ON THIS DAY: Spain finally wins the World Cup
On July 11 in history: A Late strike from Andres Iniesta helps Spain beat Netherlands to win 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg; Italy comfortably overwhelms West Germany to win 1982 World Cup in Madrid.
Already European champion, Spain finally got its hands on football’s top prize as it edged the Netherlands in a final riven with cautions. The disappointing final appeared headed for a penalty shootout, until an Andres Iniesta strike four minutes from the end of extra time. Spain, previously the great underachievers in World Cups, became the eighth country to win the tournament. In victory, Spain became the first European team to triumph outside its continent. For the Dutch, it was another disappointment, its third defeat in a World Cup final.
Having dispatched Brazil in the 1982 tournament, Italy’s confidence ahead of the World Cup final against West Germany was running high, especially as striker Paolo Rossi was back doing what he did best — scoring. Rossi put Italy ahead with his sixth goal in three matches. Midfielder Marco Tardelli soon doubled the lead, his celebration one of the most memorable in World Cup history. Alessandro Altobelli added a third to give Italy a surprisingly easy victory, despite a late consolation goal from Paul Breitner. The 3-1 victory ensured Italy won its third World Cup after a 44-year wait.