Spain vs Netherlands. The Eighty Years' War between the two countries, aka the Dutch War of Independence, went from 1568-1648. The Ninety Minutes' War goes this Sunday at 8:30pm.
So while the bad blood between countries has been diluted by some 362 years of peace, the excitement is mounting in the days leading up to the big match.
Some other interesting perspectives regarding Spain and the Netherlands:
- The orange colour sported by the Dutch dates back to Willem van Oranje (William of Orange), who was the main leader of the Dutch revolt that kicked off this war. He was also known as William the Silent. He also often had gastric problems, upon which occasions he became known as William the Silent but Deadly.
- Neither team has won the World Cup before.
- Holland's last appearance in the finals was 1978; Spain has never made it.
- Spain is currently ranked number 1 in the world football rankings, Holland number 4. Gabon is 42nd. Canada 63rd.
- Spain is famous for many things, including the running of the bulls. The Dutch, never keen to admit they don't know something, are famous for the running of the bull---t.
More facts to come as the weekend devolves into a haze of celebrations, heat, and a once-in-a-generation event for both countries.