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The first World Cup in Africa appropriately presents something new: Spain or the Netherlands as a first-time champion. The Spaniards and Dutch will meet Sunday at Soccer City after winning tight semifinals. For the Spanish, it will cement the legacy of their "Golden Generation," believed to be their most talented group of players ever. For the Netherlands, it is the chance to upset the odds and claim a historic, underdog victory.
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Spain is playing in its first-ever World Cup final. Since winning the 2008 European Championship, and since November 2006, has lost only 2 games.
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The Netherlands is playing in its first World Cup final since 1978 and is in the middle of a 25-game unbeaten streak, winning 10 straight.
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Spanish striker David Villa has scored 5 goals in the tournament and is tied for the tournament lead. He's had a hand in 6 of Spain's 7 goals in the tournament with 5 goals and an assist.
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Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder is arguably the world's most in-form midfielder. He won the Champions League at club level with Inter back in May and is tied with Villa with 5 goals in this tournament.
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The Spanish captain, Casillas had a shaky start to the tournament which was unusual for the usually sure-handed goalkeeper. Nicknamed "Saint Iker", Casillas has long been regarded as arguably the world's best goalkeeper
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Mark van Bommel
The Bayern Munich star is a no-nonsense, hard-tackling (some would say dirty) holding midfielder for the Dutch, who also happens to be Van Marwijk's son-in-law.
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Spanish playmaker Xavi is regarded as the finest passer in the world and the key to Spain's possession style in midfield.
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Robin van Persie
Arsenal star Van Persie is regarded as one of the finest forwards in the world and was supposed to have more of an impact in the tournament. Other than a goal against Cameroon in the group stage though, he's been very quiet.
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Iniesta is Xavi's sidekick at both club (Barcelona) and country and adds a bit more pace and creativity than Xavi. Also highly-regarded in world soccer.
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Along with Sneijder, Robben makes the Dutch go. The speedy but injury-prone winger has been in superb goal-scoring form and can operate on both the left or the right wing.
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The inspirational defender gives his all every game and delivers in the clutch on both ends, as shown by his winning goal against Germany.
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Bert van Marwijk
The former Feyenoord manager has brought a more pragmatic approach to the Netherlands team by using dual holding midfielders.
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Vicente del Bosque
Former manager of Real Madrid, Del Bosque took the reins at Spain after its Euro 2008 triumph.
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