Buddies ready for a final fling
COLLEAGUES at a Paisley sports shop are getting shirty over the outcome of tomorrow’s World Cup Final.
Spain will fight it out with the Netherlands in a bid to win football’s greatest prize and sports fans across Renfrewshire will be settling down in front of their TV sets to watch the action.
But the feast of football has been creating some friendly rivalry between David Leith and Leanne Weir, who both work at the Sports Direct store in Paisley’s High Street.
Paisley man David, 29, lived in the Netherlands for four years and is desperate to see the Dutch masters – who lost back-to-back World Cup finals in 1974 and 1978 – make it third time lucky.
But 31-year-old Leanne is a big fan of Spain and will be cheering on Carles Puyol and his men.
As he donned the Netherlands’ famous orange kit, David told the Paisley Daily Express: “I lived in Holland for four and a bit years and saw a lot of the country during that time.
“I lived in a city called Deventer in the north of Holland for two years and then spent six months in Amsterdam before spending a couple of years in Rotterdam and finally moving to Eindhoven for a short spell.
“I still have a lot of friends over there and I’m hoping the Dutch can go on to win the World Cup.
“I’ve supported them all the way through the tournament and they are playing really, really well. I can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t go on to win the final.
“They have played some terrific football and have got some big-name players like Rafael van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben. These four guys are key players who are capable of winning any game.”
Mum-of-two Leanne, from Foxbar, Paisley, will be watching tomorrow night’s game with her kids Jordan, 13, and six-year-old Amy and is confident Spain will come out on top.
She said: “I’m backing Spain and I think they are favourites to win it now. They have got David Villa and Fernando Torres up front and those two guys are world class.
“It will be a tough game as Holland are playing really well but, despite losing their first game, Spain have been pretty consistent.
“I might even have a wee flutter on Spain to win the final.”
An estimated global TV audience of 750 million people is expected to tune in for tomorrow night’s big match, which takes place at the 85,000-seatery Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Express took to the streets of Paisley to find out if World Cup fever has bitten deep and among those who can’t wait for the game is 12-year-old Linwood lad Ross Carson.
He is backing Spain to win 2-1 tomorrow night.
Ross added: “I’ve watched all of Spain’s games and have supported them right through the tournament. My favourite players are David Villa and Fernando Torres.
“I think Villa and Puyol will score and that will be enough for Spain to win.”
However, retired building inspector James Walker can’t see past a Dutch victory.
The 78-year-old Paisley man said: “I’m looking forward to the final and I think it will be a victory for the Dutch.
“They have got a bit more flair about them than the Spanish. I reckon Spain like to pass the ball to death, whereas Holland have got a bit more of a cutting edge.”
Rosemary Clark, 32, admits she’s not much of a football fan but the World Cup Final will be a big event in her home nonetheless.
The Paisley woman said: “I’ll be watching the game but only because my man will have it on.
“I think Spain will win but I’m only choosing them because I like the Spanish accent!”