Kanakagiri Siddhartha

End of an Era for Spain ?

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The end of an era ? Surely, but it has come a little too soon.

Like Xabi Alonso said, may be Spain lacked the ambition and the hunger. May be not, at least not Iniesta, On more fortuitous day, his pass to Silva during the match against Netherlands would have resulted in a goal and Spain would have gone into half-time with a two goal lead.

With someone like David Villa instead of David Silva in the box, his crosses would have found the net against Chile. As a follower of La Liga, I know the quality Spain has, and was surprised when Jesus Navas failed to make the squad. A tactical miss ? Thiago Alcantara broke his leg after making the squad. Just plain bad luck. It was inevitable that an ageing Spanish side should fall from their high perch. They were the only team that comes anywhere close to the 1970’s Pele’s all-time great Brazilian team. But could it have been avoided ?

Some tactical mistakes contributed to the early exit of Spain from the group stage at the world cup. At the Maracana no less. I for one, would always start with David Villa provided he is fit. Diego Costa or not. That he has not played a minute of football against Netherlands or Chile is preposterous. Koke was in the squad because of his brilliant season with Athletico Madrid. He should have started in both the games, as was evident from his contribution when he came on as a sub against Chile, albeit too late. Iker Casillas was on bench for Real Madrid most of the season and the lack of game time clearly showed in his frequest blunders, may be Reina should have kept goal vs Chile. But all this is wishful thinking.

The early exit doesn’t change the fact that Iniesta remains the best midfielder of the last decade, barring Xavi. It doesn’t change the fact that Spain belong to the pantheon of traditional football super powers, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Argentina. It doesn’t change the fact that they did football a great favor by winning the three major titles they did between 2008 and 2012. A world cup sandwiched between two Euros, while playing a style of football that is breath-taking in its beauty, it was almost like classical dance.

Barcelona ended the season withoout any title for the first time in six years. Spain exiting the world cup in the group stages. Co-incidence ? Not really. The end of Tiki-Taka ? Only until the next Xavi and Iniesta come along. Vamos!

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December 14, 2018

2017 Reading Challenge

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