World Cup: Foes fight for the same dream
As kids growing up, one in Spain, the other in Holland, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Iker Casillas both admit they dreamed of one day hoisting the World Cup trophy.
"It's been a dream of mine since I was small to hold the World Cup," said Spain's Casillas, generally acknowledged to be the best goalkeeper in the world.
Sitting behind the same table a half-hour earlier, Netherlands captain Van Bronckhorst, whose team will battle Casillas and Spain in Sunday's World Cup final, made a similar confession.
"As a kid, you follow the World Cups," he said "And when the cup is lifted, it is a very special moment."
Van Bronckhorst, 35, promised that this World Cup would mark the end of his career. But he admitted Saturday he only hoped that final match would come in the World Cup final, a place the Dutch haven't been since 1978.
"It's special," the Dutch backliner said. "Three months ago I announced that I was retiring after the tournament. And naturally you would like your last match to be the final."
The Dutch have lost both times they're reached the World Cup title game. And Spain has never been there, so a new champion will be crowned Sunday for the first time in a dozen years. What would it mean for Van Bronckhorst to walk off the field for the last time holding his sport's ultimate prize?
"Only a precious few players can do that," Van Bronckhorst said. "So it is a dream for me to lift that cup."
The same dream the 29-year-old Casillas has.
"But there's only one team that can win," Van Bronckhorst said. "And we hope it's us."
-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from Johannesburg