Del Bosque: Beautiful game
Vicente Del Bosque holds the World Cup trophy. (AP)
Johannesburg - Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque hailed his country's first World Cup win as a triumph for football's finest traditions.
"Today is a reward for beautiful football," the former Real Madrid coach declared in the aftermath of a 1-0 win over a Dutch side that had unsuccessfully attempted to bully his side into submission.
"Everyone in the dressing room is ecstatic," he added. "Spain, the country, deserves this triumph. This goes beyond sport. We have to celebrate and are delighted to be able to offer this victory to all the people of Spain."
The Spanish coach graciously side-stepped questions about the tactics deployed by the Dutch, who had Johnny Heitinga sent off and seven other players booked in a final that was partially disfigured by the volume of illegal challenges.
"I should congratulate our opponents," Del Bosque added. "They made it very difficult for us to play comfortably and they had some good chances.
"To try and match Holland when they are playing at that pace is very difficult but we did it and, for the most part, I think we dominated the match."
Pressed on whether he had feared that the Dutch tactics might pay off in the minutes leading up to Andres Iniesta's 116th-minute winner, Del Bosque would not take the bait.
"I'm here to speak about the beautiful things of football," he said. "Holland played a good game. It an even, balanced match. Yes it was rough at times but that is part of football."