Alonso feared the worse

Xabi
Alonso fears he may have broken a rib after describing Nigel de Jong’s
challenge in the World Cup final as “one of the worst tackles” he has suffered.

Holland
midfielder De Jong was fortunate not to be sent off in Sunday’s Soccer City
showdown after a kung-fu style kick into Alonso’s chest in the first half. The
Spain ace was able to continue playing before being replaced by Cesc Fabregas
towards the end of normal time, but he was unhappy with De Jong’s tackle.

“It
was one of the worst tackles I have ever suffered,” said the Real Madrid
midfielder. Reigning European champions Spain have now become the third side,
after West Germany and France, to hold both tournaments at the same time.

No
country has ever managed three on the trot, which will be Spain’s task in two
years’ time at Euro 2012, and they have already been installed as favourites to
complete a memorable hat-trick.

Alonso
accepts there is plenty of work ahead of his team-mates before then, but the
raw talent is certainly there. “Right now is not the time to think about the
future, but of course the basics are there with this team,” he said. “The style
is there, the mentality is there and the team spirit is there. If we keep
working in this way many more big things may come.”

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