The Shock of it All

Spanish keeper Iker Casillas long before decisive goal against

Somebody out there must have predicted it, but did anybody listen? What other sporting events can you remember that left so many off-balance.

Read on and let me know.

Swiss 1

Spain  0

The score will resonate for a long time in the world of soccer, and nowhere more powerfully than in Switzerland and Spain. It’s the kind of match of which people will ask: do you remember where you were when the Swiss beat Spain at the 2010 FIFA South Africa World Cup?

I present you these tilted photos of the stadium at Durban, from the match on Wednesday June 18, 2010.  This is where I watched the game from. And like so many others, my head was shaking in disbelief.

You’ve read, or will read, elsewhere about the depths of talent on the Spain,team, and how the Swiss team is a ploughman’s mix of hard-working players. I can tell you that they are as tough inside their own box as I’ve seen, playing a physical brand of soccer that the Spanish didn’t seem to want to entertain.

I spoke to journalists from both countries afterward. Pierre Poullier, a reporter with Swiss TV,  told me it was the most emotional moment he’s experienced  watching sport – reminding him of Roger Federer’s victory at the  2009 French Open. He says it’s also the most important soccer moment in the history of his country.

Eduardo Inda, Senior editor of Marca, says news of the defeat will be received in Spain as a tragedy.

It’s only the first game, but when a minnow swallows a whale, the ocean is never quite the same.

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