Lineker said it. He really said it. You were waiting and then when it came it was like a bit of regurgitated ice-cream at the back of the throat. It was a 'victory for football'.
Well, I'll go so far as to say it was a victory for Spain and they played better football than Holland. That's about it.
It was a bloody abysmal final, right up there with 1994. And there are three reasons for this.
Reason 1. The Dutch. Every time I've switched on a radio this last week I've heard some git banging on about Total Football. It's allowed nostalgics to get misty-eyed and talk about players of the past in plurals - your Cruyffs, your Reps, your Neeskenseses (?).
Clearly that was then. Van Marwijck has set about that legacy like a Tory chancellor going at a budget deficit. And he left us with Van Bommel and De Jong, which is presumably Dutch for shock and awe.
I know you can't let a side like Spain just pass the ball about like a crack team of 17th century firefighters with a bucket, but neither can you seek to disrupt their flow by scything them down like so much Iberian barley or stamping on their hearts.
I noticed de Jong crossed himself like a Christian as he was subbed off. It was the first Christian thing he bloody well managed. Maybe he was worried about tracking back with Jesus (Navas). Meanwhile van Bommel stomped around like a cyberman with bad hair, bleating away at the ref every time he deigned to give a decision against the Oranjes.
Upfront they had a single threat. Robben bob-bob-bobbed along in the usual way, all high-stepping pace and left foot and tumbling like a stilton in a cheese-rolling contest. What is about the selfish, hawk-eyed, whingeing, uni-pegged slaphead that I don't like, I wonder?
I was delighted that it was Arjen who failed to take the best chance of the match.
Reason 2 was of course Howard Webb. I don't entirely blame the bloke. You can imagine the dictats winging their way from FIFA HQ. They'll be marking you Howie, so do your best to earn the Sepp ticks. And if you doubt the doggedness of FIFA in trying to get what it wants then just ask the Mandela family. Sepp, he's ninety fucking two and he spent twenty-seven years in jail. He'd probably like to watch it on the telly at his house, you unsympathetic twot.
[NB Note for England players: The jail in question was called Robben Island. I realise you probably thought it was a theme park based on the antics of a mazy left-winger from the Low Countries, but a little research might have told you summat about where you were playing the tournament, you ignorant nerks.]
No doubt there's a prerogative to keep all the players on the pitch (unless the opposition starting XI has been deleted by a Dutch holding midfielder). But clearly Webb should have fronted up and removed De Jong from proceedings. I've not seen Jackie Chan play football but I know now what it would look like.
The constant stream of bookings - I swear by the end of the game he was walking around like a tour guide with the yellow card permanently in the air - didn't inhibit the Dutch. It was almost like the responsibilty for kicking the opposition just got shifted on to someone else.
To be honest, there wasn't much else Webb could've done. Vamn Marwijck can moan all he likes about Puyol staying on the pitch (deliciously because Robben stayed on his fett. HA!)Frankly, Iniesta was taken out more times and by more people than your average school bike, and I was pleading for Howard to just stop the game, pick up the ball and roll it past Stekelenburg.
So it was 1-0. For all their mastery of a football - even one as goddamn floaty and crap as the Jubblibubbli - Spain never took enough of their chances to be truly celebrated.
There again, this is FIFA at its worst (reason number three). As an organisation it seems desperate to make things difficult for itself. The ball was as difficult to keep down as a teenage erection, but also the stadiums were left vacant when vast quantities of poor black people would've given their eye teeth to watch a game.
Furthermore, having employed technical genius to come up with a ball you wouldn't buy for a quid from the corner shop, they failed to engage similar technology to actually make the game better.
God knows England didn't deserve anything less than an utter drubbing from Germany but the ease with which the Lampard shot could've been confirmed as a goal just beggars belief. After all, Zidane got dismissed in last year's final cos of the intervention of some 'extra' officials who'd been watching the telly like the rest of us.
FIFA have to introduce technology now or the game will go down the pan. All this slo-mo HD stuff just reveals the true extent of skulduggery at play, and at the very least, as I've said so many times I want to punch myself in the face, you can used video footage to ban the serial divers for 5 games minimum.
So this wasn't a competition to savour. And the Dutch nearly brought it to the ugliest conclusion.
I've mustered a team of the tournament?
Maicon (Brazil), Lucio (Brazil), Puyol (Spain), Capdevila (Spain);
Xavi (Spain), Arevalo (Uruguay), Iniesta (Spain);
Mueller (Germany), Forlan (Uruguay), Villa (Spain).
Of course Sneijder, Ozil and Schweinsteiger should be in there too but I liked the Uruguayan clogger.
Above all, though I will remember this World Cup as a line in the sand. Not only do we hold on to the notion that Spain are the best team in the world cos they look nice when they play footy, it's cos they do things that English footballers - Rooney included this time around - are completely unable to do.
They're what the relentlessly alliterative Hansen would call touch and tecnhnique. I call it brilliance and bollocks. The Germans have power, pace and penetration. We have disdain, disgrace and disinterest.
In with the new. As soon as is humanly possible.