'Dreams' for Spain, 'Trauma' for Dutch
There were predictably contrasting headlines coming from the Spanish and Dutch media after the World Cup final: a "dream come true" for one nation, another World Cup "trauma" for the other.
Spain's daily newspaper El Mundo exlaimed on its website: "Spain, Spain, Spain! The World Cup has crowned one of the best teams of all time."
El Pais read: "The dream has come true." Marca hailed the scorer of the goal's only game, Andres Iniesta, saying: "Iniesta took us up into heaven. We suffered, but it was worth it."
AS said "Spain deserved its victory against a Dutch team that never stopped pushing us throughout the match".
Sunday's 1-0 loss, the Netherlands' third defeat from three World Cup finals, was the "Third trauma for Orange," according to De Telegraaf. "The World Cup in South Africa will enter Dutch history as the third football trauma," it said.
Iniesta's goal "plunged the team and the Netherlands into deep mourning", said the Algemeen Dagblad. "After a blood-curdling evening in Soccer City, the world title remained just out of reach of the Orange Eleven. Spain was too good in the final, even it if only came to fruition in the second half of extra time."
Trouw read: "Netherlands Silver, Spain Gold. Spain defeated the Netherlands with a goal from Iniesta. It was a match without brilliant play."
Public broadcaster NOS said: "The dream is over, the Netherlands did not become World champions."
AD Sportwereld blamed referee Howard Webb for the defeat, saying: "The Dutch national team perished in the World Cup final - thanks largely to a chump of a referee."
But it wasn't just the Dutch media that stuck the boot into Webb.
"Holland were able to count on an unexpected ally: referee Howard Webb, who allowed the Dutch to get away with brutal fouls time and time again,'' El Mundo Deportivo said.
AS agreed, saying: "It was a bad display by Webb, who handed out 12 cards and sent off Heitinga but failed to punish De Jong, (Mark) Van Bommel and (Arjen) Robben.''
"Iniesta ensures justice is done,'' claimed Marca, before launching a furious tirade against Webb. "Webb is a narcissist who needs a quota of protagonism which doesn't correspond to him, a bad referee yesterday and almost always."