spain 2010 world cup trophy casillas.

Why the people of one country don’t believe Spain won the 2010 World Cup

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It might be difficult for younger readers to get their heads around the fact Spain didn’t used to be very good at major international tournaments.

They were widely regarded as international football’s perennial underachievers - even more so than England - because they would consistently disappoint at every World Cup and European Championship.

Spain hadn’t won a major international trophy since the 1964 European Championships, but that all changed in 2008.

Under Luis Aragones, La Roja stormed to victory in Austria and Switzerland, defeating Germany in the final thanks to a first-half goal from Fernando Torres.

Spain then proved this was no fluke by winning both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 under Vicente del Bosque.

To win three international tournaments in a row is a truly remarkable feat and an achievement that will be remembered forever.

Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas kisses

One country doesn't regard Spain as the WC2010 winners

However, it turns out there’s one country that doesn’t recognise Spain as the winners of the World Cup in 2010.

Per the Spanish newspaper Marca, people in North Korea have apparently been led to believe that Portugal were the victors.

Bizarre, eh?

Alvaro Leite, a flight attendant with TAP Portugal who visited North Korea last April, revealed this fascinating piece of information during an interview with Sabado magazine.

He claims North Koreans were informed Portugal had won the tournament following their defeat at the hands of Carlos Queiroz's men in the group stages.

"Throughout our visit to Pyongyang we had the company of a guide who spoke English," Leite told Marca's Primera Plana. "He told us that Cristiano Ronaldo is a true idol for many people and that football has a very high importance and popularity across the country."

Portugal v North Korea: Group G - 2010 FIFA World Cup

He added: ”It was then that the idea formed in the country that Portugal had won, they were 4-0 up against North Korea when, due to embarrassment, the government regime cut the broadcast.

”It was after the 60th minute, when Tiago scored, so no one in the country saw the other three goals of Portugal's 7-0 win."

Portugal's striker Cristiano Ronaldo cel

What's the reason for this?

Marca explain that the “4-0” win over North Korea was used to elevate Portugal’s status.

North Korea’s defeat at the hands of Portugal was deemed acceptable because of their opponents’ incredible talent.

North Korea's starting lineup pose befor

Little did the people know that three more goals were scored in the final 10 minutes of the match through Liedson, Ronaldo and Tiago.

Portugal didn't make it past the last 16

Marca add that although they’d been hammered ‘4-0’, the blow was softened for the North Korean public by the thought of Portugal going on to win the tournament.

However, Queiroz’s side didn’t even make it past the Round of 16.

Portugal's striker Cristiano Ronaldo (L)

Spain knocked their Iberian neighbours out of the tournament before beating Paraguay, Germany and then the Netherlands in the final.

And it seems much of the North Korean public are still none the wiser.

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Fernando Torres
La Liga
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