The European U21 Championships and Spain defended their title successfully with a convincing 4-2 win over Italy in the final. The Spanish were dominant throughout the match and the scoreline looks a lot better for the Italians than it does for the Spanish. Italy couldn’t get a foot hold in the game and were outplayed and outclassed in the final. The man of the match was Thiago Alcantara who is reportedly on the move to Old Trafford in search of first team football to see if he can break into the World Cup squad next year in Rio.
Thiago scored a hat trick including one from the spot to set a great example as team captain. Thiago, who was born in Italy, along with Isco controlled the midfield for Spain and the under 21’s played like the senior team. Isco, who is reportedly on the move to Real Madrid or Man City, also scored from the spot for Spain.
Spain made Italy look like an average side for the whole of the game and the Italians were lucky they didn’t lose by 5 or 6 let alone 2. This is not saying Italy are a bad side, they have some quality players like Borini, Insigne and Immobile. Italy have got some great players that are now in the national side who have played in the under 21’s tournament such as Pirlo and Balotelli, who are both impressing in the Confederations Cup.
Back to Spain and apart from their great win in the final, they won all of their games which included Germany, Holland and Norway. Also they only conceded two goals in the tournament which came in the final so it not only shows they are great up front with lots of creativity but they are solid at the back. You can’t ask for much more from the Spanish.
Going into the Confederations Cup, there were some doubts over whether Spain were going to take the competition seriously and rest their players for next season and the World Cup. However, Del Bosque selected a strong squad and he has fielded all of them at least once in the group games. The only key player missing in the squad is Xabi Alonso who is out through injury.
The World champions have dominated the competition so far by winning all of their group games including beating minnows Tahiti 10-0 with their second side. They have played their usual tika taka style of play which has tore apart teams yet again. They made Uruguay, who reached the semi finals of the World Cup, look poor. At one point in the game, Uruguay had 8% possession and Uruguay have the likes of Suarez, Ramirez and Cavani on the field at that point.
Spain have proved that they are in it to win it and that no one can stop them from winning all of the cups available to them.
Last year at the Euro’s there were people saying that Spain are on the way down and that their football is boring to watch. Yet again the Spanish proved all doubters wrong. People were also questioning the fact that what would happen to Spanish football once the likes of Villa, Xavi, Iniesta have retired. I have already answered this earlier in the post. Once Spain retained the Euro’s they ended any criticism of the fact that they are not the best team in the world.
There is also the the great problem of who to play in goal for the Spanish with Reina and Valdes on the bench usually for Spain. Two world class keepers who rarely get a chance to show what they are made of for their country because of the great displays from skipper Iker Casillas. Once those ageing keepers retire there are some more new top draw goalies who are ready to come through such as Utd number 1 David De Gea.
The Spanish defence has been solid for a few years now with Ramos, Pique and Puyol although the ageing Puyol is starting to lose his place in the national side. Ramos and Pique have formed a great partnership in the centre of defence and although they could have another 10 years left in their careers, Spain have solid back up with the likes of Marc Bartra and Inigo Martinez both impressing with the under 21’s.
Also with the Spanish defence they have found suitable replacements for their full backs Arbeloa and Capdevila, who hasn’t played for Spain since the World Cup triumph. Arbeloa can be replaced by Aspilicueta or Montoya who has come through the ranks at Barcelona. Capdevila has been replaced by Jordi Alba who has been in goal scoring form recently.
There are currently some top quality strikers as well in the Spain side with Torres, Villa, Soldado and Pedro. There is only David Villa who might be coming to the end of his career but that doesn’t mean that the rest could be replaced by the new generation of forwards. The Spanish forwards coming through include Real Madrid’s Morata who impressed with the Under 21’s and Rodrigo from Benifca. There is also Cristian Tello from Barcelona who could be a striker or winger and is attracting interest from Liverpool.
To summarise, Spain who are the most dominant team right now in international football and they have got a whole new generation eagerly waiting for their chance to conquer the football world and carry on what has been left for them. Spain will be the team to beat for more years to come. We could be witnessing the most dominant side ever.
No team will stand in their way.