At long last, Spain is the champion of the soccer world.

 

Andres Iniesta scored the only goal of the World Cup final in the 116th minute, handing “La Furia Roja” a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands — and the country’s first-ever world championship.

 

Spain is only the eighth team to win the World Cup, and the first European team to hoist the trophy on another continent.

 

Yesterday’s final turned ugly early, with five yellow cards handed out in the first 28 minutes. The chippy play continued through the end of regulation, and the match appeared destined for penalty kicks until Iniesta buried a pretty half-volley.

 

Television shots showed wild parties in Madrid after the final whistle, and Amsterdam was somber.


Uruguay’s Diego Forlan took the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player for his five-goal effort. Thomas Mueller of Germany was named the best young player of the World Cup and awarded the Golden Boot for top goal scorer.