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

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More