(Reuters) – Spain’s creative passing game and flair will continue to dominate world soccer, coach Vicente del Bosque said after his team clinched their first World Cup with a rugged 1-0 win over Netherlands on Sunday.
The game may have been anything but elegant with 13 yellow cards and one red card for Dutchman John Heitinga, but Del Bosque said Spain had been true to their nature and played with flair throughout the tournament.
“I think our effort, our flair … is never ending, that will last forever. We have excellent players in this squad and they demonstrate that every time they go on the pitch,” Del Bosque told reporters.
“Netherlands played a good game. I mean, yes, it was rough but that is part of football. I think in this final we saw offensive football. Both sides were pressing.”
Andres Iniesta grabbed the winner for Spain four minutes from the end of extra time as the game edged toward penalties with Netherlands reduced to 10 men after Heitinga was sent off with a second booking in the first half of extra time.
The Spaniards made few changes from their 2008 Euro Championship triumph and when Del Bosque took over after that win he made sure his players knew he was determined to follow the line set by his predecessor Luis Aragones.
“This World Cup title does draw from what we did in 2008,” he said.
“It is the continuity and continuation of players who were on that squad. We have a very good legacy and tried to respect that legacy.
“We simply followed on the lines of what was done back then. We only brought some players in to the squad to refresh it,” said Del Bosque.
(Editing by Jon Bramley)