I am sorry people. I know some of you don’t like the way Spain/Barcelona plays…
And as we lost against them in 2010, we might carry a grudge, but By Golly they played sensational against Italy, didn’t they?
And if you can win three big tournaments in a row, even with not that good football ( 2010) you deserve respect…
And although I do think Barcelona is getting boring and predictable at times, this Spanish side really impressed me.
For a couple of reasons. And obviously, I look at them thinking… Hmmm, if only Oranje could play like this.
1. They can kill of a game / opponent
They know how to play good football and they know how to win games. They hardly concede goals. And they have patience. Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Pique are not only great players, they are also great tacticians.
2. They are sooo skilled
Every touch, every pass, every run…it’s all pure football. They experience joy on the pitch for sure and they are all about the game. Sure, some of them (Busquets) dive and others are a bit dirty (Ramos) but all in all, they are outrageous.
3. They work like a team and don’t demonstrate prima donna behaviour
Oh yes, we read about the Barca-Real Madrid rifts and the bust ups… But under Senor Del Bosque they operated as a team. Super player Cesc had to sit on the bench. I didn’t hear him whine. Torres got a look in and then he was benched again. Juan Mata won the CL with Chelsea and only played 5 minutes… And not a single word of protest or discontentment. And these guys all had a big season. They all had 50 games or more. But they worked and worked their arse off.
I liked this tournament. We saw a cocky and “Dutch” Germany choke when it mattered most. Again! We even read in their newspapers that success coach Low is to blame and that they want to go back to their old ways. Playing ugly but win.
We saw England playing for what’s it’s worth. Which is never that much. But there is passion and pathos in that team and lots of physical issues as well.
We saw Croatia playing a Spain-lite type of football, we saw Portugal finally throwing the chains off and play with balls and we saw France implode again.
But most importantly, we saw Italy playing somewhat Dutch ( it resembled our World Cup campaign… never great… one midfielder (Pirlo/Sneijder) important and one forward important ( Robben/Cassano) while the other one got headlines for many reasons and not always the right ones ( Van Persie/Balotelli)).
I think to track back for Holland, to get to the place were Spain is, is not that hard.
We need to go back to our roots. And we need to find some good defenders. Arbelao and Ramos have demonstrated that we don’t need world class players on all the positions. Sergio Ramos compensates a lot with his mentality and physical strength. While Arbeloa is almost a pathetic figure in this wonder team.
But somewhere down the line, this Spanish team will fail. Xavi will get too old. The desire will go. Complacency might set in. Del Bosque might retire. Etc etc…. And then we will look back at the period 2008 – 2012 as the Spanish period and we will tell our grandchildren about the legendary Spanish team. And names like Iniesta, Fabregas and Casillas will mean as much then as Puskas, Eusebio, Cruyff and Netzer mean to us now…