World Cup: Viva España!

June 13, 2014 • 12:30 pm

Spain 1-0 over Netherlands on a penalty. Spain is clearly controlling the ball. My work is suffering.

Uh oh. A goal for the Dutch—a beautiful header—in minute 43.

And another lovely goal for the plucky Dutch. 2-1 for the Netherlands in minute 53.

And yet another for Netherlands. 3-1 in minute 63, and Spain is in big trouble. One of my colleagues, observed that I was rooting for Spain, said he hoped they’d lose. I said, “Why?” His response was, “Because they win everything.” Such are the strange reasons why people choose sides.

Spanish goal disallowed for offside.

And another goal for Netherlands, making it 4-1 in minute 73. It’s all over for Spain.

Yet ANOTHER for Netherlands in minute 79. 5-1, and a slaughter.

It’s all over: 5-1 Netherlands. Congratulations to the Dutch! Most of the Iberian peninsula, however, will be in shock.

And I don’t know how I’ll get any work done. I must somehow ration my viewing, even though this takes place only once every four years.


68 thoughts on “World Cup: Viva España!

      1. Thanks for the rude comment (you could have been polite,you know). BUT:

        “Holland is also frequently used as a pars pro toto to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands.”

          1. Did you take your rudeness pills today? It’s not incorrect that many Americans call it “Holland.” If that annoys the Dutch, I won’t use it. But, really, can’t you learn to comment more politely? This is my living room, as I tell people repeatedly. Behave like it.

            1. I don’t want to be rude, so my apologies if I have offended anyone.

              But that many people in the US use “Holland” for the Netherlands (which many in the Netherlands considers to be rude), does not many it is correct.

              1. I’m Dutch, and I don’t know ANY fellow Dutchie, who would be offended if foreigners called ‘The Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands’ just ‘Holland’.
                In fact we export stuff with a ‘Made in Holland’ sticker on it (even if they weren’t produced in any of the two provinces Mordicanus is referring to).
                We even call ourselves ‘Holland’ on main tourism sites, like:
                And we have songs (Hup Holland Hup, Ik houd van Holland) about Holland, that refer to the entire country .. so no, no problem whatsoever.
                Nobody cares.

              2. As a fellow dutchman, I know a few ones who do. Unfortunately, not many do speak up loudly. If our compatriots don’t speak about this, I can’t blame foreigners for doing so.

              3. In agreement with my compatriot Jacob I must say I don’t give a flying hoot whether people use “The Netherlands” or “Holland”. I use both and it never causes confusion. Or outrage. Or offense. Or confusion – which I then clarify by explaining where the terms originated.

                Jerry is right in calling you out for being offended-by-proxy on behalf of a lot of people you have not polled yourself.

              4. How about I, as a Canadian, agree to call it the Netherlands & pronounce gouda cheese correctly IF you all stop sending us tulips for liberating Holland in WWII. We’re Canadian, you’re welcome but we are humble. 😉

              5. That was our former Queen Juliana, who sent those gifts to express her gratitude for Ottawa, where her third daughter was born while our country was occupied by Nazi-Germany. As I have understood she was sending those gifts till her death in 2004.

              6. I think we still get them and have the Tulip Festival with them. Fine, we’ll take the tulips, but no more ceremonies!

          2. It’s interesting you find this annoying. The fact is 1/4 of the world’s population don’t call the Netherlands the way you want it called. In Chinese the word for the Netherlands (“荷兰”) was phonetically derived from and sounds like “Holland” (I don’t know from which language, but it’s clear it’s an H-word not an N-word), and the word phonetically derived from and sounding like “Netherlands” (“尼德兰”) is *not* the correct word for the Netherlands (it’s only used in referring to some historical events, such as the Dutch revolt).

            1. I asked my mother. According to her, it’s The Netherlands, but Holland is just fine. She will say she was born in the Netherlands, but the cheeses are from Holland. She never uses the word Dutch, however (too similar to Deutsch).

              Mixed blessings for me though.
              Holland won.
              Australia lost.

            2. >>I don’t know from which language, but it’s clear it’s an H-word not an N-word

              Probably from Dutch, as we were trading a lot with East Asia in the 17th century. And most of Dutch traders in those days were from the Province of Holland, which was then a quasi-independent state.

              >>it’s only used in referring to some historical events, such as the Dutch revolt.

              This is quite intriguing as the Province of Holland lost its quasi-independence by the creation of the current Dutch state in the early 19th century.

              >>It’s interesting you find this annoying.

              The reason that people in parts of the Netherlands finds this annoying, is partly the result of government policies. The former province of Holland is still over-represented in parliament, and hence most policies focus on the former province of Holland, with the result that many Dutch people leaving in other parts of the country feel neglected.

    1. Completely unjustified. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I can understand that some people think there is a FIFA conspiracy to make some teams advance for purely commercial reasons. So far it’s been the worst refereeing I recall for a start of a world cup, and it’s just been three matches!!

        1. I don’t think there is a conspiracy either, but clearly the refs are humans under a lot of pressure from FIFA. They earn good money and prestige at world cups (especially if they are selected to referee the finals); I think it is impossible fot them to keep completely clear crom the commercial FIFA interests, which must have some influence in their decisions.

            1. More evidence for FIFA corruption than the way they decide on which countries get awarded the next World Cup?

              1. Those are two separate issues.

                Bad calls happen in every sport and are very easy to explain. Refs aren’t given the tools to handle the games they referee.

                And frankly, that was technically a foul. The Spainsh defender made contact and it was enough to trip Diego Costa. That Diego Costa was dragging his feet and that it was a very weak foul he could have not fallen over from is irrelevant. That just makes it a weak PK that you should blame an inexperienced defender for giving up.

  1. Dude! I am a huge fan, but have you ever heard of spoiler alerts? Title is generic and could be about what you NORMALLY write about.

    I am unsubscribing from your blog until the World Cup is over.

    1. Okay,I get the point. I’m going to preface any post that gives World Cup results as they come in with the preface “World Cup.” Just don’t read any posts that start with those words.

      1. Good to have a spoiler World Cup alert to World Cup posts. Thank you.
        Unfortunately ‘we’ (Dutch) won. The sooner ‘we’ are out of this race the more I’ll like it.

    2. Hmm, this is an article about a match in which the current World Cup holders got turned over 5-1. I don’t know when you were planning to watch the match, but your chance of avoiding finding out the scoreline before you see it must have been quite slim.

  2. It’s not over till the biggish individual sings. I don’t think tge Dutch will give two hoots at the moment

  3. As someone who’s very English I love the Dutch… well, apart from the final 4 years ago when they played the most negative footie ever.

    Anyway, they’ve always been the team that we (English) wish that our team plays like.

  4. Incidentally, my internet provider doesn’t do ESPN, so I’m watching on Univision. Got a home computer plugged into the TV.

    I like the commentary better, even though I don’t speak Spanish.

    1. I certainly didn’t. Perhaps I should’ve predicted the Spanish defense would have trouble with the Dutch speed, but even so, I wouldn’t have guessed at such a scoreline.

          1. If they both take first in their group they’d meet in the semi-finals (if they were to get that far).

      1. Good link!

        Two teams (Italy and Brazil) have won about half of the world cups (9 out of 19). That makes the top 8% own half of the world cups!

    1. Van Persie’s equaliser in the first half has got to be the best goal of the cup so far. Great header!!

    2. Yes but frankly Holland’s defense looked very fragile. Fortunately for them Spain was awful and even more fragile in defense – especially against a team with players like Robben and Van Persie who easily get behind slow defenders and have amazing first touches.

  5. Hi Dr. Coyne, perhaps we should insert vuvuzela horn sounds from the 2010 World Cup into the telecasts. Then you would likely finish your work. 😉

  6. And the Dutch coach will be coaching Manchester United next Premier League season. I may be able to breath again.

  7. ‘One of my colleagues, observed that I was rooting for Spain, said he hoped they’d lose. I said, “Why?” His response was, “Because they win everything.” Such are the strange reasons why people choose sides.’

    I presume it’s OK to note that this impulse might be a result of our evolution as social animals who needed to maintain some level of equity to minimize intragroup friction?

  8. A wonderful revenge for the 2010 final here in SA (I still contend that Holland should have won that final, which Spain won 1-0 in extra time). Destroying the then winners by 5-1 (and the single Spanish goal was due to a clearly unjustified penalty to top it) must indeed be sweet revenge.
    That equaliser by van Persie must have been one of the most wonderful goals ever.
    If the Dutch (the ‘Men in Orange’ playing in dark blue) can keep up with this creative, inspired and beautiful type of play they deserve to finally win the tournament. They reached the final thrice, but lost on every occasion, the first two against the home team (‘Deutschland’ and Argentina respectively).
    It should be noted that both the Spanish tic-tac football, as well as the creative Dutch play can -arguably- be ascribed to the legacy of Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest players ever.
    Since my hopeless home team, Bafana Bafana, is not playing, I’m rooting for the Dutch.

  9. I enjoyed Spain’s destruction! Strangely, I’m a fan of Barcelona who doesn’t like this Spanish national team.

    I guess one reason is that in my opinion it was higly overrated. After the Spanish victory at the previous world cup and then the Eurocup, there were so many analysis that were calling it the “Best Team EVER”, or the “The greatest in the history”, e.g. on CBC, BBC, CNN, FORBES, and so on. So I’m really happy that the Dutch destruction of the Spaniards helps to quell the ridiculous media hypes that emerge these days to get more clicks and attention.

    And finally, I really enjoy watching Robben. His sprint at the last goal was incredible.

    1. ‘Greatest team ever’ accolades are always open to dispute and obviously cannot be tested in any really meaningful way but, at its peak the Spanish team was fantastic with some really great players and certainly merited being spoken about alongside other great teams from the past. Whilst I am not a supporter of Spain (I have the much more painful burden of being English!) I do hope that Spain manages to overcome this set-back and show us that they still have some of the class that won them the Word cup in 2010.

      I only saw the highlights but I’d agree with your praise of Robben – what a great player.

  10. This is all well and good — but in more important sports news, the LA KINGS HAVE ONCE AGAIN TAKEN THE STANLEY CUP! Woo-hoo! 😛

  11. This was so awesome! Special praise goes out to louis van gaal for not giving in to johan Cruyff and developing his own strategy. Now let’s hope they don’t get toi overconfident. With some luck I agree it would be really cool if we could play against Belgium, who have a stellar team.

  12. Costa dived, it was a blatant dive, and frankly Spain deserve a hiding for that reason alone.

    But in terms of the Dutch, Van Persie’s first goal was one of the greatest world cup goals I’ve ever seen, and both of Robben’s goals showed a sublime touch that typified the beautiful game. The second half was so good to watch!

  13. Surely Spain should revert to tica-taca and leave Costa out from now on. One of the – if not the main – reason they lost is they played so directly, into Costa. This lead to a lot of “losses of possession” which then turned into lethal counterattacks.

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