Spain Are Swept Away In End Of An Era Performance
It has happened to many great Empires, once mighty, all conquering, feared by all — and reduced to a mere shadow of itself, like an old, once magnificent building now crumbling and tired, you cannot imagine how it was ever beautiful.
Maybe a bit of an exaggeration but this is how it felt watching Spain’s 2-1 defeat to Chile. Sure there were glimpses of sublime intricacy, but on the whole we watched this once great team swamped and overrun by the super charged Chileans.
The decision to persist with Costa, who seemed in many ways to unsettle his own teammates with his ‘unSpanish’ style, was a strange one.
His decision to choose Spain over Brazil might be regretted on both sides (although obviously he’s not fit). His confidence will need restoring. More than £120,000 a week at Chelsea may help soothe his shattered spirit.
Casillas meanwhile showed bad decisions borne of a strange club situation, and a gradual erosion of confidence.
We could go on and on but this is how it had to be. The 5-1 hammering by Holland was so thorough and so all consuming that it must have shook the Spanish to the core, the last team they needed to face after that was one of the most energetic in the tournament.
But these are details – all things must end and there has been a sensing of this in the last eighteen months – the obvious parallels with Barcelona are to be drawn.
Everything is temporary. Nothing lasts forever and we must be thankful for the soccer joy this Spanish team has brought to the world and not be too harsh on their demise.
They are/have been – one of the truly great soccer ‘Empires’ – a team to change the way you see and enjoy the game.
How many can say that?
Editor’s note: Mark Burke is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. A player skilled at retaining the ball, he enjoyed a 15 year professional career in England, the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, and Sweden. He played for clubs including Aston Villa, Rapid Bucharest, Middlesbrough, and Wolves.