Sure kecoh! Sure heboh kalau sang sotong, Paul, yang dikata 'physic' & mendapat status 'oracle' berkenaan dikatakan telah hilang daripada akuariumnya di German? Takut hingga melarikan diri daripada diapa-apakan? Atau mungkinkah dia diculik? Hehe... Hey, he did it again yesterday, didn't he? Paul, Germany's suddenly world-famous soothsaying octopus managed to correctly predict the results of both World Cup games this weekend, leaving him with a perfect record of 8-0.
Mungkin perkara sedemikian boleh berlaku kerana dia dah menjadi 'public enemy' kepada para penjudi bolasepak di seluruh dunia yang kalah akibat 'ramalan' Paul & juga daripada sebahagian penyokong fanatik yang kecewa akan kekalahan pasukan kesayangan mereka. Bagi umat Islam cukuplah kita mempercayai Allah, kerana Paul atau apa-2 makhluk adalah pastinya tidak berkuasa melainkan semua kelebihan yang ada padanya hanya pemberian Allah yang Maha Esa. Ia menjadi perkara khurafat atau syirik jika kita meyakini sepenuh hati akan makhluk ciptaan-Nya atau bomoh atau nujum mampu memberi keputusan sesuatu perkara yang hanya akan berlaku pada masa hadapan. End of.
"The day Spain begin winning, they won't stop."How true Zinedine Zidane's words sound. Two years after the Spanish ended 44 years of hurt by captivating a continent to win Euro 2008, the real 'Golden Generation' stands as the 19th World Cup immortality as they defeated the Netherlands in Sunday's final in Johannesburg. Zidane, who represented Spanish giants Real Madrid with such distinction between 2001 and 2006, was not merely speculating when he made his bold statement a few years back. The French master was trying to explain that Spain, despite possessing a superbly talented crop of players, were perhaps being held back by a lack of confidence caused by years of failure.
It is Johan Cruyff who created the blueprint for 'Generation Barca', with his spell as coach at the Catalan club between1988 and 1996 laying the foundations that has enabled the likes of Xavi and Iniesta to blossom.
"I know the whole of Holland wanted to play Germany in the final, because they fear Spain will simply keep the ball for 90 minutes. Their only chance is if Spain fail to take their opportunities, like they did against Germany. It is Spain's game to lose, but I will take intense joy if they win it."Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque kept with the side that beat Germany in the semi-final, meaning Pedro Rodriguez started ahead of Fernando Torres. Holland, meanwhile, welcomed back Gregory van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong from suspension, meaning they returned to their first choice XI – as evidenced by them lining up with the numbers 1-11. There was also no surprise in the pattern of play in the first quarter of an hour, for Spain dominated possession and were camped in the Dutch half. Bert van Marwijk’s side seemed to be inviting pressure, and Spain’s pressing when they lost the ball meant Holland were unable to construct any meaningful attacks of their own. In centre of battle, Sneijder, Dirt Kuyt and De Jong but were up against Iniesta, Alonso and Xavi, three of the best midfielders of their generation. It would be unfair to say Dutch trio were outclassed, but they were certainly second best on that day.
A disappointing final, actually, because it was based around fouls and cards rather than technical quality or even a real tactical battle. Spain dominated the game but failed to score when Holland had eleven men on the pitch.They eventually found a way through when they offered more of a varied attacking threat, and the impact of substitutes was a key factor. Navas and Fabregas clearly influenced the game, whilst it’s difficult to remember what Elia or van der Vaart contributed. Pressing was also key – the less Holland could do it, the more Spain created.
Spain will now go down as one of the greatest international sides in history – European Championship and World Cup holders, and an incredible record leading up to both tournaments. In both competitions they have struggled to find a perfect system going forward, but the key in their success has not been their attacking play, but their defensive ability. Seven knockout games played over the two tournaments, and seven clean sheets.