Posts tagged iniesta
Posts tagged iniesta
Even had they lost last night, I don’t think anyone would have denied that the last 5 years have been dominated by the Spanish. Even if they completely fluffed their lines in Poland and Ukraine, Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup coupled with Barcelona’s three Champions League victories in six years (quite a monumental achievement when you consider how difficult it is to win that trophy) would have been enough to allow such an acclamation. There’s no doubt now after Spain won their third international tournament on the spin – an unprecedented achievement, which could be replicated in our lifetimes, but is a rare and impressive feat nonetheless. Considering how many teams could have been worthy winners of each of the last three tournaments, the fact that Spain have somehow kept their heads and their shoulders above the rest (they’re practically looking down at the rest of us on the ground from atop the heights of the famous Sagrada Familia) is undeniably brilliant. Are they as good as the famed 1970s Brazil team? Such talk is often ridiculous mostly for the fact that most people who make such claims were probably too young to remember, or not even born at the time. Furthermore there are other great teams that have been forgotten in the vagaries of time – the ‘Golden Team’ of Hungary in the 1950s were also said to be legendarily brilliant. Certainly the game is more competitive now – the art of defending in particular has improved across all countries while the competitiveness of non-European/South American teams is monumentality greater now than back in 1970. Plus, the athleticism that came with the tricks and possession of that Brazil team which gave them an advantage back then is now a common feature to all teams at the highest level now. So it’s impossible to compare between the 1970s Brazil team and the 2008-2012 Spain team.
Spain 0 - 0 Portugal (Spain win 4-2 on penalties)
Three major tournament finals in a row with the first two already won. Spain are undoubtedly one of the great international teams, and should they win on Sunday, the extraordinary triple would suggest they are the greatest. Of course the 1970 Brazil team are always touted as the great World Cup team, but for sheer consistency and know-how Spain would surely have done enough. Couple this with the multiple Champions League wins of Barcelona and the aura that shrouds their famous (or perhaps now infamous) tiki-taka style and you would have to say that this current era has been a Spanish one.