The Spanish football empire has fallen. After six years holding power, the kings of the ball have lost the throne with a strong feeling of incredulity and disappointment. They already are on their way back home, most of them still trying to understand why they haven’t even crossed the first frontier in this championship.
Here in Spain, people agree that La Roja has not really been present in Brazil. We have not been capable of criticising the Spanish team yet, not in a negative way, because it is La Roja that we are talking about, our XXI century religion. If anything, this result has made us look back to what they have done for football and all they have already given to us, a lifetime of pride. After the victory over Australia, the Spanish national team were striving to keep back their tears, and so were we at home.
We don’t want reproaches, but we do want answers. Where did we fail? Is there someone to blame? We asked these key questions to several Spanish supporters after the game against Australia.
Did you agree in the first place with the team chosen by Del Bosque?
People in general trust the Spanish coach and were happy with the team he organised, although everybody affirmed that the Juventus player Fernando Llorente “would have been a very wise choice”. Some believe that Real Madrid’s Carvajal would have also been “a helpful member for the group”. All in all the Spanish fans do not seem to blame Del Bosque’s 23 for the defeat.
Real Madrid, Barça and Atlético have all gone through a very long and intense season; can physical tiredness be one of the causes for this poor performance?
Most supporters are of the opinion that “Barça and Real Madrid regularly have seasons that are very intense until the end and this has not been a problem in previous competitions”, however, they agree that this year players lile “Xavi, Piqué and Busquets were not in good shape”. Some have suggested that a possible cause for this: “in this particular season we have seen less rotation of players in all three teams. This has caused that the key players were much more tired”.
Barça’s decline has spread around the national team
The most part of the interviewed totally agreed with this statement. “Barça has been the backbone of La Roja. The triangle of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets has been the centre of both Barcelona’s and the Spanish national team’s stability . The ball has always played around Xavi, and he has not been able to give strength to his position this time“.
Should Iker Casillas have been left in the bank?
This question is maybe the most controversial one for the Spanish. People do not find themselves capable of being objective in the Casillas issue. Opinions are divided between Real Madrid supporters, and supporters of teams other than Real Madrid. The formers believe that under no circumstances could Casillas be substituted: “It was not his fault that the defence failed to be efficient. The team’s rhythm and intensity decreased in general after the first goal and they lost confidence in themselves, after the second goal they started making one mistake after another and it was as if they were not in the pitch”.
Supporters of other teams agree that Casillas was indeed the main reason why “the Spanish defence did not trust in themselves” and that Pepe Reina would have offered a much better performance given the great season he has had at Napoli.
Which is you favourite team now that Spain is out of the competition?
Germany stands as a favourite for many, being defined as the most powerful team by far. There are also those who think that France can surprise us this year, as their players have a good mix of youth and experience. Yet everybody was of the opinion that all eyes are on Brazil and Argentina for this World Cup.
It is the time for La Roja to reflect on the mistakes made, to try to learn from them and to regain confidence in themselves and their potential. This should not be taken as a goodbye, but as a see you later – in France 2016.