Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Sorry, Germany, but Proper Justice Was Served; Class Apart: Spain's Man of the Tournament, Marcos Senna, Was Far Too Good for the Germans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Sorry, Germany, but Proper Justice Was Served; Class Apart: Spain's Man of the Tournament, Marcos Senna, Was Far Too Good for the Germans

Article excerpt

Byline: MATTHEW NORMAN

KAISER WILHELM, Adolf Eichmann, Marlene Dietrich, Gunter Grass,Kraftwerk, Johann Sebastian Bach, Leni Riefenstahl, Rainer Werner Fassbinder,Nena and your 99 red balloons, Otto von Bismarck, my friend Frank from theTurkish baths in Bayswater, Michael Stich, Albert Einstein. Can you hear me,Brothers Grimm, can you hear me? Your boys took a hell of a beating, a hell ofa beating ... such a savage and sustained hiding, in fact, that I can't recallso absolutely one sided a tournament final.

From about the 15th minute, when Spain's first serious attack settled thenerves that had threatened to paralyse them, this was an Hispanic masterclassin sharp, crisp, elegant possession football and the Germans could only huffand puff in perpetual retreat.

They were clueless almost everywhere, but especially in both full-backpositions, in the face of opposition vastly superior in every regard.

Finally, then, that ancient cliche must be interred. Spain are no longer whatGary Lineker called "the biennial underachievers of world football"(technically correct, I suppose, since they have screwed it up every twoyears).

Today they are the great achievers of European football and who would dare betagainst them going global in their domination when the World Cup reaches SouthAfrica in 2010? For with such majestic talents as Fernando Torres, the gloriousCesc Fabregas, the brilliant but alarmingly pale-faced Andres Iniesta, man ofthe tournament Marcos Senna and the absent David Villa, this is potentially oneof the great national sides.

Did any of us dare believe that they would translate their ostentatious talentadvantage over everyone into victory? I know I didn't.

Every fatalistic bone in the body murmured that Germany would do to Spain whatthey did to Turks and commit floodlight robbery once again. …

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