Cesc Fabregas has hailed an "historic moment" for Spain after helping them win their first FIFA World Cup™. The Arsenal midfielder created the only goal for Andres Iniesta in extra time against the Netherlands at Soccer City.
Fabregas has had to play a substitutes' role all tournament - including in the Final - but revealed the conquest made up for all the frustration. "This is an historic moment for Spain and it may never be repeated - I dedicate this to my whole family.
"I was a bit down because I had not played as much as I had wanted, but in the end it has all been worth it. The fans have been fantastic, the rock on which we base everything, and I hope in two years' time we will have more joy at the EURO."
Iniesta was naturally thrilled to have netted the winner. "I had the opportunity to score that goal which was so important for my team, and it's incredible," he said. "I've made a small contribution in a very tough game.
"Spain deserved to win this World Cup. It's something we have to remember and enjoy, and we 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."
Jarque tribute, Paul the popular
After he scored, Iniesta took off his shirt to reveal a T-shirt paying tribute to Dani Jarque, the Espanyol player who died after a heart attack in August. The T-shirt read 'Dani Jarque is always with us'.
"I wanted to carry Dani Jarque with me and with my other team-mates," Iniesta explained. "We wanted to feel his strength. We wanted to pay tribute to him in the world of football, and this was the best opportunity to do so."
Spain's triumph had been predicted by Paul, the psychic German octopus, and Iniesta added: "As for the octopus, what can I say? We won. The octopus will be very popular in Spain."
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque paid tribute to the Netherlands. "First of all, I should congratulate our opponents," he said. "They made it very difficult for us to play comfortably. It's been a very intense match, and congratulations to them.
"Fabregas came on and we began to dominate. We had greater ball possession and depth in our game. We created chances for Cesc and David Villa, which we could have converted, but that's the way football goes.
"The dressing room is delighted, ecstatic. But Spain, the country, deserves this triumph, this World Cup. This goes beyond sport. We have to celebrate. All the people have been behind us in Spain, and we're delighted to reward them with this victory."