Football Blog - Independent Football Writing
Football Blog

Spain Football Blog

So now at the completion of the group stage, we were down to the last 16 teams. There was a one day rest between the final group game in Group G, and the start of the knockout stage. After having two weeks of relentless football, the intermission seemed to take a lifetime.
 
Last 16
Saturday June 30th – Day 16
The first last 16 game, saw Group C winners France, play Group D runners up Argentina. France’s Antoine Griezmann slammed the crossbar with an early free kick. France were then awarded a penalty. …

Many World Cups have passed and they just seem to fly by ever so quickly. There is so much football played, that though we have watched a lot of it, whether it has been seeing the game live or watching highlights, it can really scramble the brain to pinpoint everything that has happened. I therefore had an idea to keep a diary/log from day to day, something that can be just as useful in many years as it is now, in regard to jogging the memory. So here I present …

Spain were eliminated by Russia in the last-16 of the World Cup on Sunday, July 1, losing on penalties after being held to a 1-1 draw in normal time and extra time. Since winning the 2010 tournament, Spain have won just two of their last seven World Cup games and were doomed from the start this summer.
La Roja lost their manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament, with Fernando Hierro taking over the national team, so the squad had little time to prepare for their opener. Spain shipped …

Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales sacked Julen Lopetegui as head coach of the national team after learning on Tuesday that the 51-year-old had accepted Real Madrid’s offer to succeed Zinedine Zidane without seeking permission from Spain first. Rubiales insists he was left in the dark about the decision until five minutes before the official announcement was made.
Fernando Hierro will take caretaker charge of Spain for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. A statement from the Spanish Football Federation read: “Fernando Hierro will assume the position of national coach in …

Basketball and Football, two similar yet entirely different games. Same basic rules which are to score as many as you can before the end of the game, but the difference is so big you sometimes forget that they are so similar. With the obvious fact of Basketball is a ball being dribbled with hands and Football is a ball being dribbled with feet, there are other rules which make the sports almost opposites in a way. Basketball could improve the future of English football.
I believe this as if you look at …

Two weeks, two games, two losses. In these two games both opponents nullified Barcelona’s tactics and in both games Barca couldn’t come with an answer. While a loss against a inform team like Real Madrid didn’t come as a big surprise, the loss against Celta Vigo has to worry many supporters no matter how optimistic a fan you are. It is true that Barcelona had many shots in the Celta game but the finishing was quite terrible at times. And yes Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez produced some outstanding saves but …

So, to the fourth in this series of 6 articles looking at the top 60 players in world football and probably the hardest list to select. In researching this list I realised our generation is blessed with a group of fantastic central midfielders and picking just 13 was very difficult. In fact, it proved too difficult and I had to choose 4 honourable mentions instead of just 3. I apologise and hope you will understand the difficulty. Thank you and please enjoy, comment, discuss, vent your outrage at my selections and read the …

The third in a series of six articles looking at the best 60 players in the world at the moment, we are now onto full-back having done golkeepers and centre-backs. Please enjoy, comment, discuss and read the next article; the top 10 central midfielders.
Full-backs
Honourable mentions:

Fabio Coentrao – A frustrating year for the 26 year old former Benfica man, playing second fiddle to Marcelo for club and having a disappointing World Cup for country. However, he is still an intelligent player, who is technically skilful and tactically versatile. Young enough to still …

Leading on from the top 10 goalkeepers in the world; I now present you the top 10 Centre-backs in the world. Remember, this is partly judged on recent performances and partly on permanent class. Enjoy, comment and discuss and remember to look out for the remaining four articles in this series of 6, the next one being the top 10 full-backs.
Centre-backs
Honourable mentions:

Diego Godin – An old school centre-half who bought into the ‘Simeone way’ from the very beginning to great effect. His dogged style and aerial prowess means he is now crucial …

Everyone seems to be in a hurry to mourn the demise of the infamous Tiki-Taka, claiming of course that, it is the reason why Spain has been kicked out early from of the World Cup. Which is a weird view to have, considering that tactical styles or “schools of thought” can’t simply die. They can however become temporarily vulnerable and exposed, – especially when they have been used in top-level football for quite a while, like tiki-taka was and still is in Spanish football, whether by the national team, or clubs like Barcelona …