Spain had never even sailed past the quarter-finals. Then tika-taka befuddled foes and thrust them to the Soccer City showpiece. Then Andres Iniesta stuck the adidas Jabulani home to make Spain the eighth FIFA World Cup™ winners. FIFA.com recalls the fascinating figures behind La Roja’s conquest.
per cent was the pass-completion rate of Sergio Busquets and Carles Puyol – the joint-third-highest of the tournament behind Ricardo Carvalho (89 per cent) and Felipe Melo (90 per cent). Xavi made a competition-best 544 passes.
kilometres – the distance of two marathons – is the unparalleled total Xavi covered during the tournament. Bastian Schweinsteiger did 400 metres less in second place. Only another two players – Maxi Pereira and Sami Khedira – cleared 75 kilometres.
per cent of Spain’s goals were scored or assisted by David Villa – a record for a World Cup-winning side since 1962. El Guaje is followed by Diego Maradona (71 per cent of Argentina’s in 1986), Romario (64 per cent of Brazil’s in 1994), Paolo Rossi (58 per cent of Italy’s in 1982) and Pele (53 per cent of Brazil’s in 1970).
years had passed since a side won the World Cup Final in their second-choice shirts until ‘The Red’ did it in dark-blue. After England beat West Germany in red in 1966, West Germany had lost to Argentina in green in ’86, Argentina had fallen to West Germany in dark-blue four years later, and France had been overcome by Italy in white in 2006.
solo runs is the South Africa 2010-high surprisingly made by Spain right-back Sergio Ramos. He was followed by Lukas Podolski (27), Andres Iniesta (26), Lionel Messi, David Villa (both 25) and Arjen Robben (24).
points from a possible 30 is what Spain got in South Africa 2010 qualifying. Only three other teams have survived a preliminary campaign of at least five matches with a perfect record – Brazil in 1970, West Germany in 1982 and the Netherlands also in 2010.
consecutive penalties – a World Cup record – is what Spain had scored in matches until David Villa lost their 100 per cent record by stroking the ball wide against Honduras. Jose Iraragorri, Roberto Lopez Ufarte, Juanito, Andoni Goikoetxea, Emilio Butragueno, Michel, Pep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain, Fernando Hierro thrice in succession, Villa, Fernando Torres and Villa again had converted all of La Roja’s hitherto spot-kicks. Xabi Alonso then missed Spain’s next penalty against Paraguay.
yellow cards is what Howard Webb distributed in the Final – one every 8.6 minutes on average and easily more than the previous record of six, set by Argentina and West Germany in 1986. Spain had earlier become the first team since Hungary in 1986 to survive a World Cup’s group stage without collecting a booking.
teams had a superior goals-to-games ratio than Spain (1.1) at South Africa 2010 – Germany (2.3), Argentina (2.0), Brazil (1.8), Portugal (1.8), the Netherlands (1.7), Uruguay (1.6), Korea Republic (1.5), Côte d'Ivoire (1.3), Italy (1.3), Slovakia (1.3) and USA (1.3). Spain, who netted eight times, became the lowest-scoring side to win a World Cup. The previous low was 11, set by England in 1966 and equalled by Brazil in 1994.
out of the 10 was the rating that saw Ramos top the Castrol Index. The Camas native was one of five Spaniards in the first six, along with Joan Capdevila (2nd), Puyol (3rd), Gerard Pique (5th) and Villa (6th). Germany’s Phillip Lahm came 4th. Only three of Joachim’s triumphant 2014 squad made the top ten on the Castrol Index – Toni Kroos, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller.
hours and 16 minutes: that is what Spain had played before Iniesta finally ended their extra-time goal drought at the World Cup. Spain failed to score in the additional 30 minutes against Italy in 1934, Belgium in 1986, Yugoslavia in 1990, and Republic of Ireland and Korea Republic in 2002.
uncapped players made Del Bosque’s squad – Victor Valdes, Javi Martinez and Pedro. The seven men cut from Spain’s provisional squad were David De Gea, Diego Lopez, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Senna, Santi Cazorla, Dani Guiza and Alvaro Negredo.
players scored for Spain at South Africa 2010 – No5 Puyol, No6 Iniesta and No7 Villa – a record low for a World Cup-winning side. A record ten players netted for Italy at Germany 2006.
World Cups is what Iker Casillas is the only goalkeeper to save penalties in (excluding shoot-outs). 'Saint Iker', who denied Republic of Ireland’s Ian Harte at Korea/Japan 2002, dived south-west to catch the effort of Paraguay’s Oscar Cardoza with deadlock intact in their quarter-final. Casillas later revealed Pepe Reina, one of his deputies, had told him where Cardozo would put the ball.
pre-tournament favourites have won the World Cup since odds were publicised ahead of the 1978 event – Brazil, who were joint-favourites with Germany in 1994, and Spain in 2010. The other pre-tournament favourites were West Germany in 1978 (reached the second round), Brazil in 1982 (second round), Brazil in 1986 (quarter-finals), Italy in 1990 (semi-finals), Germany in 1994 (quarter-finals), Brazil in 1998 (Final), Argentina in 2002 (group stage), Brazil in 2006 (quarter-finals), and Brazil in 2014 (semi-finals).
team has lost its first game and gone on to win a World Cup: Spain. Of the other three sides to have lifted the Trophy having lost a match, two of them – West Germany in 1974 and Argentina in ’78 – did so in their final group outing, when qualification to the knockout phase was already secured. The only unbeaten team in South Africa was surprisingly New Zealand.
losses in 85 years: that was Spain’s record against Switzerland until Gelson Fernandes bundled home the so-called ‘scrappiest goal in World Cup history’ to seal a 1-0 upset in their Durban curtain-raiser. Spain won 15 and drew three of the sides’ first 18 encounters.
goals conceded in the knockout stage is what Spain of 2010 are the only World Cup-winning side to achieve. The two goals La Roja conceded overall tied the record for least goals conceded by the champions, shared by France of 1998 and Italy of 2006. West Germany leaked 14 goals en route to glory in 1954.