Is Spain becoming boring for the good of the beautiful game or is it just their critics who are envious of the unprecedented success that ‘La Furia Roja’ or the ‘Red Fury’ as the Spanish national team is called, is enjoying?
The just concluded Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine showpiece final pitted the winners of the last two World Cups as holders Spain tore apart Italy, whom the Spanish dethroned of the world title in South Africa 2010.
By winning Euro 2012, Spain created football history, because never before had a country won three major international tournaments in a row. And Spain, which won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, became the first team in modern era to achieve the feat, hence earning a place in the record books.
Following their unprecedented success, you have to put the current Spanish team up there among the all-time greatest teams, although Pele thinks the Brazil team of 1970 was much better in terms of individual skills, and since some of us weren’t born by then, I’ll let that debate pass me by.
Nonetheless, as dust settles on what has been an exciting Euro 2012, focus now turns to the next major international tournament, which is FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
As usual, all eyes will be on the usual suspects including Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland, Brazil, Argentina or even Portugal, but after winning three major international trophies back to back, it is difficult to see anyone stopping the holders.
With only three first team players, Xavi (32), Iker Casillas (31) and Xabi Alonso (30) above the age of 30, but all conceivably expected to still be playing at the highest level in two years’ time, Vicente Del Bosque could pretty much have the same team in Brazil.
But, in any likely event that the trio don’t make it to the World Cup, Spain’s strength in depth is simply startling to believe for their rivals.
Spain’s bench players at the Euros in the likes of Fernando Torres, Javi Martinez, Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente would possibly walk into any other European national side. David Villa, who missed the tournament injury, should also be fully fit for Brazil 2014.
David De Gea, Thiago Alcantara and Iker Muniain will be more mature and more experienced to provide competition for places for the established stars. Remember Spain also holds the Euro U-20 crown.
In my preview for Sunday’s final duel, I briefly mentioned why I thought Spain and not Italy would triumph, and I wasn’t far from being perfect with my prediction although the final score line took the sting out of what was a near perfect performance by the victors.
Whereas the Azzurri had defied odds to reach the final, more so after eliminating pre-tournament favourites Germany in the semi-finals, the ‘Red Fury’ scrapped through their matches bar one against the Republic of Ireland.
They at times, rode their luck against Portugal in the semi-final but the same can’t be said of their performance in the final. I would watch that performance a million times.
Beating Italy with a comprehensive 4-0 score, Spain, again become the first team to win a major international competition by that kind of score line, yet some still have the audacity to criticise the team as "boring."
Actually, if Spanish players and their style of play are boring to the eyes of some critics, then Amavubi, England or any of our local clubs’ players should consider joining another profession.