WC2014 Spain 0 – 2 Chile

World stunned as Spain's football king announces his abdication

World stunned as Spain’s football king announces his abdication

The Reign Of Spain Ends Mainly With Great Pain

“Mes Hombres,” began the tearful announcement, “it is over.” So spoke Spain’s once and former king as behind him legions of distraught workmen began the three day clearout of Iker Casillias’ trophy cabinet. Two European Championships, one World Cup, A World Youth Championship and six years of world domination had failed to slake his thirst. Like all great men he believed he was immortal. And like all great men he was mistaken.

Spain’s fall from grace has been as spectacular as it has been inevitable. We’ve watched the tiki takka of Barcelona, the heartbeat of the Iberian revolution, be first found out and then utterly crushed by the full court press of Bayern and, this year, Atletico. We’ve seen the Spanish side, who have played an international championship every year  bar one since 2008, crumble under the pressure of a tournament too far. And you realise that abdication was the only sane response.

Spain haven’t just been bad this World Cup. Rather they haven’t even been bad. They’ve just been outwitted, outthought and outplayed. They’ve relied on their old stalwarts and haven’t brought in enough, talented new blood. And in some ways you can understand. How do you drop Casillas? Your World Cup captain and talisman? At what point do you sacrifice your heroes on the alter of progress? And, most importantly, how do you do it when there are so many to cull at once? Do you really go into the World Cup without Casillas, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, and Xabi Alonso, and expect not to get slaughtered by your fans and the press? No. You have to let them fail. You have to let the empire collapse before you can build again.

And how the empire burnt. Spain were destroyed by Holland and never looked like giving Chile a serious game. The Costa gambit has patently failed to pay off. The midfield looks slow and ponderous and the defence looks so shaky you wish that Puyol could come out of retirement to shore it up. And behind them all, the worst goalie of this World Cup. Akinfeev may have thrown the ball into his own net, but Casillas has been at fault for at least 3. He was Spain’s rock and now it’s time for him to roll.

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