Iniesta remembers World Cup triumph 10 years on: Valdes' hug was special

It't been 10 years since Spain were crowned Champions of the world

Iniesta recuerda el Mundial de Sudáfrica diez años después | EFE.

The Spanish national team lived through moments of enormous tension in the final stages of the 2010 World Cup final against Holland in South Africa. 

They had their dream at the tips of their fingers, but the result was not assured despite the fact they had one man more following the dismissal of John Heitinga. 

The explosion of joy finally arrived when the referee Howard Webb blew the whistle for full-time. 

Andres Iniesta fell to his knees, lifting his arms and closing his eyes. That intimate moment took on even more significance emotionally when his close friend Victor Valdes ran over and they both shared a hug on the pitch. 

It's a moment the scorer of the winning goal in that final, Iniesta, remembers well. 

"It was a magic moment," he tells SPORT, 10 years on from Spain's World Cup triumph. "In that moment when the final whistle goes, a million things come to your mind, situations, things you've been through to get here, how it ended, the emotion and the joy running through your body. 

"The sensation was amazing and that Victor was the first to arrive was very significant and very special for me." 

Valdes did not play a single minute at the World Cup in 2010. He was one of three goalkeepers in the squad, along with Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina. Despite Casillas being first choice, though, Valdes still played a key role. 

On a sporting level, he lifted the competitiveness of the training sessions and, emotionally, he was a key part of the support network for Iniesta, who didn't have the easiest of tournaments despite the happy ending. 


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