Spain lost to Chile 2-0, and given just how much they’ve been caught unawares by the Netherlands, it almost seemed expected. Chile, four years ago, were dangerous, and this time around, they were brilliant. They defended as a team, pressing and attacking relentlessly.
Whereas Spain… Spain knew they had to erase the ghosts of the 1-5 defeat in their opening match, but it seemed as though that was the only thing going on in their minds, not actually winning the game. The passing game was not there. The midfielders were effectively neutralized. The defense was a step behind. And Iker? He cut a lonely figure, having been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism (some unwarranted—after all, there’s only so much that a goalkeeper can do).
A Football Report had the best eulogy for the passing of this generation of Spanish football. Call it the end of an era, fin de ciclo, or really, just the natural order of how things progress. This World Cup run may be horrible for Spain, but never forget: THE LAST SIX YEARS WERE TREMENDOUS.
And after a good cry, it is comforting to remember that Spain’s U23s and U19s are also World Champions. The future is bright. Now time to find that new system for us to dominate once again.
It’s too tempting to place photos of players in despair after the match, but let’s not make it the final images for us to remember these champions. I’d rather remember this greatest generation in the best way possible.
Gracias, campeones. Un mil gracias.