Spain Wins World Cup Over Netherlands, 1-0 Thirty-two teams traveled to South Africa for the soccer's World Cup. Spain came out on top Sunday in dramatic fashion. NPR's Mike Pesca fills in guest host Lynn Neary on how the drama between Spain and the Netherlands played out. Lynn also talks with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Madrid, Spain ,and Rob Gifford in Amsterdam.
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Spain Wins World Cup Over Netherlands, 1-0

Listen: NPR Coverage Of The World Cup Final

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128449663/128449671" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

LYNN NEARY, Host:

We're back with ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

MARTIN TYLER: Now it drops to Fabregas. He looks for Iniesta who's onside.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TYLER: Spain score.

NEARY: Welcome, Mike.

MIKE PESCA: Hi.

NEARY: What a game that was. Tell us about those final minutes.

PESCA: Yeah, that clip makes it sound like a good game, but it was not.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

PESCA: I can't definitively say that Spain was the best team on this day, but they were at least the Netherlands' equal, and there is some justice in the fact that Spain is now the champion, the World Cup champion.

NEARY: Well, how unusual was it for a World Cup final to go that long?

PESCA: And that kind of happened in this game. The Spanish team, who are so good at possession and so good at controlling the ball, just mishit so many balls. But finally, after almost two hours of soccer, we got some justice in an actual goal.

NEARY: Yeah. Well, I mean, maybe it wasn't Spain's best game, but, you know, what did the Dutch do wrong? What did they need to do that they didn't do?

PESCA: And so the Dutch tried as best they can, hard luck for them. They've been in three World Cup finals, and they've lost all three. So it's the agony and the ecstasy for the Dutch.

NEARY: We're going to go overseas now, Mike. So thanks so much for joining us.

PESCA: You're welcome.

NEARY: Sylvia, what's it like there now?

SYLVIA POGGIOLI: Now with this goal at the last minute, it's - of course, it's just incredible. It's happiness, and it's going to go on all night.

NEARY: Yeah, well, this is Spain's first World Cup victory, right? I mean, they've never even been to a final before, as you said. So this must really mean a lot to people there.

POGGIOLI: But, you know, they were always considered sort of the underachievers. They've never made it. And it really has boosted the morale in this country tremendously because Spain is going through a horrendous economic crisis. And this is bound to really pull everybody's spirits up for - at least for a while.

NEARY: Well, Mike Pesca was just saying that maybe Spain didn't play its best game today, but it sounds like people there aren't really going to care about that too much now that they've won, huh?

POGGIOLI: But this is - it's turned out to be a unifying element. Even in Barcelona, which is the capital of Catalonia, which is seeking independence, and in the Basque lands, where even more aggressive separatist movement exists, there have been - Spanish flags have been flying. So at least for this one time, La Roja, the red, the red of the flag, has - seems to be unifying all the people who live in Spain.

NEARY: Sylvia, thanks so much for joining us, and have a good time there.

POGGIOLI: Thank you, Lynn. I will.

NEARY: Rob, how are the Dutch holding up there?

ROB GIFFORD: People drifting away now. I'm right in the heart of Amsterdam, and there were huge crowds here watching on screens and in bars, and just real disappointment that it hasn't turned out to be.

NEARY: I can't help noticing how much more quiet it is there than...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GIFFORD: The Spain - the Spanish side were very, very good indeed. And I think there's no hard feelings. But, of course, the Dutch would've loved to have won their first World Cup final. But there's no hard feelings, because I think the Spanish - in the end, many people felt they were the best team on the night.

NEARY: Well, Rob Gifford, thanks so much for telling us how it is there in Amsterdam tonight. And I told Sylvia to enjoy herself, and you try and enjoy yourself too.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

NEARY: Thanks very much.

GIFFORD: (Unintelligible) be a few people drowning their sorrows here tonight.

NEARY: Okay.

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