Spain Wins The World Cup In Spite Of Debilitating Nike Ad

Truth be told, before yesterday the first part of the title was as absurd as “The Red Sox win the World Series” would have been 10 years ago or even “Longhorns top the Sooners” during the early naughts.

Spain’s National Team, La Furia Roja, had a knack for falling flat on their collective face World Cup after World Cup. This all changed yesterday to be sure, after La Furia Roja defeated the Netherlands, who have now lost 3 World Cup Finals (’74, ’78, 10), 1-0.

I believe however that the breakthrough which culminated yesterday began in Euro 2008, which the Spanish won by besting Germany by the same score they beat the Dutch yesterday. That tournament set them on a course of excellence, winning 35 matches in a row until they shockingly lost to the U.S. at the 2009 Confederations Cup held in South Africa.

They then proceeded to breeze through World Cup qualifiers, becoming a favorite to take home the hardware in South Africa entering as the #2 squad in the world according to FIFA. In their first World Cup match, La Furia Roja fell to the Swiss, prompting echoes of “Different World Cup, same old Spain”.

Spaniards readied themselves for another World Cup collapse by their beloved team, blame was sent down bizarre avenues.

Yet, here we are July 12, 2010 and the FIFA World Cup trophy will call Spain home for at least the next 4 years.

A more remarkable feat may be that Spain won despite three of their players’ involvement in Nike Soccer’s “Write the Future” ad (watch it here).

An ad made before the start of the World Cup featuring England’s Wayne Rooney, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Italya’s Fabio Cannavaro, Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba, France’s Franck Ribéry, Brazil’s Robinho and Ronaldinho. To say that the campaign was a poor prognosticator of World Cup success is a vast understatement, a rundown:

Wayne Rooney failed to score a single goal despite scoring 34 with Manchester United last season and England bowed out in the Round of 16 where they got punked by Germany 1-4.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored one goal in 4 matches and Portugal lost to Spain in the Round of 16.

Fabio Cannavaro looked old and slow while leading Italia towards a first round exit.  At least il capitano got to touch the World Cup trophy yesterday as he brought it out onto the pitch.

Didier Drogba found the net once but that might have been due to the fact that he broke his arm 7 days before the World Cup in a friendly, and his team didn’t make it out of the first round.

Frank Ribery plays for France, enough said.

Robinho had a good World Cup, netting 4 goals in 5 games,  thus he’s an anomaly in this pantheon of unfulfilled potential.

Ronaldinho is perhaps the most embarrassing one of all.  Nice of Nike to bring him in to shoot a fancy commercial and also get Kobe Bryant to join in only to watch as Ron doesn’t even make Brazil’s World Cup Squad

Spaniards Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas, and Gerard Pique appear together and very briefly in the Wayne Rooney part of the spot, here’s a vidcap [Photo credit/Nike],

Despite their cameo in the Nike campaign here’s how they fared:

Iniesta scored the goal that Spain will remember until the Lord returns.

Fàbregas, though having broken his leg in March, had the assist on the goal that Spain will remember until the Lord returns.

Pique was a stabilizing force in Spain’s backfield covering for fellow Catalan Carles Puyol’s lack of pace. The man also takes home the obscure “Galen Award” for shedding more blood for country than any other player in the tournament.

Maybe Nike should have hired a certain clairvoyant cephalopod as a consultant prior to dropping all that keish writing the future.

I have no connection to Spain other than my primary language is the language they invented and perhaps that my great-grandfather came to México from Spain. My fútbol loyalty will forever primarily lie with Mexico’s Tricolor De Todos Los Mexicanos.

That said, I drew no small amount of satisfaction from watching Spain triumph over the thuggish tactics of the Dutch and hoisting aloft that most cherished of the sporting world’s trophies.

¡Viva España! At least for the next 4 years until México finally fulfills the unrealistic fantasies of a whole nation.

Now that the world’s best sporting even is over and done with, what will be the most enduring memories of South Africa 2010?

If you’re suffering from World Cup withdrawal, here’s some help.

Here are 2 wonderful columns on what this historic win could mean for Spain,

Spain’s Win: Cosmic Justice

How World Cup victory stirred Spain’s forgotten patriotism

2 Responses to Spain Wins The World Cup In Spite Of Debilitating Nike Ad

  1. Joe Linton says:

    You wrote “Cristiano Ronaldo scored one goal in 4 matches and Portugal lost to Brazil in the Round of 16.” Generally your characterizations are accurate and it’s inconsequential to your overall point, but Portugal lost to Spain in the round of 16, and tied Brazil 0-0 in group play.

    I hadn’t noticed the Spanish players in that Nike video until you pointed them out. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: