. And this had never ever happended before in a WC...

    Are you bored? Blame them, not Spain...

    Think isn't sooo great? PLAY footbal, and then speak...

    July 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  192. Pravin Daswani


    July 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  193. bafana


    July 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  194. Juanjo

    Congratulations to Spain; certainly it does seem to go too far to say it's been the best WC of all times, but if you see how young most of the players are and you see the results of the SUb-21 spanish teams, it sseems that Spanish football team has something to say in the future; about goals: yes, they have scored very few... but more than their opponents yet... and that's football, the one who scores more wins.... and this is the World Football Cup... all teams are first line;... and about the referee... sad he didn't see many of the faults of spanish teams and the filthy play of the dutch team... Neederlands as nations deserves something else than that team; and last: conmgratulations to SouthAfrica and to Africa for the organisation

    July 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  195. JM


    tu quien eres ???

    July 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  196. TJ

    Folks, i think Pedro Pinto just posted this piece to tick us off. @Vinod said he might be on crack, i don't doubt this. 1st it was Alex on Cynical cheating, now Pedro.

    The best team in the world won the world cup - without a doubt. What we are seeing now are teams that set out to stiffle the other team from playing ( see Inter vs Barca). The only time you saw Spain play was against the Germans and their play was flawless.

    But are they the best team of all times, i don't think so. Now if u had said Barca, that is another issue.


    July 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  197. morefootball

    I'm with you, Pedro.

    I think Spain is one of the best national team of all times. Brazil '70? Of course, they were good, but please, note that we are in 2010 and in the nowadays football is much more difficult to be the best because of the increasing competitiveness (see all African National Teams how they improved their game in the last decades).

    If u see a 1970's match you see the players running as if they were practicaly walking. The football was more easy to play and there were much more difference between one nation and the others...

    Today, Spain is the king of football..at it will be at least for 4 years more...

    July 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  198. Antonio

    Probably not the most spectacular but one of the most balanced sides in the history of the game. Well played and deserved.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  199. Football lesson

    Spain: The Greatest on the 2010 World Cup and on the 2008 European Cup. That´s enough. To compare teams of diferent ages its impossible. People who know what football is they can apreciate the great match of spanish team yesterday. Football its not only many goals and many show, it´s something more complex. To understand contemporary football it´s necesary to study how Spain plays it. Bravo!

    July 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  200. Mario Franceschi

    The greatest world champion team ever was Brazil 1970. I have no idea whether Mr. Pinto has been able to watch enough world cups (I have watched 13 since 1962) and with full conviction and knowledge can tell you that this Spanich team does not even rank among the top three. In my humble, but educated opinion, I can tell you that Brazil 70, Brazil 2002 and Netherlands 74 (2nd place) are the most complete and, by far, the best teams that world cups have ever produced. Just for the sake of argument, both Brazil 70 and 2002 won all of their 7 matches en route to the championship and the Netherlands introduced a whole new revolution in soccer that still today has great influence in world soccer (Barcelona and Spain 2010).

    Sorry Mr. Pinto. I can buy you that Spain was the best team of this world cup (and not by much), but the best ever?? Forget it... no way!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  201. Gia

    They might not be the greatest of all time...but Spain is the best team this world cup 2010. They showed the world how football shld be played....with class and football skills way beyond netherlands brute force and germany goal mishaps.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  202. Mika

    Spanish team is the best of the best right now. If you think they arent, you either must be rooting for Netherlands ( dirty players imo), Germany, or some other "football countries who said they were the best" but beaten this world cup.

    One has to recognize that if you want to be great, play smart, hone your passing skill and dont jst aimlessly run and then strike the ball....lol

    July 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  203. Nik

    The fact that you think so shows an incredible lack of knowledge about the history of World Cup soccer. They have won, for the first time ever, in an ugly game that the Netherlands had two idiot-proof chances of winning, with half the yellows and reds that should have been given.

    Nothing about them or their performance would rank them in even the top 5 of all time. There are countless examples of better teams, better games and overall more competitive and thrilling tournaments.

    Why does every tournament always prompt such idiotic historical statements. This was a good World Cup, that´s all, where the best team won (as it does usually), in a pretty ugly fashion.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  204. James

    Spain was the best team of this WC and they won with justice. The Dutch were the dirtiest side ever to play in a final and should be banned from Brazil. Having said that, the BEST EVER? C'mon, don't over do it!

    July 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  205. Ranjan

    Just so I have understood it.

    Brazil wins 5 world cup finals
    Germany wins 3 world cup finals

    Spain gets to the final for the FIRST TIME EVER and you think they are the best EVER?????!!!!!!!???????

    "In my view, the only reason Spain didn’t score more often was that every team they faced played in a counter-attacking style and tried to close every path to their goal.In my view, the only reason Spain didn’t score more often was that every team they faced played in a counter-attacking style and tried to close every path to their goal.

    IF they were that good then they would have scored goals regardless of whether the other teams had closed the paths off to them. A really good team would have succeeded anyway. What a shame that they actually had to play other teams they might actually have scored more goals if those teams hadn't played at all.

    Grow up, One swallow doesn't make a spring and one world cup doesn't make you the greatest team ever.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  206. Jorge

    There were many factors for their win (luck, one man less in the Dutch team, bad referee). But they are not the greatest of all time, their style is boring, not spectacular and the low level of goals show them as a team that can not score by their own, only sproaching when there is a mistake from the rival. They do not have structured plays like Germany. Maybe the writer of this note should take his writting to a sport he knows, and not ot one he has to cover every four years. He has to learn a lot about football to understand that the statement he has written is completely wrong.

    July 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  207. Zacas' feedback

    It was a great WC, with two outstanding incidents...

    i) france should never had joined... really an inferior team that managed to take Ireland out of the way by ... cheating.... !!! how low can you get? a country that actually could play football sometime in the past... To make it more ridiculous... the country itself made it a national problem.... pathetic crowd!

    ii) the dutch ( or the people in orange, which is specially curious because who ever visited the dutch marches knows that the natural colors there range between grey and brown... orange is really out of the ordinary out there... but why not? it must be some kind of mental phenomena ) should not have played the final... really a sad display of attitude... dutch will be dutch... once pirates, still ruffians...

    July 12, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  208. Mario Andre

    Are u outta mind? The team that has lost the first game.... that found some lucky goals in the second half (see Paraguay Vs Spain, Netherlands Vs Spain).... The team that didnt have the best player of the World Cup.... What the HECK???? I think u should delete this post... its heresy....

    July 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  209. Henk

    To those that say the dutch played dirty:

    When your nation has failed twice (now thrice) to win a WC final, your players would be equally desperate.
    In my opninion the Referee was terrible, period. Fifa needs to introduce a video referee, FAST, or someone else will replace them.

    Anyone feel like starting a new international football federation in association with the media?

    July 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  210. Revelation

    There is a lot of hate blah blah blah going on here. I agree with those that state facts regarding the game, like the dangerous tackle to Xavi Alonso’s chest or the uncountable fouls of both teams. Well, this is the bottom line: the best team is not the one that scores more goals, but the one that overcomes all oppositions and obstacles to win. That is exactly what Spain did. That is what makes this team special and unique. Whether we like it or not, Spain defeated the Dutch with a heart bigger heart than themselves.

    Others have said, “there are a lot of haters giving their opinions here”, yet not letting the author of the article state his own. Almost all have ignored the question mark at the end of the sentence: The greatest of all time? That sole symbol changes all the meaning of the sentence from a statement to a question.

    No one is arguing the fact that there have been other great teams in the past but I read the article, and I agree that Spain played in a way I personally have not seen in many World Cups. I was tired of getting the same winners over and over. It took Spain a lot of effort to become champions, but at the end they succeeded. That makes the whole difference. Winning without effort to a weak opponent, counting only on a few talented players is less rewarding to fans than a whole team putting their soul and body out there to become champions. Congratulations to Spain, well done, TEAM!!

    July 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  211. Macdrop

    The fact that spain lost their first match and yet won the world cup shows that they are the greatest team of all time. Look it up yourself no other team has done that.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  212. Junior Naung

    Pls kindly let the people know those who don't really know of what is the respect or congratulate that the football is a kind of sport which to show what is the sportmanship. Instead of sitting and jelousing the other's success , try to understand of what is football exectly. Then come out and say anything u want. Pls stop of hating the other those who got success by showing professionalism.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  213. laxist

    You were rite @ point. I enjoyed reading your post. U cleverly analysed the whole issue.
    Brovo i say!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  214. john

    How can someone talk about the yellow card to Puyol??the first card for Puyol was not!. And what about De jong, and van Bommen, and Robben... The penalty for Spain... To use a corner as a reaosn to lose a match is stupid. And by the way there was no fault , the one that produce that non-seen corner. I was surprise with the brutality of the Dutch. To be able to win you have to learn to lose. The refree was horrible but above all horrible against Spain De Jong should have got the red, and also van bommel, tthose two for sure, but there were others.
    The dutch destroied the final, lost even with the help of the refree and besides that complain....You should rather learn about the Germans.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  215. Chut Pata

    If any team deserved to win, it was the young, dashing, and ethnically diverse Germany. However the absence of one star player destroys the entire team formation. The absence of Thomas Mueller gave Spain an unconvincing 1-0 victory of Germany. Wins by boring team like Spain will kill soccer like boring boxers have almost killed boxing. Soccer rules needs to be changed to allow more aggressive game (as seen in Germany vs Uruguay) and technology needs to be introduced.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  216. gee

    To the person who wrote this piece you have no knowledge about the the game football for you to ever come up with such a headline.
    If you look up the history of the world cup you will notice spain has never done anything, apart from individual players they have never had a team.
    You cannot compare Spain to
    1. Brazil
    3. Germany.
    even Holland has had better teams and players most likey best team never to have won.
    Please cnn check credentails of your bloggers. Never seen a Brit write about baseball.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  217. Dino

    Congratulations to Spain! Honora Buena!
    From the very few football lovers here in the Philippines.
    VIVA ESPAñA !!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  218. Robert


    July 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  219. MikeFootballer

    What does the author mean by Spain is "the greatest of all times?" That it is the best Spanish team of all times, well, one would have to agree with that because they won the World Cup.
    But if the author means that this Spanish team is the best one ever compared to all other teams in all other world cups, then the guy knows very little about football/soccer. Go back in time and you will see there is no comparison in terms of goals scored - just one example - with the Brazilian, Italian or Geman teams when they won the World Cup (12 times, if you combine their victories!). The 1-0 result yesterday did not reflect the Dutch superiority in terms of goal opportunities. They should have gone to penalty kicks!

    July 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  220. Cesar

    Karate 0 – Football 1

    July 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  221. vic

    best team ever ¡¡¡¡ Spain ¡¡¡¡¡¡

    July 12, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  222. Luis

    Netherlands showed world wide that they have a bad National Karate Team... but they have the worst National Football Team: they have just a street gang bang: as they don't know how to play football against the elegant style of Spain, they just try to play Karate in a football match. This is not football, this is just street violence: pathetic losers.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  223. Rex

    The greatest of all time? Are you 12 years old?

    July 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  224. Iker Casillas

    Wonderful and magic Spain.............CONGRATULATIONS

    July 12, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  225. David

    No way, with 8 goals in 7 game (germany made 16) Spain definetely is NOT the greatest team of all times..

    July 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  226. pericles

    No creo que sea el mejor equipo de todos los tiempos. Pero es un equipo maravilloso.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  227. Véronique

    For the ones who don´t think Spain has been the best is because you are all jealous.
    Spain is the best of the world right now! year 2010!! Like it or not.


    July 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  228. abdul

    i think this world cup has been dominated by a spectator waching it from his t.v so what he does is send out the energy to the the team he supports. so thats why this world cup has been kind of strange because of the energy the spectator sends to the game

    July 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  229. johnny

    Spain is able to play an extraordinary and skilled game,
    while Netherland is only capable to shake legs

    Xavi and Iniesta are very champions,
    Shneider is only an oversetimated jade

    July 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  230. FWA

    Yesterday's match was a complete disaster, actually none of them deserved to win the WCup after such a poor show... And to call this spain team the best ever winner MUST be a joke, it can't even be called football what they played yesterday.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  231. shed a light

    Many people fail to realize nowadays football has reached its highest level of competitiveness. Today’s tactical pressing and ultra-defensive style would by all means deprive those great teams of the past (e.g Brazil 1970) from playing the football that made them glorious.
    Maradona’s famous goal to England would simply be impossible in 2010, and Pele and his World Champion team would be regarded nowadays as an amateurish team. The further you look back on time, the more true this is.

    My all-time favourite team is Brazil 2002 with Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, whom I consider to be in the history’s best football players shortlist, from which Pele, Platini, Beckembahuer, Di Stefano and other legends are absent.
    But, considering how things have changed (to bad), I can’t stop thinking Brazil 2002 team would have struggle to win in South Africa.

    Last night the Netherlands went far beyond what should be deemed acceptable defensive play. Refereeing failed to address it right from minute one when Van Persi should have been booked, and later on not sending off Van Bommel and De Jol. In fact Netherlands could have had 3 or 4 players sent off before halftime had the referee taken a allow-playing-football approach.
    So Puyol deserved to have been booked? Sure! But who cares if at that time Holland were playing with 7 players.

    It’s absolutely amazing that Holland shamelessly offered such a violent game to the whole world watching, but it is even more unbelievable that they complained about referee decisions.
    Even the corner they were not allowed prior to the Spanish goal, was a mistake provoked by themselves, as Sneijer shoot trying to surprise while some players were still talking to the referee who, as a result, couldn’t see the ball touching Cesc Fabregas’ shoulder.

    It is clear that the English referee tried his decisions not to be definitive as he refused to send off players and concede penalties. But this in fact was a great advantage for Holland as it allowed them immunity to violently destroy Spain’s passing and attacking game.

    One feels Spain has played Italy 7 times, winning in 6 very ugly and difficult matches, being able to score 8 times. So to the nasty swift WC football is experiencing, in a World Cup in which even Brazil for first time gave up its beautiful style for a defensive one, the Spanish win is a very nice irony.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  232. Ex Pat.

    The Dutch tactic to stop the Spanish attack was to try and break the legs of Spanish players. The Referee should have given them at least two red cards by half time. On top they have the face to complain about the "roughness" of Carles Puyol !!

    CNN reported two days before the match about the rough and agressive play of the Dutch.
    The Dutch are bad players and bad loosers. They can cry for the next 4 years and beyond.

    Congratulations Spain y VIVA ESPAÑA !!!

    July 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  233. Angel

    Best of all time? Aurguably. But you can't deny the fact that they have dominated the international football scene in the past three years. Well deserved World champions...congratulations Spain!

    July 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  234. fortigos

    thanks to the referee Holland beat Brasil. How many times Van Bommel deserved the red card in that game?, at least four.
    Thanks to the referee Holland was scored only once against the spaniards, Van Bommel deseved red card only three times in this game. He also made a clear penalty against Xabi Alonso. De Jong kicked Xabi Alonso brutally on the chest (ONLY YELLOW CARD).
    I think Holland destroyed not only the game but the championship, they didn't deserve playing even the semifinals.
    Would you image a final between Brasil and the spaniards?

    July 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  235. Jorge Campo

    Don't know if we have the best team ever but they make us all really happy.
    The team is very modest, doesn't have a clear leader, the players work for the team over the individiualities and they adore touching the ball.

    We always had a sense of fatalism, even yesterday thinking that we will be done on the penalties lottery. This championship gives the Spaniards the confidence we lacked over the years expressed through bitterness.

    Today we don't really care if we are the best or not. We are just enjoying the sweet moment in the middle of our economical crisis.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  236. Rafael Morgan

    Hey all,
    this can't be serious... i hardly recall a champion worse than spain, maybe italy last WC. Spain was such a "ok" team that started the WC as favorite but i hardly remember anyone saying that during the world cup. They got a easy path until the final, if they play 10 times against Uruguay (with Soares) they would lose 5.
    Just tell one great game that spain had in WC? They lost agains CH, Won against chile with a lot of efforts , had a slim victory against one of the worse team in the Cup (2×0) against Honduras. Has anyone seen any game of the Honduras National Championship, it's a joke. They struggled to win against portugal. Almost lost the game against paraguay. Played against a germany without the top scorer in the EC and won in a horrible boring game and then played one of the worse finals i have seen.NO football, no entertainment .It was a hard game to watch.

    Seriously , Germany and Uruguay were by far the best Teams in this WC. But for those who hasn't been following football long , not always the best team wins.

    And now i ask you all something?
    What was the most impressive image you had in this WC? was it from the spanish team?
    In a few years this world cup will remembered as one of the worse WC ever, together 1990 and 2006.

    By the way I am brazilian too.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  237. Barnabas

    Miguel, as a Latin American you should be intelligent enough to see that every single team that played against Spain only wanted to avoid the Spanish passing style play. With eleven players defending it's very difficult to score, even for a top skilled team as 2010 Spain.

    Whoever denies this is one of the best national teams ever (I don't know if it's the best, it's very difficult to compare teams playing decades away) when it comes to playing a beautiful soccer does not know a single concept of what soccer is. Watch Spanish play at the Euro and then decide.

    July 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  238. LM

    The best team won this WC. It's the culmination of a lot of work on young players, done especially in Barcelona but also in Madrid. Ironically, this work was started by great Dutch player Johann Cruyff, when he coached Barcelona. Today's Spain looks like almost like the Netherlands in 1974. Xavi and Iniesta have played together since they were children in Barcelona, so it's no wonder they look almost telepathic. "The greatest of all times" is a difficult, and probably meaningless title to assign. The game has changed enormously over the years, players are more versatile and more mobile, balls are lighter, shoes are better. In 1970 goalkeepers could barely kick the ball into the other half, strikers rarely defended and defenders rarely ventured into the opposite box, except for Italy's captain Facchetti, who was well ahead of his times. This year the Jabulani ball allowed 70-80 meter kicks that were impossible back then. It was common this year to see the ball fly from one penalty box to the other, almost 100 meters. The same is true for goals from 30-40 meters, which were an exception in the past and are now very common (see Ozil, Forlan, Van Bronkhorst, Sneijder, Quagliarella and many others). Shooting from outside the penalty box was considered foolhardy for most players. Today the game is faster, everybody has to run back and forth much more than decades ago, and contribute to both defense and attack, more like basketball than the soccer of the past. So, having a single genius (a Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or what have you, even a Cruyff, Pele or a Maradona), is less important today than having complete, versatile players that defend, attack, save and score (like Xavi, Iniesta or Sneijder). All the star players who had been hyped at the outset have not made a difference for their teams. It's not that people like Xavi and Iniesta cannot do selfish, spectacular things, but they are trained to do the most useful thing for the team with each ball, and it works. As for the Netherlands, I'd be curious to find out why they let Van Persie play, and why he wasn't replaced quicly. He was essentially nonexistent. His team effectively played in 10 men until a -deserved- red card brought them down to 9. Robben did both his own job and that of Van Persie, and it just wasn't enough. Again, having a player who is in good shape and does his job is better than having a very talented but totally out of shape player who barely touches the ball. Felicitaciones Espana, you guys deserved to win and you did!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  239. Kiwi David

    OK, let's not detract from Spain's place as the new World Champions but, let's also applaud the only team to remain UNBEATEN throughout the entire 2010 World Cup....the All Whites from New Zealand! Now, who would have thought that...?!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  240. Bram

    Best ever? Not even close. While a magnificent player, David Villa is not everything. The offense of Spain was anemic throughout. Spain only managed a goal after the defended Heitinga was sent off on a garbage call by refs that destroyed the game, what are you paid by FIFA or something?....BTW- Robben had the winner on his boot twice; if it were not for the brilliance of Casillas we would be partying here in Amsterdam. Agreed on van Persie though. yikes.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  241. andrea

    ........ridiculous.........the best time of all time........ahahahahaahhaha....there are a lot of teams better of this spain.....1970's brazil 1970's italy......1974's germany 1974/78's holland..1982's italy 1998's france and the maradona's argentina...and after all these team maybe the 2010 spain

    July 12, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  242. Henry (world cup since 1966)

    Greatest ever ??!! ... go do some research please.


    Brazil 1970

    July 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  243. Rod

    This was probably the worst World Cup I've ever seen. Almost all the teams played dirty, the lack of goals made the games boring, referees were a disaster...
    Spain played always with fear. The best team ever??? must be joking. And the final... was that a good soccer game for you? come on!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  244. Luciano

    Spain played very well, but calling that the greatest team of all time can only be explained by the fact that the writer is Portuguese, and typically envious of their former colony Brazil, 5 times World Champion, which has fielded on many occasions truly great teams, even when they did not actually win the tournament (not the case this year, when Brazil just wanted to counter-attack like some second-class European team). One thing is certain: Spanish PR is even greatest than their great current national team.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  245. Mario Franceschi

    Macdrop: There have been other teams that have lost a game during the first part of the competition and have become champions. Just to give you and example: Argentina lost to Italy 1-0 in 1978 and became world champions. West Germany lost their match against East Germany in 1974 and became World Champions, and West Germany lost to Hungary in 1954 (8-3) and became world champion. There is nothing new in here.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  246. JOHN

    I am not even shure is Sapin is the best team of this tournament, because they did not beat other teams, they just scored a goal more than rivals, so close to luck. I think only GREAT teams win with no doubts, Spain is just having a good time due to a golden generation. Paraguay could have easily defeated Sapin had they scored that penalty. BUT, is a good thing that Spain had won, since other countries will have to improve.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  247. Henry (world cup since 1966)

    More comments on this Spanish Team 2010.

    They deserved to beat the Netherlands (Johann Cruff should be ashamed of the Netherland's dirty play), BUT. David Villa missed many chances. And there is no other bona fide world class striker on this Spanish team.

    Brazil could have beaten Spain also. Luis Fabiano (in spite of his 2 arm-balls) scored an incredible goal that showed how a world class striker can score even when surrounded by defensive players.

    Since this Spanish team does not have a Pele, Ronaldo, Garrincha, Maradonna who can score INCREDIBLE goals, this 2010 team is just an also-ran. They are still lacking in one critical department.


    July 12, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  248. Reverend Ian

    "NOT EVEN CLOSE" is the best answer to the question posed in your article. No one won that game yesterday except POSSIBLY the people of Spain. Both teams were atrocious, only one was worse than the other. The exciting teams played on Saturday, and earlier in the tournament.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  249. Ricardo

    Mr. Pinto needs to look at videos previous world cups. Let´s say for example, Brazil´s team in 1970.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  250. Miguel

    Best now, indeed, and congratulations. Fair cup.

    But best of all times, is an absurd statement.

    I wouldn't expect that from a drunken celebrating Spanish fan in Madrid last night, never mind a serious sports commentator.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  251. Rob

    Rubbish! This was one of the most boring WCs ever – with Germany providing most of the few good games. And I'm not German. The Final was tedious. Spain are ballerinas not footballers.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  252. JM

    It is all the same which team is the best ever... What matters is SPAIN is the best team NOW and will be the WC at least for 4 years.

    If you are not happy with life... that´s some other problem, not football.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  253. Juan

    I don't think so !!!! Spain was the best in South Africa but there was teams who did better perfomances in other world cups.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  254. JM

    Kung Fu – 0, Football – 1

    video should be used by the referees to assist them in their decisions – it is ridiculous to allow the unfair situations that took place in the final and in other matches of the WC.

    there should be a way to override referees decisions where it is obvious they are wrong

    the dutch should have lost 2 or 3 players and should have been penalised with more than one penalty... the situation was such that it could have hapened that in a moment of fortune they scored and actually won the match. The potential for ridiculous outcomes is high and this situation can clearly be resolved with the use of technical means and new rules.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  255. Maxi

    OH! come on, this world cup is becoming every time a bigger farse and a commercial, or else the referee was tipped well by the spanish octopus. how can a referee miss 2 such big fouls comitted by the Spanish and that corner that was not given... what was the ref.. looking at? and the spanish long hair dude that held the Dutch player from his stomach when he was in the penalty box while rushing to make a goal, is this Rugby or football

    Spain just won by pure luck or a heavy tip. I'm no football fan, but it was very obvious, 8 yellow cards to the Dutch and only 3 to tha Spanish!!! comon, I saw that teh Dutch were a little heavy but the Spanish were no less.

    The only things that Spain is good at is tomatoe feast and bull race / fighting.....

    LUCKY WINNERS!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  256. gideon

    I wonder how all these news articles would have been if holland would´ve been the lucky guy to score, in this dirty game by both the teams. And the referree, they should send him to a rehab clinic, how strict can a person be in life?

    July 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  257. Maxi

    GOOD football playing has been over for years now, players only get paid millions to run behind the ball, pull other team's shirts and roll on the field when a butterfly touches them.

    Where are all those fantastic players gone with good dribbling and running abilities and a good shot from mid field that can knock the goaler in the net? Old and best time gone by, now all commercialism.

    The real time of soccer was (in the 70s) when the players challenged themselves to give the spectators a real good show with the moves and spectacular goals they would make. Today's soccer you see more players rolling on the ground rather than running. If I would have been one of today's players, I would be ashamed of myself being paid so much money to spend most of the time rolling on the grass staging a bad injury.

    I'm not a fan of Brasil team at all, but you can watch here what the real footballing looks like. A legend that is never forgotten, like others that were good at his time. This is real football....


    July 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  258. Jan

    as a Dutch i can say i am ashamed of De Jongs karate kick, and of the defensive attitude brought by the coach. Promise: we will be back with the best goals ever and the world will be praising us again for the best football in the world (an after that we will loose to some nameless team in the eights or quarter finals;-)

    July 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  259. Neo

    Spain won football lost..

    Congrats to Spain. But I didnt like the way they play. They mostly run or pass the ball away of its opponents. Its like "catch me if u can" no nice duels, not many goal scenes and if spain finds the goal finaly they mostly fail to score..

    No need to feel like being the best of the best now and no need to diss the dutch all the time...spanish fans start to be nice winner and not smug..

    July 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  260. jos

    It's often said "may the best man win" put this in football terms and the best team won-– Spain won the cup ............... they deserved it ......

    Congrats Spain enjoy your victory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  261. Stanley

    Sorry to say, but not only is Spain NOT the best team ever to win a World Cup, but they don't deserve it! The "Total Football" system that they tried to make use of, was definitely outclassed by the Netherlands (who are creators of the system). Hence Netherland's consistency in winning in great fashion, even against Brazil. It is sad that most of the recent World Cups winners have been those that take advantage of the game's "blind spots" – unnecessary dives (Iniesta's "broadway" performances) and cheap "pin-ball" goal-scoring....If I was a Spanish supporter, I would thank the Octopus and the referee rather than the players....

    July 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  262. Angel

    I invite you to recap a little bit. The real final was the game aganist Germany. The german played soccer, a good soccer, and no Karate as Dutch.
    It is incredible how the referee allowed that kind of dirty game in a world championship.FIFA should spend just a couple of hours thinking where are they driving soccer to.
    Spain make spectacle if the opponent let them play (just with the rules in mind). Why many selections that were spectaculare in the past, like Brazil, become strong and make that soccer that nobody like? It is simply not profitable in a championship with these rules.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  263. Tsynne

    Please...Spain the best?

    It took em nearly 2 hours to score a single goal. And look at all their other games, none of their wins were really that convincing (with exception maybe the match vs Germany) But the best team ever? Get real.

    A lot of people are hammering on and on about the so-called *karate* kick. Needless to say he did come in too high, but if it was intended? Look at the rewind and you'll see it look a lot less bad then it actually is. That being said a spanish guy hanging on with BOTH hands unto Robben is fair play?

    Spanish wasn't better, they got more lucky. Penalties yesterday would've been a much more just solution, as even the goal the Spanish produced was made from an earlier off-side position. You have to dare calling yourself the greatest, when you win by a referee's mis-judgment.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  264. gee

    @ Véronique that is true best european team till the next competition and the best in the world till 2014
    but not the greatest ever.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  265. Lisa

    Please remember that even CNN is BIASED, there is no such thing a objective journalism. And about spain, they are seriously wrong.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  266. keynotespeaker

    How can a team be great if it consist of two cry babies like Xavi and Iniesta, who ruin their otherwise great footballing performance by falling over and rolling around for minutes the moment a Dutch player is nearby? The funniest moment was when I think it was Matthijsen, who tackled Iniesta on his right leg and Iniesta rolled around for minutes clutching his *left* leg! I couldn't help but laugh at the idiocy of it all. In the end Webb had to give in to their constant theatrics and we all know the result.

    Spain great? They could've been a great football team, but now they will go down as a great diving team. Iniesta and Xavi for the synchronized diving gold in London 2012!

    July 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  267. LAM

    Many countries deserve better than to loose but in football the winner is the one that scores. I cheered for Spain and am glad they won, I didn't like the Dutch attitude with their medals, treating them as some worthless scrap, not sporty behavior at all!

    July 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  268. Stefan

    Congratulations but Spain got lucky this time. They were certainly far from being the greatest of all time. Winning just 1:0 in overtime and against a reduced opponent leaves a lot to be desired for a world cup final. Not to mention the games before the final, including the loss against Switzerland. If I am not mistaken it was the first time ever that a team won the world cup after losing the first game of the tournament. Spain was not bad but not dramatically good and a far cry from many other great teams of the past.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  269. Sam

    This is not, by any extent, the greatest team of all times; maybe the greatest Spanish team, and that's reaching. Far far away from it, actually. Name by name, I agree it was the best team of this World Cup only behind Brazil, but honestly their football never showed up.

    Arguing that Spain didn't score because of their rivals defending / counterattacking strategy is non-sense. They didn't score because they couldn't. It seems as if the author had never seen how Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, were kicked all the time, and how violent their competitors were; yet, their teams scored plenty of goals and displayed an attractive style.

    I am not saying Spain didn't deserve to win, but in my history of 7 world cups (I'm not that old yet 🙂 ), this was the one with the lamest soccer displays I've seen. Courage, intensity? No question about it; but football was lacking. Even 2006's Italy had better football than any team this world cup other than Germany, but unfortunately Germany chickened out against Spain.

    Again, not diminishing the Spanish victory, but I wasn't happy with what I saw this WC. Congrats to the Spanish team, It's refreshing to see a new country raising the cup!

    July 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  270. Matthias Alder

    Spain was lame, lame, lame. Lots of passing the ball with very little effect. Trying to imitate the Brazilians of 30 years ago, but much less artful and a lot less fun to watch. Spain was able to squeak by every match with one lucky goal, and this Spanish team is almost as undeserving to be world champions as Italy last time around.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  271. Emem Udengwa

    Van Persie was disinterested because the Netherlands simply opted not to play the attacking game he's so used to but instead chose to play a rough negative game.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  272. Ganni Borg

    "The greatest of all time"? Hardly. Spain are good – perhaps the best national team at the moment – but to say they are the best of all time is a gross exageration. Take off your red-tinted specs.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  273. keynotespeaker

    For those that complain about De Jong's supposed karate kick', take another look at the replay and learn some football rules, because that was actually one decision that Webb *did* get right.

    Yes, it looked very bad, but you can only give a red card for such a foul if there was clear intent. Now if you look at the replays, you can see De Jong making his move before Xabi Alonso was even in the frame, he was simply going for the ball at that moment. That he hit him was very unfortunate, but not intentional as there was no way that De Jong could've known that Xabi Alonso would be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is why there is a category of fouls called 'dangerous play', for which the correct punishment is a yellow card, so Webb actually did get that one right.

    It's similar to when Caceres kicked De Zeeuw in the face and knocked him unconscious in the Uruguay-Holland game. Looked very bad and deserving of a red card, but upon replay it was clear that there was no intent, hence only the yellow card for Caceres for dangerous play.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  274. Brukcete

    Is Spain the Greatest of all time? Most of you dont understand the question or have no knowledge of football, or dont follow european football. The question was not made because of one game, or one tournament,or because they won the world cup. The question is made because of what have they done for how long, and who are the members of the team. When you find out what they have done collectively and individually, then youll have an idea of who these players are and what kind of team they have. When you get this information youll be able to answer the question, Is Spain the Greatest of all time?

    July 12, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  275. ekid

    opinions are like ah, everybody have one
    that being said, i have watched every game in every world cup since 1970
    if i had to vote for one team, brazil 82 wins hands down, even though they didnt go all the way
    maradona 86 will come in second

    July 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  276. rcasoundhmv

    I am not a Spainiard, not a Caucasian, not an European either. Whatever is behind the World Cup, Spain's victory was the longest shot and Holland was not the usual Holland to be. Holland has given victory to Spain. It was not so that Spain was good in the final but Holland yielded.

    July 12, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  277. Mario Blacksmith

    Congratulations to Spain for their first World Cup Title. This 2010 Spain is certainly a great team but even considering the greatest team ever it's a "sacrilege" to the name of the most popular sport in the world. Mr. Pinto you sound like a young and new enthusiast of the game so I suggest you to research about Brazil's 1970; 1982; 1986 and even 2002 so you'll see classy and magical teams. Check also Argentina's past or even Holland's 1974 and 78 and you'll realize that Spain 2010 is great but far from greatest. That spot is reserved for Brazil 1970 with the likes of Pelé, Carlos Alberto, Clodoaldo, Gérson, Jairzinho, Rivelino, and Tostão. Thank you and better luck next time!

    July 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  278. Saiki

    I'm from the States, so obviously soccer is not a game I follow religiously. In fact, I usually only watch when the World Cup is on or when I'm given tickets to my local team's matches. But even I would say that Spain, while good, is far from the best of all time. In fact, though I think the nation of South Africa did an incredible job hosting the game, and I tip my hat to them, the tournament itself was in many ways pretty anticlimactic. No team really dominated at any stage of competition. While Germany, Netherlands, and Spain were all good teams, I think which one could be considered the best just depended on the day. I think all three of those teams should have looked at "power houses" like Italy and Brazil, falling to "lesser" teams and think "There by the grace of God (and the officials) go I"...

    Don't get me wrong, I love watching the smaller teams having their moments of giant-killing glory. It was the best part of the whole tournament! But it could have happened to ANY of the teams – Germany, Netherlands and Spain included. None of the teams this time around should put into the same sentence with "the greatest of all time".

    July 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  279. Marc

    Of course, Spain is one of the greatest of all times.
    During this World Cup they didn't score many goals only because Torres (one of the best players in England) had his leg hurt. You only have to review the European Cup to see that this team is a top scorer average team.
    No doubt, one of the best teams in history.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  280. Humbleman

    These are the facts.

    Spain started this WC having recorded not a single defeat in over 30 official matches in a row. It lost against Switzerland, but then went on to win the WC. So that's 1 defeat in about 40 matches, still better than decent for most observers.

    The team entered the WC being number 1 in the official Fifa ranking. It then went on to win the WC, so it is unlikely to have lost the number one official slot.

    Spain is the current holder of the European and the World title. Just 1 legendary German side achieved the same feat before, and that was 36 years ago. So this is rather rare.

    When Spain walked into the pitch to play Germany, the odds were pretty even but, if anything, the internet bet bookies gave it a 20% greater chance of winning. So there seems to be scant evidence that "Germany was favourite" to win that match.

    When Spain met the Netherlands at the final, the bookies' odds were heavily set against the Dutch (about 2 to 1). One could link the fact the latter team were shown more yellow cards than any other team in WC final history, to either a conscious attempt to destroy the game of Spain by way of playing violently, or else to a refereeing conspiracy. In this second case, a good explanation should be produced as to why the referee did not simply take the opportunity to send De Jong off after his spectacular tackling of Alonso (by way of jumping to kick the victim in the chest) in the first half.

    And finally, just a word about goal stats. There are 2 logical possibilities as to why a winning team could have low goal scoring averages. One is, of course, that it gives up all desire to lead the game, parks its 11-strong headcount around its own penalty area, and tries to win by scoring on an isolated counterstrike. The alternative possibility is naturally that wary opponents opt for that tactic, thus impeding more creative, fun gameplay.

    What, in your opinion, was the case on Sunday?

    July 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  281. usman

    i like Xavi,to me he is my world best player.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  282. Adrian

    You have no idea what you are talking about. How can this be the best footballing side ever? How can you have this job?

    July 12, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  283. spanish

    These are the keys of the Spanish team. They are not players , they are friends, and the team is not a team they are a family.

    The son of the coach,Vicente del Bosque has the down sindrome and when they won the World Cup, you know what they did? they gave it to him.

    This is the spirit that makes them big persons, not just big players but great people with a big big heart.

    Another example, when the Goal keeper Casillas arrived in Madrid today and the plane landed he went to a little child who was in a wheelschair and share with that kid the World Cup.
    This is something which shows you human values.

    Another example, if you showed the last match , when Andres Iniesta scored the goal you can read in this under t shirt, Todos somos Puerta, that man , Puerta was a Spanish player who suddenly died in a match in Spain.

    Iniesta was his rival in Spain, because they live in different cities and play in different teams, but he wanted to dedicate his goal to a man who died playing Football, even thou he was not playing in his team.

    The victory of Spain is not the victory of a team, but a victory of a bunch of friends that enjoy playing football together. The victory of "lets enjoy playing football" if we win ok, if not dont worry , cos we never win, but at least we are going to give the best of ourselves.

    In a country with the highest unemployment rate in Europe and where the crisis is affecting everyone they just only wanted to give a hope to their country.

    When Andres Iniesta , the man who scored the final goal celebrated today the World Cup the first time he did was remember his small town where the family lives, a small town in the middle of nowhere where there is only bad news everyday and a town which everyday dies a little bit more cos their people goes to the cities to find a better life. He only wanted to give a good news to a people who is only used to receive bad news everyday.

    This is what makes this team special. They are even going to donate half of the money they receive to different community services.

    This team maybe is not the Brasil of the 70´s but this team next week will go to the hospitals to share with the sick children of Spain the Cup. This is what makes them special.

    July 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  284. Danny

    Omg! Most of you only takes into account the statistics to judge the Spanish team. In my opinion, a football team deserves to be considered "the best in the world" when people enjoy watching them play football. And no matter if they only scores one goal or if they have lost the first game.
    Spain is undoubtedly the best team in the world.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  285. Nancy

    It's impossible to play good football when you are playing against orange kung-fu fighters! Nevertheless the spanish team still played with elegance and deserve to be the champs!

    July 12, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  286. Pinda Cali

    I want to congratulate whoever wrote the comment under the "shed a light" name. Lots of wisedom and real facts there.

    I'm in Spain now, and just saw the images of the greatest celebration. On the 11th of March 2003 several bombs that killed 192 people pushed over one million people to the streets, under rain, to show the world unitiy in grief. Today, it was the other side of life's coin, with even more people, but this time celebrating, and showing their support for these modern times heroes.


    Love from Spain to all those who make this sport such a huge worlwide pleasure.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  287. PNUT

    I would like Spain more if they would just shoot he ball at the net more often, instead of trying to deliver every play on a silver platter. It's beautiful no doubt when they deliver but I think it cost them lots of goals. Come on Espana, you don't have to come from the side, serve to the middle, and look for a header so darned much....just shoot when the shot is there. The U.S. tends to do that too, it's great when it works but so frustrating when it doesn't. I will say that Spain has brilliant ball handling skills, they move the ball around like no one else, particularly Iniesta, he's a wizard with his feet. Sergio Ramos is definitely a war horse, he's in every play, on offense and defense, no one works harder, I think Sergio Ramos is underrated, he's a real presence on the field.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  288. Edgar

    I see many jelous people trying to justify Holland's defeat using the referee as a terrible excuse. Holland should have been playing with 10 since the 28th minute of the game, when De Yong kicked Xabi Alonso criminally. Also, a penalty kick was stolen to Spain when Xavi was almost getting the first goal. How many goals do you think Holland would have received if the referre had made the right choice in those decisions?

    July 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  289. Dan

    Successful troll is successful.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  290. Iulo

    Spain , the best ? I don't think the same
    Did u heard about Ronaldo , Rivaldo , Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos as played together 2002. Or maybe Holand 1974 .
    You are very young ....

    July 12, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  291. PNUT

    The Spanish team made the German team look like amateurs, like school boys against men. Spain controlled that match from start to finish, they had control of the ball close to 80% of the time. How anyone here can say that Germany was better than Spain is mind boggling, must be Germans, they're good at denial. Spain was the best team at the Cup and that's why they won it, through hard work,and talent.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  292. Maaseru

    So Soccer is about how uch can you score? Yet Spain playing against teams that made 3,4 even 7 goals to their opponents beat them 1-0. That is why the team is so great the control the flow of the game and when not doing that their defense is tough stuff.

    July 12, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Reply
  293. May Garcia

    What a stupid question! Spain is, since yesterday and for the next 4 years the World Champion, and is the European Champion since 2008.
    For those that love football, Spain plays the best football of the moment.
    And the rest is to speculate .To those sore losers that can not be happy with the Champion team, sorry for them.
    And as for Holland shame on you, on your aggressive behaviour,you didn't played football, you tried to butcher the Spanish players, with the help of a referee that gave the same value to a karate kick in the chest to a Spanish player than to Iniesta taking the shirt off dedicating the goal to a Spanish player who died recently on the field, playing a game. Shame on you too Mr. Webb
    .Van Rommel deserved several red cards, only got one, He should have learn more about good sportsmanship during his time playing with Barcelona.
    Viva Espana! We are the World Champions, and those that don't like it...bite me.

    July 13, 2010 at 12:16 am | Reply
  294. hua


    July 13, 2010 at 12:30 am | Reply
  295. Canary Islands

    spain is best of all time because the win fairily and win the football

    July 13, 2010 at 12:44 am | Reply
  296. Brukcete

    Is Spain the Greatest of all time? Most of you dont understand the question or have no knowledge of football, or dont follow european football. The question was not made because of one game, or one tournament,or because they won the world cup. The question is made because of what have they done for how long, and who are the members of the team. When you find out what they have done collectively and individually, then youll have an idea of who these players are and what kind of team they have. When you get this information youll be able to answer the question, Is Spain the Greatest of all time? Ok

    July 13, 2010 at 12:47 am | Reply
  297. Hollywood

    Pinto retire from Journalism and go pick coffee with your ridiculous articles...

    July 13, 2010 at 12:50 am | Reply
  298. angelux

    I coudn't agree more with Pidro Pintu. Curious he choose Holland all the way but at the end recognize who's really playing the best football of this time.
    I supported Spain from the beginning not being spanish, but because I love how they play the game.

    July 13, 2010 at 1:11 am | Reply
  299. marisa

    VIVA ESPAÑA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Regardless of with how many goals WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It could have been by 1 or bya million, we only needed 1 to win
    We are the best team of the world,thats why we won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2010 at 1:16 am | Reply
  300. marisa

    VIVA ESPAÑA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Regardless of with how many goals WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It could have been by 1 or by a million, we only needed 1 to win
    We are the best team of the world,thats why we won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    QUE VIVA LA ROJA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2010 at 1:18 am | Reply
  301. Rich Walters

    I see alot of people calling spain boring because they did not score countless goals. As an England fan, I was neutral up unitl the Spain vs. Germany semi-final. When I saw Spain playing Germany and remaining faithful to their style, I recognized the greatest team of all time. Here was a team that lost their first match, and yet still had the audacity to continue playing their own game against Portugal, against a violent Paraguay, and then, against the fearful Germans, who had scored 8 goals against England and Argentina!

    To add more to the mix, Spain once again imposed it's game on the Netherlands, who by the way betrayed their own playing style.

    For a team to demand so much respect (out of fear) from their rivals, that's what I call greatness. Spain won this tournament because they developed a style, and stuck to it. It doesn't matter if you win by a goal or 5, it's winning that matters.

    July 13, 2010 at 1:24 am | Reply
  302. TMReyes


    You forgot St. Iker. How can you forget the goalie... epic fail.

    July 13, 2010 at 2:56 am | Reply
  303. ed

    with regards to sree comments:
    Spain only manages to score after Dutch was reduced to 10 men.
    True, but that was one goal in minute 116 so until then both teams were evenly matched.
    how many goals do you think Spain would have gotten if De Jong would have been expelled (as he should have) in minute 23?
    i think 3 goals. Nothing came of the goal kick you mentioned. And with regards to the corner, there was a bad corner call against spain, so that is even.
    in the end the smaller tougher team won. despite playing a man with a cleats stuck in his chest. The Uruguay Germany game was a lot cleaner and more exciting.

    July 13, 2010 at 5:38 am | Reply
  304. AL






    July 13, 2010 at 7:19 am | Reply
  305. astonished

    Rafael Morgan, may be you could read L'Equipe, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Diario Olé, O Globo, De Teelegraph, De Volskrant, The Sun, Al Jazeera,... and many others. And then think about what the world says about Spain and what you say, and be a bit humbler next time.

    July 13, 2010 at 7:56 am | Reply
  306. Olé!!!!

    Because of its TEAMwork, its humbleness, its improvement spirit, its sportamanship...

    Because of its beautiful playing style, against the current destructive-defensive trend...

    Because they beat dirty playing Dutchmen (Nederlander, Boers...) in SOUTH AFRICA, in an orange painted stadium, with the same guy who refereed tha only game Spain did not win in the 17 games leading to the championship...


    July 13, 2010 at 8:16 am | Reply
  307. spanish

    For the Spanish people this victory is not only a football victory but a historic one.
    Did you know that in some parts of Spain you can not, i repeat , you can not wear a flat of Spain or say you are spanish.
    Did you know that in some parts of Spain your businness can be closed if you put the signs in Spanish?
    Did you know that in Cataluna, for example, where most of the Spanish players live , the students study Spanish as a foreign language and eveyone is forced to speak the local language,Catalan?

    Imagine it happened in your country. Imagine you are in NY or LA and you can not show you are American cos someone can beat you.

    I dare you to go to some towns of the Vasque Country, a province of Spain and wear a Spanish flag.

    Did you know that in Spain someone from Cataluña can be a doctor in Madrid for example , but someone from Madrid can not be a doctor or a teacher or a policeman or a firefighter in Cataluña because he doesnt speak the local language?

    Imagine you live in NY and someone from Chicago can steal your job , but you can not go to Chicago because you dont speak the local language you only speak English.

    Did you know that in the basque country children are taught in Euskera and not in Spanish?

    This victory is not a victory of Franco, is not a political victory of the Right or the left is only a recognition that someone from Spain can go to the streets of Cataluna and enjoy the match.

    It shoudnt be like this but being "Spanish" in some parts of Spain is not safe. Try to go to Galicia or Vasque Contry or Navarra or Cataluña and do it.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:35 am | Reply
  308. Simon

    C'mon! CNN, are you kidding? Mr. Pinto articles says Spain is the best team ever. It's pretty weird and out-of-sense to say that if you know a little about Soccer/Football.

    Maybe, Spain can be pointed the best team in this World Cup. I'd say Germany, but they failed to reach the final match. This is disputable.
    But to say this Spain 2010 is the best team in World Cup ever??? Not quite!
    Any kid that loves the sport knows that.
    Brazil 1970 and 1982, Argentina 1986 were magical!
    Netherlands 1974 had a great great team. Beckenbauer made history with a great W. Germany squad...

    It seems Mr. Pinto understands NOTHING about this sport.
    Is Iniesta or Puyol better than Pele, Maradona, Platini, Maradona and Puskas? C'mon!

    July 13, 2010 at 10:27 am | Reply
  309. Jose

    It´s quite amusing to read all those comments claiming that Puyol should've been sent off...to those people...what match did you see? If anyone was favoured by the ref it was Netherlands!!! They made an impressive display of brutal fouls, dirty gameplay, and never cared at all about the ball!!! please watchthe game on its entirety and see dejong's kick on Xabi Alonso...who sould've been sent off huh?

    And....the reason why Spain didn't finish with more goals was simply that every team that they faced FEARED them. Never seen such hyper-defensive tactics as in this world cup. And Spain IS the greatest champ of all time simply because they managed to tear down every single wall that wwas put in front of them.

    GRANDE ESPAÑA!!!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2010 at 11:40 am | Reply
  310. Lor

    I do not know if Spain is a great team or not, what I can assure you is that they are all great people who have done a really great and brilliant job, and after watching the match, I dare to say that they deserved to win due to many reasons, but above all, because..."dear dutch people, this is football, not a fight-club"

    July 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  311. Tim

    Jose, it's nice that your team has won, congrats, but don't pretend that you are capable of making objective remarks. Neither can I, but we can agree that Webb should not whistle such an important game again, ever.

    July 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  312. Lechar

    Winning is not about ranking, being the best either.
    It's about knowing you did your ultimate best however the outcome.

    The Dutch came home disappointed but after we were finished with them, they realized that even though they did not win, we supported them every step of the way. At the end of the day they were cheered up and happy like we were, even though they lost.

    They may have lost WC 2010, but on arrival home they gained so much more from our hearts to theirs.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  313. Luiz Fernando

    NO WAY!

    Spain is a good team, but you cannot say that they are the greatest team ever.
    Anyone who knows a little bit about football knows that teams like Brazil-1958 and 1970, Hungary-1954, Holland-1974 and 1978, Brazil-1982 and 2002 are much better than Spain-2010.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  314. Ray

    Winning something like 5 games in a row by one goal does not make you the greatest team ever – especially after you are beaten by Switzerland (!) in the group play. What it does make you is perhaps one of the luckiest champions ever – but definitely not the greatest ever. Anyways, they were an inch from losing after the Dutch shot barely caught the foot of the keeper.

    I know that Spain really needs something to cling to. Their leader's socialist policies and anti-Americanism have only driven the country and its economy straight into the ground – so it is nice they finally won something. But not the greatest by a mile. Sorry!

    July 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  315. Jose


    You've got your point, I admit, Nevertheless, here are some "objective" remarks:

    1 – Agreed, Webb should not be allowed to whistle any other relevant match.

    2 – Had netherlands won, It would've been a crime against football, Why? because from minute 1 they tried to kick the spaniards out of the match, with many ultraviolent fouls just like De Jong's taekwondo kick or Van Bommel's repeated agressions. This is a fact, you only have to review the match. On minute 29, netherlands should've been down to 9 men. On the other side, see how Spain's fair play earns them so few yellow cards.

    (Speaking of fair play, It is the first time in my life that I see a team shoot to goal when they are returning a ball thrown out because of an injured player. That's plainly disgusting isn't it?)

    3 – If there is any reason to consider this team one of the all time greats, It is not because of this particular world cup, It is because their last 3 years, how many matches they've won, how many they've lost, how many goals had they scored against them...

    Apart from having won the european and world cup, statistics speak for themselves. Dunno if they are the greatest, but no doubt they are one of the all time greats. Period.

    July 14, 2010 at 7:38 am | Reply
  316. Peter

    I kind if agreed with Jose, except for point 1. Imagine how this match would have been reported if the Dutch had been reduced to 9 men before the end of the first half. The frustration from the rest of the players would have made things even worse. Webb would have started something he would not then have had the chance to control. Any result from the match would have been seen as invalid and would have spoilt the entire competition. In stead he took what was, from the outset, going to be a disaster, got 120 minutes out of it and almost everyone in the World, including some Dutch, agreed with the result. It is easy to criticise any referee from the multi-point viewing of the TV, just as they can do themselves after the fact. As Batter said, "the team that played football, won" and that comes down to Webb IMHO.

    July 14, 2010 at 10:29 am | Reply
  317. Lor

    I totally agree with Jose!

    July 14, 2010 at 10:47 am | Reply
  318. Gurufootball

    Pedro, Pedro is this away to defer the fact that you picked the Netherlands to win in the final over Argentina? Or are you looking for a job in Madrid so you can finally get that much sought after interview with Mourinho who refuses to give you the time of day?
    Which cup did you watch? I watched the one that saw Spain get their ass kicked by Switzerland, struggle against and barely beat Chile, and only handing lowly Honduras a 2-0 defeat. I saw a team beat your Portuguese side on an offside goal, a German team that was missing the golden boot player in the World Cup, and only beating the Netherlands after being reduced to 10 in OT. You call this greatest ever? I call it being favored by FIFA. All their games had several controversial calls made in their favor due to their cynical diving. They are talented but come talk to me about greatest ever when they win the next Euro and World cup consecutively.

    July 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  319. Pedro

    REALLY?!?! Best than Netherlands 74, Brazil 70 and 82, Argentina 86, Germany 90, etc? Give me a break, and get some soccer culture before saying that... They won 4 games in a row 1×0, and lost one of the matches... They were surely the best team in the final, and maybe of the World Cup, but of ALL TIMES. This sounds so ridiculous that I'm ashamed of being Iberian...

    July 14, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  320. charles

    hi somebody is talking of brazil of 1970.please we are in a new millenium.Brazil could not produce anything in south africa. Just accept spain was the best team in south africa.Dont bring in the brazil of 1970.so if they were the best where wer they to play in 2010?

    July 15, 2010 at 8:24 am | Reply
  321. stephen

    At the time of the final, yes Spain was the best in the world but of all time. No way. The quality of football through out most of the competition was terrible. Spain also didnt have a clean sheet.

    Well done Spain but so many other countries have played far better than you have ever done in the past. Just watch in 4 years time.

    July 15, 2010 at 11:27 am | Reply
  322. Chris

    Yes, unfortunately, this team is the greatest of all time. Yea, sure, Brazil made a lots of goals and won almost everything, but if Spain 2010 and Brazil 1970 met. Spain would have win.

    July 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  323. martin

    well, Spain won the Eurocup, won Germany twice, in the Eurocupe and now in the WC. Also Fernando Torres wasn´t on fit, and Villa left his mate Torres to scored more..., don´t forget football isn´t just score, they made beautiful footbal...Netherlands was awful, dirty, they deserved to win the Taekowndo WC, they were all the time kicking, and doing everything to hurt spanish players. Holland had tried three times to win and three times vice, Was the Ref. the others two ones?? They had to be 10 in the first half..they made bored the match because they didn´t play football, I think it was Netherland pressing catch...

    July 17, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  324. KVarela

    Great team, great players and games. Whoever says different is because they are aching in their misery you haters lol. Spain Won because it was the best, scored and at the end it is all it matters. VIVA ESPAñA & FBCBarcelona!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  325. Mark

    Italy 1982 was definitely the best team ever

    July 21, 2010 at 5:37 am | Reply
  326. luxy

    I just could say... WE THE CHAMPIONS!!!
    *Actually, they're the Best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  327. Alex

    Why is that whenever something big happens in the world of sports, people think the best team at the moment is the best of all time? Serena Williams wins Wimbledon, and 10 articles pop up calling her the Greatest of All Time. Milito scores twice in the Champions League final, an article appears calling him the greatest player in the world right now. Spain wins the World Cup (for the first time!!!), and this guy calls them the GOAT. People need to get some experience and wait a little before speaking.

    July 28, 2010 at 11:42 am | Reply
  328. Fernando

    Well. I think that Spain was the best nacional team that I have seen ever. They have an excepcional defenders ( Pique, Puyol ),, the best goalkeeper, the best midfields (Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas) , the best killers, the best coach, the best "aficion"... Brasil in the 70 hadn´t been played like a team better than Spain.
    This team has won the eurocup and world championship so we must respect them

    August 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  329. Richard

    Spain was easily the best team in the tournament, Germany were made to look good by the appaling defenses of England and Argentina but once faced with a better team reverted to their usual boring selves. Spain will be impossiblwe to stop come Euro 2012 especially with a fully fit Torres.

    August 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  330. Partite Calcio Gratis

    españa es el mejor del mundo Nothing came of the goal kick you mentioned. And with regards to the corner, there was a bad corner call against spain, so that is even.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.