Who will win the World Cup? The analysis you won't see elsewhere

Dutch won

So it's here. And since Paul isn't likely to survive to the weekend, I'll take on the onerous task of making the predictions.

I think The Netherlands will win. Why? Because they have bald guys who head in goals. And everyone knows that bald guys who head in goals win you World Cups. Just ask Aldair, Junior Baiano and Leonardo. And one of their bald guys is so badass, that he's named after one of the world's most famous and forbidding prisons. Also, as twitter user @nilotpalc pointed out, they're one of the few countries with an article in their name. Unless Spain hurriedly rename the country as "A Spain", this may prove to be a critical advantage. In addition, Robin Van Persie performs the valuable service of being a useless forward who depends on his midfielders to get goals, a role performed so superbly by Stephane Guivarc'h for France during their memorable win in 1998.

Also, like almost all world-cup winning sides in recent memory, they have, in Wesley Sneijder, an influential No. 10 player, with the ability to create and score telling goals for his team.

But waitaminnit - Spain, too, in Cesc Fabregas, have a superb No.10 player, with the ability to create and score telling goals for his team. And Spain are so awesome, they don't even need to play him. So perhaps Spain will win.

Spain also have that wonder-midfield of Xavi, Iniesta and Alonso, who go about the business of breaking down defenses with the calm, collected demeanour of those fancy turbanned waiters passing around glasses of Gold Spot at upper-middle-class weddings. Up front, the charismatic David Villa, such a prolific goalscorer for his country, continues to delight with his darting runs, his ability to strike from almost anywhere, and his willingness to battle for the ball. This success has almost certainly not escaped the attention of Mark Van Bommel, who not only looks a bit like Martin Keown, he makes Martin Keown look like Martin Keown. If Van Bommel decides to indulge in a little mixed martial arts to provide some relief from all the football going around, the Spanish midfield may need to go all WWE and tag Italy in to play the final. However, as twitter user @ullas perceptively pointed out, this may actually have the ultimate (and historic) result of making the Azzurri the first ever team to be eliminated twice from the same world cup.

Additionally, Spain have the energetic and committed Sergio Busquets, who seems to hold the fond belief that the entire pitch is the opposition penalty area, and every gentle breeze is a vicious tackle. I believe young Busquets has a very bright future, and may grow into the first ever football player who spends entire matches lying down on the pitch and complaining, only occasionally standing up to dust himself off before collapsing again.

Whatever happens, we'll have a new world champion, thus adding a new member to the exclusive club of countries that can whine about 'lost glory' when their team does badly in future world cups.

And what of Maradona? Has he faded away from view? Never. Refusing to talk to the Argentinian president because he was too busy crying, politely declining a presidential banquet invitation because he and his team weren't 'worthy', and playing cat-and-mouse with the press regarding his continutation as national coach, Diego still hogs the headlines. The next world cup is in Brazil.  Imagine if Argentina were to win that one, with Maradona as coach. I'd want to be in the same room with Pele when that happens.