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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid