Five years ago today, on 11 July 2010, the Spanish national team won the country’s first World Cup ever after beating the Netherlands 1–0 in the Final in Johannesburg, South Africa. The lone goal came courtesy of FC Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta, who fired home a volley after 166 minutes of play for the latest game-winning goal in World Cup Final history.
But Iniesta wasn’t the only blaugrana representative on that championship squad. He was just one of eight FC Barcelona players to represent Spain in that World Cup. Iniesta was joined by goalkeeper Victor Valdes, defenders Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué, midfielders Sergio Busquets and Xavi Hernandez, and strikers David Villa and Pedro. That block of players formed the backbone of Vicente del Bosque’s team. Seven of the eight were starters in the Final.
Villa, who had just signed with Barça that summer, won the tournament’s Silver Shoe as the second leading scorer of the competition. Iniesta was voted Man of the Match of the Final. Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi, and Villa all made the tournament’s 11-man all-star team.
Spain’s World Cup title came at the same time as a remarkable period for FC Barcelona, which had just bagged six titles the year before the World Cup and won four more titles in the 2009/10 season. Barça’s dominance, and it’s players, continued to exert powerful influence in Del Bosque’s squad during what was a golden era for both teams.