Before the tournament began I said that this summer would be different. I predicted that this year we would have a first time winner. I secretly thought that Spain would be the one. And following a debut loss everybody was ready to change their predictions. I must admit that I was among these naysayers.
After all no team has ever won the World Cup following a debut first round loss and Spain knows all about disappointments from past experiences. Also this is the same national side that lost to the Yanks last summer in the Confederations Cup.
But that was then and this is now.
And is anyone more deserving of the Golden Boot and MVP trophy then David Villa? The undersized forward is putting in a gigantic effort and is offensively carrying the team. Torres has lacked the superstar form that we expect to see and perhaps he can discover it once again before the end of the tournament, but Spain isn’t joking around and today they showed that they have what it takes to advance to a first ever World Cup final. Iker Casillas came up with a few huge saves and certainly hasn’t mucked anything up and the defensive back line and midfield has impressed on a regular basis over the last four matches.
Spain was given one early break when a Paraguay forward was wrongfully called offsides and a goal was taken off of the board (these refs have been more pitiful then North Korea’s effort), but perhaps sometimes it is better to be lucky then good.
And in Spain’s case they have been both.