This was probably the best World Cup since 1986. The four quarterfinal games were as good as you get at this level, only two games were decided on penalty kicks in the later rounds, and the Spain-Netherlands final was an attractive matchup.
Netherlands great Johan Cruyff probably never expected the style of play he made synonymous with attacking soccer would pay off for Spain. Or that the Spaniards would use it against his country in the World Cup final Sunday.
Diego Lugano of Uruguay reacts after Sami Khedira scored in the 82d minute to give Germany a 3-2 lead in the third-place game of the World Cup. The Germans then held on, withstanding a last-second free kick by Uruguay star Diego Forlan.