Spain's stunning exit from the World Cup in Brazil has prompted North Korean state media to shed their characteristic reticence and report local surprise at the upset.
Spain's Andres Iniesta tries to reach the ball against Netherlands' Daryl Janmaat during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at the Arena Ponte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, June 13, 2014.
The reigning world champions were thrashed 5-1 by the Netherlands in their opening game, then lost to Chile 2-0, ruling out a chance to enter the knock-out stages.
“There's no rule that says a strong team never loses of course, but I can't help but be surprised that the best team in Europe and the world suffered such a devastating loss,” North Korean Football Confederation member Yu Myong Uk was quoted as saying.
Edited highlights of World Cup games have been carried with a one-day delay by state television in the country, where the sport is popular.
The footage has been taken from South Korean broadcasts and then re-branded, media reports in South Korea say.
“The 'tiki-taka' style of football developed by the Spanish team lost its vitality within just a few years. This shows the shelf life of football tactics is getting shorter, as is the case in other fields,” he added.
Spain won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and their first World Cup four years ago in South Africa.
The North Korean national team made a surprise appearance in the 2010 South Africa World Cup after qualifying for the first time in 44 years, but did not win a match.
Before that, the North Korean side had not competed in a World Cup since 1966, when the isolated country's team unexpectedly defeated Italy and reached the quarter finals.
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