Spain are finished, Spain are out, and Spain no longer rule the world.
The defending World Cup champions, Spain, are knocked out in the group stages of the World Cup competition after a devastating 2-0 defeat against Chile. The World Champions’ throne has been abdicated and awaits a new ruler, and Spain will be lucky not to finish bottom of Group B.
The dreams of retaining the World Cup have been crushed after failing to conceive the same success as in 2010. Despite having one more match left to play in group B, La Roja have lost both of their first two matches in group stages, and have marked the end of the era of tiki-taka, too.
Guilty of poor passing and woeful finishing, the Spanish side were weak. Diego Costa, not a tiki-taka player, proved disappointing as an asset to the team, neither improving or adding to game play and almost interrupting the Spanish style instead of improving the side. Alonso was replaced after a horrid 45 minutes and Sergio Busquets missed the shot of a life time.
Lack of a fighting front, not strong enough in defence, a midfield all over the place and a goalkeeper punching balls cemented their failure. There was no thirst in their game and the biggest icons were falling first, and fast with Casillas, Xavi and Ramos- the rest followed.
Spain surfaced in Brazil with almost the same team as they did four years ago – only older, neither fast nor challenging enough to compete. A disappointing but inevitable end of the Spanish glory years.
Spain became the third straight European defending World Cup champion to flop in the group stage. France in 2002 and Italy four years ago also failed to advance, or even win a match. Spain are being compared to the ‘titanic’ whereas Chile actually played a good game, having two good chances in the first half led in by Eduardo Vargas in the 20th minute thanks to passing style that was almost Spanish in its execution.
The next 45 minutes saw the Spanish side comeback with a bit more fight, but, was not enough to stop a free kick from Charles Aranguiz, where the Chilean fired a shot right back to the Spanish goalkeeper, after an awkward punch.
Admittedly, Vicente Del Bosque’s side were not the favourites to win, but nobody was prepared for the utter disarray in which they were knocked out and the ending of the run of the greatest team in history.
Yes, history. The victorious Spanish national side have come a long way in the last six years and no one will ever be able to forget, or take their victories away from them. Spain have held three consecutive trophies, have broken word-records and became the strongest, most threatening team in the world.
Sadly for Spain, success is not eternal and eras end in defeat. Spanish aficionados around the world dismiss the complete shambles of their 2014 entry in favour of the years of pure Spanish pride La Roja has provided them. No other national side can say the same.
Sure, the team are ageing and it’s likely to be the last World Cup for many of the players, but their success will continue on. Only Spain have brought excellence to international football making all other teams raise their game in order to be anywhere near the brilliance of that of the Spanish side at the time.
It didn’t deserve to end like this, but sadly, the Spanish champions will accept their fate like true winners. With great success comes great responsibility and with great highs come great lows.
As Spanish football newspapers Marca and AS state, there is no real reason to despair when La Roja have given so much. Time to look ahead to brighter days and welcome a new light of players to carry the torch.
Can Spain come back from this? Who should be in the next starting eleven for the former champions? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.