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Netherlands 0-1 Spain (aet)

Iniesta dedicates winning goal to Jarque

July 11, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Andres Iniesta dedicated his winning goal in the World Cup final to former Espanyol defender Dani Jarque, who died after suffering a heart attack in August 2009.

Andres Iniesta
GettyImagesAndres Iniesta celebrates

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Iniesta scored in extra-time in Johannesburg's Soccer City to give Spain a 1-0 victory over Netherlands and their first ever World Cup title. The triumph under Vicente del Bosque comes just two years after their victory at Euro 2008.

When Iniesta volleyed the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg he ripped off his kit to reveal a vest reading "Dani Jarque is always with us." Iniesta explained that he did so to honour the memory of his deceased friend.

"The manner in which it happened, we gave everything," Iniesta said. "To win the World Cup there are no words to describe it.

"This is for Dani Jarque, for my family, for all of the people. It is the result of hard work over a long time and some difficult moments.

"I can't quite believe this yet. I had the opportunity to score that goal that was so important for my team, and it's incredible. I've made a small contribution in a very tough game, a very rough game - there were all sorts of things happening on the pitch.

"Spain deserved to win this World Cup. It's something we have to remember and enjoy, and should feel very proud of everyone in this squad. The manner in which it happened, we gave everything. To win the World Cup - there are no words to describe it."

Spain's World Cup triumph was foretold by Paul the psychic octopus, the resident of Sea Life Oberhausen who has famously correctly predicted all of Germany's results at the World Cup finals.

When presented with two Perspex boxes, both containing mussels, he opened the one adorned with the flag of Spain rather than Netherlands on Friday.

Iniesta said: "As for the octopus, what can I say? We won. The octopus will be very popular in Spain."

Cesc Fabregas came on as a substitute for Spain and set up Iniesta for his winning goal. The Arsenal midfielder said: "This is an historic moment. Many thanks to everyone [in the team], you are the best, I thank you."