JOHANNESBURG - Spanish defender Carles
Puyol should have been the first player to be sent off by
referee Howard Webb, according to Arjen Robben after his Dutch
side lost the World Cup final 1-0 against Spain on Sunday.
The Spanish defender, already booked in the first half,
committed a foul on the Dutch winger 10 minutes from time when
he sped past him but Robben continued and was denied by
goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
"When I got my second chance the referee should have given
us a free-kick and Puyol a (second) yellow card," Robben told
"He gave the advantage but there was none as I could hardly
move and the goalkeeper was too close already."
After beating Brazil in the quarter-final, Robben was widely
criticised for his diving but in the final he stood firm instead
of making clear to the referee that he had been fouled.
"As a player you always want to go on and especially 10
minutes before time in a World Cup final when you are heading
towards the goal," he added.
"When I missed my first chance it was simply my error - I
was not patient enough and should have gone around him instead
of this poor finish," he said of his 62nd minute opportunity
when he broke through from a superb pass from Wesley Sneijder.
The Dutch afterwards said they were less than impressed with
the referee's performance during the final.
Webb showed eight Dutch players a yellow card and sent off
Netherlands defender John Heitinga in the first half of extra
"When you play a World Cup final you need also a world class
referee and - I have to be careful what I say - this was not
the case for this match," Robben added.
However, the winger was lucky himself not to be dismissed
after deliberately playing on after the whistle had blown for an
infringement. It would have been his second yellow card but Webb
simply admonished him.
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