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David Villa ended his international career with a sterling performance for the Roja

Group B was the first of the groups to complete its fixtures in the 1st round of the FIFA World Cup 2014 and also marks the end of the reign of Spain as world champions. The 3-0 win over Australia did restore some modicum of pride for the fallen champions and it was highlighted by one special moment that culminated in the opening goal of the match.

David Villa was on hand to score the first goal of the match. A clever back flick as he had to readjust his body to get onto Juanfran’s low cross that was just a little behind Villa. That was Gillette’s Moment of Steel as it was also Villa’s final significant contribution on the playing side of Spanish national team football. He will be retiring at the end of this tournament and it was a good send-off for the effervescent striker.

His tally stands at 97 international caps and 59 goals, playing in arguably the best period for Spanish football with dominance in both national and club stages. After the problems surrounding the Spanish camp after the opening two defeats and thus relinquishing the World Cup trophy that they’ve held for 4 years, it takes courage and self-motivation to go into the last group game still looking to put in a performance.

That performance was embodied none more than Villa, who at 32 years of age, showed tremendous mental fortitude to continue to excel at the highest level. The disappointment of missing out of Euro 2012 and the bulk of the 2013 club football due to injury, Villa’s steely determination to get back to full fitness was praise-worthy. This was ultimately a less than satisfactory outcome for Spain but for a moment early this morning, a real hero got the applause he deserves.

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