'I asked a ball boy to give me a ball as a souvenir. He told me he couldn’t give it to me as the game wasn’t over, but I took it out of his hands and tucked it under my shirt' Juan Mata describes the mayhem of the World Cup final whistle in South Africa

Sergio Busquets, Jesus Navas, Sergio Ramos, Javier Martinez and Juan Manuel Mata of Spain pose with the trophy in the Spanish dressing room after they won the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Juan Mata has opened up on Spain’s World Cup triumph in 2010, admitting he stole a souvenir and explaining how former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina was ‘king of the party’ in the celebrations that proceeded their first-ever World Cup win.

At Soccer City in Johannesburg, Spain defeated Holland 1-0 in extra-time, Andres Iniesta found the net inside 116 minutes to claim a historic night for the Spaniards. 

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Jacque Talbot

Jacque Talbot is a freelance football journalist who predominantly specialises in transfer stories and exclusives. He began his career in 2016 covering the world-renowned Sandbach United, of North West Counties fame, before earning a spot on the sports desks of national papers, where he bounced between several outlets such as Sportbible, the Express, Mirror, and Daily Star. An NCTJ graduate of the News Associates who swapped investigative journalism in the Costa del Sol for football reporting in Northern England, he first wrote for FourFourTwo in December 2023.

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