News / Europe

World Cup Dream Ends for Spain's Golden Boys

Chile's Eduardo Vargas (R) iin white, scores the opening goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, June 18, 2014.
Chile's Eduardo Vargas (R) iin white, scores the opening goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, June 18, 2014.
Reuters
The poignant lyrics of John Lennon's 1970 song “God” capture how some of Spain's golden generation of players and decorated coach Vicente del Bosque must be feeling after their shock first-round exit from the World Cup on Wednesday.
 
“The dream is over. What can I say? The dream is over. Yesterday.”
 
Lennon's words partly referred to the breakup of The Beatles, a cataclysmic event in the history of popular music, and Spain's failure in Brazil thanks to defeats to the Netherlands and Chile in their opening two group games has sent similar shockwaves around the global soccer community.
 
A glorious six-year run at the top of the world game that secured back-to-back European crowns either side of a debut World Cup triumph was brought to a sad conclusion in Rio de Janeiro and will almost certainly end the international careers of several of the players who brought unprecedented success to the Iberian nation.
 
Used to seeing their team effortlessly controlling games with their “tiki-taka” possession-based playing style, supporters of La Roja watched open-mouthed as first the Dutch and then the Chileans humbled their once all-conquering heroes.
 
The front cover of Marca sports daily on Thursday simply stated “The End”, with a picture of Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final in South Africa four years ago, alone and forlorn on the pitch.
 
After the debacle in Brazil, goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, midfielders Xavi and Xabi Alonso and forwards David Villa and Fernando Torres are unlikely to be pulling on the Spain shirt when they seek to defend their European title in France in two years' time.
 
The future of Del Bosque, the architect of the World Cup success in South Africa and victory at Euro 2012, is also in doubt after he said after the Chile reverse he would consider his position.
 
“We ask people's forgiveness,” a chastened Casillas, who made a host of errors in Spain's two Group B games, told Spanish television.
 
“But they should know that we tried everything to bring them joy once again, although it was not to be,” added the 33-year-old, Spain's most-capped player.
 
“Today is not the day to start blaming and singling people out and saying whether to change or not to change," he said. "There are several of us who are over 30, the coach will make his decisions and we will respect them. I don't know if this was my last game for Spain. We will see. This group of players did not deserve to go out like this.”

Dear friends
 
If Del Bosque does remain in the job, and Spanish media reported on Thursday he was likely to continue, his immediate task will be to rejuvenate the team in time for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which begins against Macedonia at the beginning of September.
 
There is plenty of reason for Spanish fans to be optimistic, with a talented group of players already breaking into the first team who have achieved success at Under-21 level.
 
David De Gea is being groomed to replace Casillas in goal, the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Koke are similar players to Xavi and forward Diego Costa will at some point surely begin to reproduce the form he showed for Atletico Madrid last season.
 
Forwards Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo, who have a similar profile to Costa, as well as Alvaro Morata and Jese look to have the potential to succeed at the top and there remains a core of senior players who still have much to offer, including midfielders Iniesta and David Silva and defender Sergio Ramos.
 
There is also a younger group of established internationals like midfielder Sergio Busquets, forwards Juan Mata and Pedro and defenders Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Cesar Azpilicueta.
 
With such potential, Spain are unlikely to suffer the fate of teams like France, who have consistently failed to show up at major tournaments since winning the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
 
As Lennon sang to disconsolate Beatles fans more than four decades ago: “And so dear friends you'll just have to carry on. The dream is over.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid