Saturday, July 10, 2010

FIFA World Cup Final: Spain Vs Holland : Adidas Vs Nike

I am telling you straight up, you cannot write the future! Nike tried and let me say this, this has been THE The Nike Curse put onto every star featured in the video. ( see original posting on the Goal Blog posted on NYT: The Curse of the Nike World Cup Commercial? )

Now if you are lazy to click the link, basically the ad features 5 players who were picked by Nike as potential stars of this year World Cup.

  • The three-minute-long epic in question, Nike’s “Write the Future” ad, shows five players in the heat of battle in South Africa imagining how the fans back home will react to their performance. The players are some of soccer’s biggest names: Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, England’s Wayne Rooney, Brazil’s Ronadinho, and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo

Yeah, Ronaldinho was not even picked to play for Brazil. The article did not mentioned other players like Frank Ribery and Theo Walcott (LOL! Like Ronaldinho he was not even picked to go to Africa). (Hey, did you see how Roger Federer got his ass kicked by Rooney in table tennis in the ad? LOL! Federer lost badly in the French and Wimbledon! LOL!) Anyway, these players did not just lose but they really had a terrible World Cup. Drogba barely made it and scored only one goal, Cannavaro, Rooney, Ribery were all humiliated. Ronaldo made no justification to him being the world most expensive player. I could ramble on and on but there's one short cameo in the video which featured Spain. In Rooney's sequence of how he wrote the future, the Nike ad showed Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas, and Gerard Piqué throwing down newspapers in disgust. Very interesting. Rooney became the star and the obvious reason why the Spanish players would throw down the newspapers in disgust is England won. However, as the future could not be written in advance, in reality, the English lost and got humiliated.

And the Spaniards?

They are NOW in the World Cup Final! And they play they play the Nike team not featured in the ad, Holland!

LOL! Go figure that one out.

They probably figured that since they used Drogba in the opening star player sequence in a bright orange outfit, they probably thought it would be misleading and distracting if they featured the Dutch in the clip!

Anyway, here we are, the Dutch vs the Spaniards and it's Nike vs Adidas.

LOL! If the curse theory is correct, well the obvious winner should be Adidas and Spainards!


Ok, how about from a football perspective. :D

The Dutch is powered by Sneijder and the first thing that comes to mind was Sneijder had a truly wonderful season with Inter Milan and on his way to the Champions League finals, Sneijder and Inter Milan totally outplayed Barcelona in the semis. Now the Barcelona perspective is interesting because more than half of the Spanish team played for Barcelona. So could Sneijder and his Dutch compatriots repeat what Inter did to Barcelona?

And obviously the comparison will be made between Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk and Jose Mourinho. Many would like Bert van Marwijk simply because he's not arrogant, not like Jose and isn't it amazing that the Final would be played tomorrow and nothing much has been written on the Dutch coach. This was until yesterday. On the Telegraph: World Cup final: Bert van Marwijk is the glue that holds Holland together

  • His methods are pragmatic and conservative. He is not a tactical risk taker and has quite willing sold the 'soul’ of Dutch football in exchange for the assurance of victory.

I believe that sums it up nicely about Holand and Bert van Marwijk.

However, let me say this, I am impressed with him in Holland's victory over Brazil. As mentioned in the posting FIFA World Cup: The Last Four:

  • I thought the first half, Brazil totally murdered Holland. Yes, in my opinion, Brazil owned Holland totally in the first half and the Dutch were extremely lucky to end the half down just 1-0.

But Bert van Marwijk should be given all the credit in the world for changing the outcome of the match. This is where I am so impressed. This is the very hallmark of a great coach. Bert saw and realised that his team was NOT only getting beat but being absolutely outclassed by the Brazilians in the first half. He then was able to rectify the position by making the necessary tactical changes in the team game plan. Not many coaches in the game is able to do this! And for this, again I say that I am impressed with Bert van Marwijk!

  • And sensing that the Japanese referee was holding back the yellow cards, the Dutch came out more aggressive in the second half and got away with tons of fouls.

    Then the Brazil gave away 2 silly goals and their attempt to come back ended with the moment of insanity by the sub on Robben.

    Having said all that, hats off the Wesley Sneijder! He was superb. His skills was back up such utter determination and the will to win! That's the hallmark of a true champion.

So could and would Bert van Marwijk employ Jose Mourinho's game plan against the Spaniards? Would he employ the same tactics and press the Spaniards all the way up field? Remember, Mourinho had his Milan players pressing Barcelona full backs and center backs right from the start. Barcelona weren't given the time and space to pass and develop their play. Well the Dutch did exactly in the second half versus Brazil. It was their pressing that forced Brazil to concede two rather silly goals. Would the Dutch do the same? Could the Dutch play some really disciplined football to prevent the Spaniards from playing their quick short passes? Would Bert van Marwijk employ his general, his street gang leader, Van Bommel, to shackle the brilliance of Iniesta and Xavi? Would it work?

But what about the Spaniards. The Spannish team is a whole lot toigher in the very heart of the team because Sergio Busquests has Xavi Alonso playing beside him and not the blundering Seydou Keita. Xavi Alonso for me, is the very, very clog in the Spanish team. He's the one that makes things happen for the Spanish. He's the one that allows and creates for Xavi and Iniesta, the room and the space to play. When Germany lost, folks quickly pointed out Thomas Muller wasn't playing. Well from this similar sort of perspective, for me, Xavi Alonso is so important for the Spanish. And if you ask me, the key focus is on Sneijder and Xavi Alonso. Whoever plays well shall lift the trophy for their country!

Busquets obviously is the hacker and so is Van Bommel. Van Bommel has probably the slight edge because he tends to only give away the constant 'small' fouls. Whereas the young Busquests could make an error. With Horward Webb being the referee, between Busquests and Van Bommel, whoever draws the first card, would be at a disadvantage.

And yes it should be a titanic battle. The Dutch led by the rather conservative and pragmatic coach should probably surrender the bulk of the possession to the Spanish and try to hit the Spanish on the counter attack with lots of pressing. Neither team would want to give away the first goal because they both realise that both teams could keep the ball very well once in the lead. Yeah, I do reckon it's a low scoring final.

And who do I predict to be the winner? Time to pick a stance and not sit on the fence. It's going to be tough. Both teams deserve to be in the finals. Seriously. They are the best 2 teams in the final. No doubt. LOL! Well from the first day, I always maintained that the team with the best defence would lift the trophy and the Spanish do have the best defence. That would be my call and looks like I believe very much in the Nike curse!


Btw here's an incredible video showing Queen Sofia meeting the Spanish players in the dressing room after their victory over the Germans and the Spanish hero of the night, Carlos Puyol, showed up with just his towels! LOL!

ps: Howard please do give book Robben if he start his play acting nonsense! I really would hate to see the Final being marred by such nonsense. Comeon, play the game like a man. Not like a sissy! Not like a bloody pondan!


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"I have been enjoying the football World Cup like any other fanatic. And since I am a

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like herself. 2010 World Cup

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. Come tomorrow evening, some dreams will be realised and some will be

shattered. Winning the World Cup is the ultimate achievement, but it's not the only thing that will attract the headlines

this summer. Spain vs Netherlands Live Streaming. Here's a run down of some of the tournament's most memorable moments from A-Z.Paul the octopus picked Spain to

win, and he's by no means the only one. Our friends at the International Sports Press Association conducted a poll with

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