World Cup Final – The Most Watched Game On Earth

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Well, it all comes to an end tomorrow… the month long soccer festival known as the World Cup has its final and it promises to be a mouthwatering match as Holland take on Spain. Neither team has won the cup before so we are assured of a new winner. For Spain this is their first final while the Dutch have been here before and lost on both previous occasions.

In 1974, a fantastic Holland side lost to Germany. It was a travesty. The side was coached by Rinus Michels, who pioneered “Total Football” at Ajax Amsterdam in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Johan Cruyff was part of that side and the duo teamed up again in 74 to lead the Dutch World Cup campaign in Germany. They played some fantastic football….fantasy football in a way,  and marched on to the final. It started well for them as Wolverhampton referee Jack Taylor gave the Dutch a penalty just seconds into the game,  as Cruyff was unfairly tackled and the fabulous Neeskens converted before the Germans even had chance to touch the ball. Unfortunately the Netherlands couldn’t hold onto the lead and the Germans came back to win 2-1.

Four years later, the World Cup was held in Argentina. It was a ticker tape affair as mountains of paper floated down to the pitch before every game but it didn’t stop the Dutch marching to the final where they met the hosts. The game ended up going to extra time after Mario Kempes had given Argentina the lead in the first half and Dick Nannings equalized on the 82nd minute mark. It ended up with a 3-1 scoreline favoring Argentina after the extra 30 minutes play.

So, the Dutch will be hoping for third time lucky. Unfortunately, it seems fate is conspiring against them, as an Octopus named Paul, of all things, has predicted a Spanish win. You may mock and laugh at the idea but so far the octopus has correctly predicted 6 games on the run.

The only real issue once the final is done is…what on earth am I going to do now? I suppose a return to normal work is called for… anyone know if there’s a tiddlywinks contest going on somewhere?

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