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Posted by Eduardo Alvarez on 07/13/2010

I owe you a quick explanation before my last couple of posts. It has to do with the predictions I wrote at the end of the Spain – Holland preview.

My five (not so) random predictions were:

1) Xabi Alonso will score off a long-range shot.

2) Casillas will have at least three awkward moments with the Jabulani.

3) Del Bosque will not replace more than one player during the first 85 minutes of the match.

4) Howard Webb won’t show more than two yellow cards and won’t award a penalty kick to either team, regardless of what happens inside both areas.

5) Remember those US$ 200 that I saved? I’ll have spent them in food and drinks within 18 hours of my arrival in Joburg.

Have you ever heard of reverse-jinxing? That was exactly what I did with my predictions. Three things worried me the most before the match started: a) Webb letting the Dutch foul constantly and not booking players, b) Casillas having an off night, and c) Del Bosque taking too much time to replace players who are clearly tired. That was the body of my five predictions, only the exact opposite because that is how reverse-jinxing works. I have another rule to use the reverse jinx, which is that you have to give up at least one thing that you would really want to happen (Xabi Alonso scoring, let’s call it a sacrifice bunt)… And finally, I included #5 because it was so clear that there was NO chance for me to NOT spend those US$200 in less than 18 hours that I thought it would transfer some credibility to my remaining predictions.

What did actually happen?:

1) Xabi didn’t score: check (it was a sacrifice bunt, remember?)
2) Casillas had his best match of the tournament. Not a single awkward moment with the Jabulani. Check.
3) Del Bosque made his second substitution in the 84th minute: check, but not by much.
4) Howard Webb showed 14 yellows and one red: despite the number of cards, not really a check. He should have shown two reds in the first half, which would have changed the match completely. And the Dutch are still complaining, go figure.
5) OF COURSE I SPENT THE US$200!!! Took me 8 hours and 45 minutes because a good friend insisted in paying for lunch on Saturday… I was on pace for 4 hours…


Posted by Anonymous on 07/13/2010

what about the long dutch return ball to casiallas after spain kicked it out for an injured dutch player? As it bounced over his head and toward the goal I was thinking exactly of your predictions.

In any case, thanks for the great writing throughout the world cup-- your columns (and Phil Ball's too) are part of the enjoyment of following spain.

Posted by Aatif Hussain on 07/13/2010

Hey Ed, Great blog throughout the tournament. I know it's already been two days, but I think it's important for me to point out that
Spain. Have. Won. The. World. Cup!
It's seems unreal! So unreal that I'll have to come back and remind everyone again in a couple of days.

Posted by adelina on 07/13/2010

muchas gracias for the blog, eduardo
i really really really enjoy reading all of your detailed & humorous writing
sure will miss it now the world cup is over

viva espana!!!!

Posted by Spanasian on 07/13/2010

Still in ecstasy...

Puyol and Capdevila, you deserved to win the WC and Euro before retiring. I would just like to spare a thought for Raul for not being able to be part of this. Yes I know Raul may have messed up the dynamic but he deserved to win something after his years of outstanding service to the team.

Also feel for Marcos Senna, our best player at the Euros. Might have been easier if he were around.

Anyway, the future's looking bright. With Xavi, Iniesta, Xabi and Busquets still in their prime, and players like Fabregas, Canales, Navas and Muniain waiting in the wings, the midfield's future looks incredibly secure. Up front, Villa and Torres will be around for a while yet, and Bojan, Llorente and Negredo could well blossom in the coming years. All we need to find are world-class replacements for Puyol and Capdevila. Don't think there's even a need to bring up the goalkeeping department.

I'd say the only team that can rival Spain on paper at Euro 2012 is Germany. Can't wait!

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Eduardo Álvarez has written about Spanish football for Soccernet since Euro 2008 in Austria, where he witnessed a rare Spanish victory. He'll follow the Team Formerly Known as The Armada to South Africa, and will bring you all the news and gossips from the Spanish camp.

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