Category Archives: Sports

Spain, the new rulers of the Football World?

The first night of July, 2012 saw something really spectacular. As Vicente Del Bosque’s sleek Spanish team and Cesare Prandelli’s determined Italian team locked horns at the Euro 2012 final, many expected a stellar match filled with attack and counter-attack. Yes there was attack and no, there was no counter attack. Millions watched in awe as Spain literally destroyed their Italian counter parts and then some more. Some had expected a defensive match and yes, there was defence. But only one team was doing it, and not a very good job of it.

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Spanish footballers celebrating after winning Euro 2012

Winning a tournament as big as Euro is never an easy task. Winning the Euro final by a 4 – 0 margin is even more difficult. Winning the Euro final by a 4 – 0 margin against a team like Italy, the inventor of the Catenaccio defensive system, is insane to say the least. Spanish “Tiki taka” crushed the Italian “Catenaccio” and produced the most one-sided final match in recent memory.

The Azuri’s massacre of the Germans couple of days ago made the Italian fans hopeful but few concerns were creeping in already. Although Balotelli scored a brace in that match, it was difficult to repeat that feat against the Spanish as their defence was a lot more stronger. Pirlo was the only player noticeable but Del Bosque’s strategy made sure he did not get even a sniff at the ball for first half an hour. Add that to Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas’ meticulous and lethal passing football and you have got the formula. Casillas was again impregnable under the crossbar while Buffon was not at his best in this crucial match. Also the Spanish created too much speed in their game which threw the Italian side off balance. The strength of this Spanish side comes from their ability to play relentless passes at breakneck speed and the understanding between their midfielders. This glaring difference was specially noticeable when for the first half an hour or so, the Italian midfield could barely touch the ball. Even the charismatic Pirlo was off color and there was no connections being made between the midfield and forward line. ezSometimes it feels like the Spanish midfielders could pass each other blindfolded. Torres was cool and collected up front and made sure he converted the opportunity.

The match is now done and dusted and Spain has lifted the Euro, the World cup and the Euro again in a span of four years. And questions are already being raised if this Spanish side is the new dominators of the World Football. And quite frankly it looks so. Some experts believe these Spanish bunch is even more dangerous than Maradona’s 1986 Argentina team. Winning back to back Euros, and the World cup in between sure points that way.

Only time will tell if the Spanish will emerge as the true world leaders. But for some time atleast, the focus will shift from Messi and Ronaldo towards the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Casillas, Fabregas and Torres. Well done Spain, long live the beauty of “Tiki taka”.

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