13 July 2010

Take Me Somewhere Nice

"It's very beautiful over there."
- Thomas Edison, American inventor

I've waited 25 years for this day. Ever since I could fathom what a World Cup title meant to my hometown, nay my nation; it was a great achievement that never graced the national team.

Until 11 July 2010.

The final match against Holland was without beauty. There were too many yellow cards played by referee Howard Webb. [Note: I understand how difficult it is to referee a match, especially with the pressure of The Final.] My Amsterdam friends were Tweeting about being 'dirty Dutch.' Many, many easy shots were botched. Not one penalty score. I spent the whole game curled up on the couch, barely sipping water, stomach in knots.

Íker Casillas did wonderful keeping. Holland never scored. Halftime rolled in, the roommates and I had a brief reprieve with a chance to stretch our legs and bemoan the zero score. The second half passed with close calls, leaving us on the edge of our seats. Then, first overtime ended. Time dwindled in the second overtime. I feared this Cup would end up like the last one, with Italy v France's penalty shootout.

Then in the 116th minute of the match, Jesús Navas' strategy of invading enemy territory to gain possession of the ball finally paid off. Cesc Fàbregas passed to Andrés Iniesta, who used a half-volley shot to propel the national team to history.

Immediately, Iniesta tore off his jersey to reveal his tribute to Daniel Jarque, his deceased childhood friend and captain of RCD Espanyol. "Dani Jarque: siempre con nosotros" in true España spirit.

I prayed for the remaining three minutes to pass quickly. When the final whistle was sounded, I had to wipe my slightly damp eyes.

Casillas showing the trophy to TRH The Infantas Leonor y Sofía.

Landed at Madrid-Barajas Airport.

Finally, the trophy is located in my homeland.

Pictures courtesy of FIFA.

1 comment:

  1. Very complete take on the game! Now I know what I missed in the first half. But, more importantly, you have a unique take on the importance of the win.