Spain was obviously fantastic yesterday, everything that Peña Nieto, with his relatively paltry six-point margin, was not. And Spain did it against a succession of worthy rivals, whereas Peña Nieto had the equivalent task of beating England, Serbia, and Andorra.
Iniesta also seemed the best pick to me for MVP, even though I read a fair number of comments throughout the tournament that he wasn't playing at his absolute best. That's probably true enough--his finishing wasn't what it could have been, and he never had a game quite as dominating Xavi's yesterday or Xabi Alonso's against France. However, he was among the two or three most important players in every game, while every other player possible contender for the trophy had significant lapses in which they were conspicuously less influential. He was also a huge factor in Alba being so dangerous--those two will be fun too watch next year as Barça tries to recapture what's theirs in Spain.
Finally, I've mentioned how any article on Mexico in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, or Washington Post subsequently becomes a news story in Mexico, even when there is nothing newsworthy to a Mexican audience in the original text. You could interpret this either as US newspapers conferring some sense of expertise that would warrant coverage, or as just a general interest in what the rest of the world (especially the gringos) is saying about us. My instinctual reaction in either case is that this is a bit odd, both because there's no inherent expertise in a news story, and because American news media (lamentably) doesn't regularly show much interest in the rest of the world's opinion of the US.
But if an Excélsior nota on a standard Post drug violence feature is a
bit absurd to my eyes, I simply cannot fathom why the Spanish
sports magazine As would turn to the New York Times, of all sources, for validation following yesterday's win:
Worse yet, it was their general interest columnist, George Vescey, who was cited (though he was writing for their soccer blog). Vescey comes across as a knowledgeable follower of the sport, but he's not a soccer specialist, and I would bet that they average Spanish fetus is endowed with more soccer insight than the typical sports-story-of-the-week columnist in the US. (See Jemele Hill's performance in South Africa for more.) Reading this article gives the same sensation I might have seeing a blurb from Bill Simmons on the cover of Cormac McCarthy's next novel.