Spain captured its first World Cup trophy on Sunday, and as SI.com‚Äôs Grant Wahl writes, the prize now rests in the hands of the tournament‚Äôs top team.
Andr√©s Iniesta‚Äės title-winning goal with four minutes left in overtime gave Spain its fourth straight 1-0 victory in the Cup and made it the third team ever to simultaneously be world and European champion. Of course, the latest win certainly wasn‚Äôt pretty. The teams combined for 14 yellow cards and one red card to make it the dirtiest Cup final by far (the previous record was six yellow cards in the Argentina-West Germany final in 1986).
Next stop for the Cup: Brazil. And, writes Wahl, perhaps the teams of 2014 will follow Spain‚Äôs lead to bring out the best in the sport.
In the meantime, here‚Äôs what you can look forward to today:
MLB Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The field is set for this year‚Äôs slugfest, and five newcomers have made their way into the lineup: American Leaguers Vernon Young, Nick Swisher and Hanley Ramirez and National Leaguers Chris Young and Corey Hart. They face stiff competition in Derby veteran David ‚ÄúBig Papi‚ÄĚ Ortiz, 2006 contender Miguel Cabera and 2007 participant Matt Holliday. But let‚Äôs be honest: The only reason we watch this thing is in hopes of witnessing a repeat of 2008, when the Rangers‚Äô Josh Hamilton pelted a record 28 homers in the first round before succumbing to the Twins‚Äô Justin Morneau in the final round.
Tour de France, Stage 9 (7 a.m ET, Versus)
Today's 204-kilometer leg of the Tour de France is considered the toughest stage in the Alps. 204 km. It has four mountain passes, including the Col de la Madeleine, and is expected to separate the strongest riders from the rest of the pack.
Lance Armstrong's bid for an eighth win in the Tour de France came to a sorry end Sunday on a dramatic eighth stage won by Andy Schleck of Luxembourg. Australia's Cadel Evans took over the race leader's yellow jersey, leading Schleck by just 20 seconds, with defending champion Alberto Contador in third place, one minute and one second down.
NBA Summer Leagues (ESPN 3, NBA TV)
The games are under way, and this year‚Äôs draft picks, as well as a handful of veterans, are going head-to-head, hoping to make their names known before the 2010-11 season kicks off. No 1. pick John Wall made his debut Sunday night against the Warriors, and he‚Äôll return to the court today at 10:30 p.m. ET to face Eric Bledsoe and the Clippers.
So far, Devin Ebanks, who was picked 43rd overall by the Lakers, has scaled the Rookie Ladder after dropping 21 and 24 points in two straight games. L.A. faces the Knicks today at 4 p.m.
Among the other top draftees putting their talents on display are No. 5 Demarcus Cousins, whose Kings face the Pistons at 6 p.m. ET, and No. 4 Wesley Johnson, whose Timberwolves take on the Spurs at 6:30 p.m.
BY THE NUMBERS
Age of Bob Sheppard, the legendary Yankees announcer, who died Sunday. Sheppard, who was nicknamed ‚ÄúThe Voice of God,‚ÄĚ started with the Yankees in April 1951 and announced his last game in September 2007. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter still uses a recording of Sheppard‚Äôs voice for his introduction.
The World Cup record of Paul the octopus, who accurately predicted the victors in each of Germany‚Äôs seven matchups in the Cup, as well as the Spain-Netherlands final.
Lance Armstrong‚Äôs finish in Stage 8 of the Tour de France. The seven-time champion got caught up in three crashes along the way to finish 12 minutes back. His shot at another victory in his 13th and final Tour is gone.
Team USA‚Äôs fairy-tale run in the World Cup came to a quick end (and left much to be desired for 2014) Saturday when it fell to Ghana 2-1 in overtime. Though U.S. fans may still be grieving, there‚Äôs plenty to look forward to in the sports world, including Wimbledon, Major League Baseball and, yes, even the Cup.
- Netherlands vs. Slovakia (10 a.m., ESPN)
The Dutch enter the round of 16 with a flawless record, but they have a history of faltering after strong tournament starts. This could be their chance to prove otherwise, as they face Slovakia, who upended the defending champion Italians 3-2 on Thursday. The Netherlands‚Äô star striker Arjen Robben returned Thursday after spending three weeks on the sideline nursing a calf injury to help his team take down Cameroon, 2-1. He may get the start as the Dutch look for more production up front. They better be careful though: Six players carry yellow cards, and a second one would result in a suspension for an ensuing matchup against Brazil or Chile.¬† SI.com: U.S. World Cup post-postmortem
- Wimbledon, Day 8 (Noon-5 p.m., ESPN2, NBC, Tennis Channel)
Rivalries continue in the fourth round at Wimbledon, as No. 8 Kim Clijsters and No. 17 Justine Henin face off in what is sure to be a battle. Their last two meetings ended in a third-set tie-breaking win by Clijsters, and Henin seems determined to reverse the trend.
Also on the women‚Äôs side is a must-see match-up between top-ranked Serena Williams and No. 16 Maria Sharapova. Williams hit 19 aces in her win over Dominika Cibulkova on Saturday, but if anyone has a knack for beating the Williams sisters on grass, it‚Äôs Sharapova.