The end of Spain, and the end of Barca
Sevilla, Espana – When Fernando Torres scored against Germany in 2008 to help Espana hoist her first International trophy at the Euro, he did not know he was forging a new football dynasty. For the next six years, most countries in the world were left in awe at Spanish dominance on the pitch and tried to find a way to copy what they could not replicate.
Let us face it, the bread and butter of the Spanish team was Barca. The 2010 World Cup winner had the likes of Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Sergio, David Villa as their starters. That is 7 out of the eleven.
The way they moved the ball, tika and taka’n the lights out of any of their opponents (of course, Barca had the advantage of having the best player in the world, Messi to be the force d’etat).
But it was actually their defense that won the three trophies. Don’t believe me? In the 3 knockout stages in which Spain won their consecutive trophies, they allow a combined total of 1 goal. No, not per tourney, 1 goal in 3 tourneys! That is absolutely astounding. In 2010, they won every game of the World Cup knock out stage by a 1-0 score (which does not say much about their offense).
How many goals did they surrender to the Dutch in game one this year? 5.
But the Spanish Armada was slowly sinking in 2013. The Final of the Confederations Cup saw the Brasilians, for the first time in 5 years break down the Spanish tika taka by pushing back against the passing, breaking down the short passes, and not allowing Spain to move methodically down the pitch. It worked. It was a blowout, 3-0.
This tournament is surely the end of the Spanish team as we know it. It is also the end of Barca as we know it. The dynasty is fading even for Barca. The quest for young talent and investing ahead has started. Today’s game against the lowly Aussies saw only 2 remaining Barca players on the Spanish team, Iniesta and Jordi Alba. The rest, well, too old, need to rest.
It has been the best of times and the worst of times.
In the end, Viva Espana, muchas gracias.