Twice previously have Oranje made the finals. Both times, they lost. I was 11 when this happened in 1974, and although I didn't care about football then (other than having an occasional friendly kickabout with the neighbour's sons), I do remember the general despondency that descended on the nation after the match. But also the optimism that next time, our lads would surely prove unbeatable. And then they lost again, in and to Argentina, in 1978. The general feeling then was that we was robbed, and it had all been a conspiracy between FIFA and the generals. No wonder we felt elated when those same generals got their comeuppance in their confrontation with Mrs. Thatcher a few years later.
32 Years it took Oranje to find their way back into the finals. Strange that it should have happened for the team that plays a different type of football to the one that made Oranje's reputation. In fact, our opponent Spain appears to have been playing that kind of combination football more than Oranje during the whole of this tournament; but then, their selection includes 6 or 7 blaugranos, and Barça were led by Cruijff and Rijkaard, and have employed a total of 35 Dutch players since the 70s. Something's bound to have rubbed off.
Spain have been playing the most attractive football over the course of this tournament. The Netherlands have been playing the most effective -- they've remained unbeaten in 25 successive matches. Can they make it 26? They can, if they keep their wits about them: come out and attack from the very first minute, play for possession, keep pressing, and don't give away too many chances. That includes taking care not to get booked too often: it's a telling fact that Oranje have accumulated 15 yellow cards during their stay in South Africa, while Spain has only been given 3.
In conclusion, I do hope that Oranje will bring home the trophy. But Spain perhaps deserve it more, because they've been playing a better, more attractive and entertaining football, and on grounds of general sportsmanship.