FIFA World Cup

Watch: World Cup 2010, when David Villa and tiki-taka reigned supreme against Portugal

The resolute Portuguese were left dazed as Xavi and co displayed a passing masterclass at Cape Town.

During the tail-end of the first decade of the new millennium, a new term stormed its way through the football experts’ lexicon – tiki taka.

Barcelona, under Pep Guardiola, had become the club the world had started to look up to. Their football was mesmeric. In two seasons, they had amassed a staggering seven trophies including two league titles and a Champions League leading up to the 2010 World Cup.

The rare blip in Copa del Rey aside, Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan showed the blueprint to the rest of the world in halting the rampant Barca winning machine: letting them have the ball but closing spaces down between the midfield and the defensive line. On the counter-attack, hit them with space.

Portugal stuck faithfully to formula that their countryman had devised in the round of 16. Spain had a stuttering start to the campaign with Switzerland pulling off a shock upset in first group stage match.

The Selecao had progressed to the round of 16 without conceding a goal but finished second behind Brazil. Spain smarted from their loss to win against Chile and Honduras to top their group.

Much of Portugal’s hopes were riding on talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. As a team, Spain were a well-drilled unit and had won the European Championships two years ago. Predictably, Spain were dictating play from the middle of the park through passmasters Xavi and Xabi Alonso. Despite getting a handful of chances, Portugal and goalkeeper Eduardo stood firm to thwart their neighbours’ best efforts.

Three minutes after the hour mark, Xabi Alonso passed it forward to Xavi after roaming into space in the opposition half. He passed the ball forward to Xavi, who made a sideways pass to Barca teammate Andres Iniesta.

Iniesta turned and found striker Fernando Llorrente in the box. The tall striker had men surrounding him and made a quick return pass to Iniesta. The Barca man then slipped a pass on his left to Xavi, who, with a backheel found David Villa.

The forward’s shot was initially saved by Eduardo but the latter had no chance to get his hands on the rebound. Spain held on to their lead. While Mourinho showed how to close down space, Spain showed how to open them with needle-like passes and slick one-touch play. They would go on to lift the World Cup for the first time in a couple of weeks.

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A special shade of blue inspired these musicians to create a musical piece

Thanks to an interesting neurological condition called synesthesia.

On certain forums on the Internet, heated discussions revolve around the colour of number 9 or the sound of strawberry cupcake. And most forum members mount a passionate defence of their points of view on these topics. These posts provide insight into a lesser known, but well-documented, sensory condition called synesthesia - simply described as the cross wiring of the senses.

Synesthetes can ‘see’ music, ‘taste’ paintings, ‘hear’ emotions...and experience other sensory combinations based on their type. If this seems confusing, just pay some attention to our everyday language. It’s riddled with synesthesia-like metaphors - ‘to go green with envy’, ‘to leave a bad taste in one’s mouth’, ‘loud colours’, ‘sweet smells’ and so on.

Synesthesia is a deeply individual experience for those who have it and differs from person to person. About 80 different types of synesthesia have been discovered so far. Some synesthetes even have multiple types, making their inner experience far richer than most can imagine.

Most synesthetes vehemently maintain that they don’t consider their synesthesia to be problem that needs to be fixed. Indeed, synesthesia isn’t classified as a disorder, but only a neurological condition - one that scientists say may even confer cognitive benefits, chief among them being a heightened sense of creativity.

Pop culture has celebrated synesthetic minds for centuries. Synesthetic musicians, writers, artists and even scientists have produced a body of work that still inspires. Indeed, synesthetes often gravitate towards the arts. Eduardo is a Canadian violinist who has synesthesia. He’s, in fact, so obsessed with it that he even went on to do a doctoral thesis on the subject. Eduardo has also authored a children’s book meant to encourage latent creativity, and synesthesia, in children.

Litsa, a British violinist, sees splashes of paint when she hears music. For her, the note G is green; she can’t separate the two. She considers synesthesia to be a fundamental part of her vocation. Samara echoes the sentiment. A talented cellist from London, Samara can’t quite quantify the effect of synesthesia on her music, for she has never known a life without it. Like most synesthetes, the discovery of synesthesia for Samara was really the realisation that other people didn’t experience the world the way she did.

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You can watch Eduardo, Litsa and Samara play the entire Sound of NEXA Blue composition in the video below.


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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.