July 11, 2010. Stadium Soccer City, Johannesburg (South Africa). Spain and the Netherlands play the final of the World Cup. Minute 61. It was minute 61 on all clocks. Busquets loses a split jump to Sneijder, who invents an impossible pass from the ground to uncheck Robben. Piqué did not get to intercept the ball, nor did Capdevila, who was caught on foot by the ball. Robben starts running. Whole Spain holds its breath.
Robben accelerates with the ball sewn into his left boot and is planted in the Casillas area. Many Spaniards cover (we cover) their eyes as if we were before a scene of terror. Iker leaves his goal and comes face to face with Robben as in a Western duel. Casillas hold on until he can’t take it anymore and expires to his left. Robben sees it and puts the ball to the opposite side. Tragedy is chewed. It will be a goal. So when everything seems lost Iker takes the foot of God and prevents the Netherlands from going ahead.
It was the 61st minute on all clocks. Puyol congratulates Iker with a gesture between anger and relief. Robben throws his hands to his head because he knows that the World Cup was at that stop. He was right. In that move Spain began to feel world champion, despite the fact that the final was being a headache for ours. Casillas supported the team and with the foot of God it all started.
« At that moment what I tried was to preview what he could do, » Casillas says years after that play. « Robben had been my partner at Real Madrid and he already knew more or less what his abilities were. I tried to give him a little more left side to try to dribble around, but then he decided to shoot on goal and I was able to get the right foot out quickly.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of that stop that, like so many others in Iker Casillas’ career, is part of football history. And of the history of Spain.