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Spain: When Will They Stop?

An article on the Spanish national and under-21 side.

By on Jun 14, 2013   2014 views   0 comments
Football Views - Spain: When Will They Stop?
Spain have already dominated at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 European Championship's, winning both tournaments and showing their strengths as individuals and as a team already. The likes of Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, and even Iker Casillas don't have long player for the national side, a few years maybe. The national side needs the best players, and eventually they will lose their magic touch and not be able to compete with other players - the younger, gifted players. The current side they can can't last too long. The Confederation Cup starts soon, with Spain as favourites, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where Spain will also be one of the favourites. However, it seems after that the current Spain side won't be at the ability to win everything like they have done, but does that mean Spain will become less of a side, less of a country in terms of footballing ability?

No. To put it simply, Spain could carry on this success and domination for years. Although the current players won't be able to carry it on, the youth prospects, many who are already known as world stars, are ready to break onto the international scene and carry on the Spanish Legacy. Spain are currently playing in the U21 European Championship's. In this tournament, players such as Cesar Azilpilcutea cannot feature. However, he is still only 24, and could feature in the national side for a good ten years still, so the full talent within the younger players of the Spanish side cannot be seen. Nevertheless, after the three group games, they are sitting top of the table, without conceding a goal, even against teams with the quality of Russia, Germany and the Netherlands. Morata has certainly shown his talent, scoring in all three games, and his only three games in the U21 squad.

Tomorrow Spain will face Norway in the semi-final. Norway certainly have talent, with Magnus Wolff Eikrem, being the star man, but the calibre of players Norway have are totally different to that of Spain, who could be able to see of the competition easily. In the other semi-final, Italy play Netherlands. Spain already showed the Netherlands what they can do, winning 3-0, with goals from Morata, Isco and Vasquez, meaning they couldn't pose a main threat. Italy are considered tournament favourites alongside Spain, meaning the predicted final is looking likely. But Italy have a few talented players, they don't have enough to fill the whole squad, fielding 11 very good players. On the other hand, Spain can.

When you look at the players who are under or around the age of just 22, many players are already world-renowned stars. David De Gea, one of the best, if not the best, Premier League goalkeeper, and Manchester United regular. He's just 22. Thiago Alcantra, a Barcelona superstar wanted by the biggest clubs all around the world. Only 22. Isco, a massive star in Spain wanted highly by Manchster City. Isco's only 21. Even Iker Munian who has been linked with numerous clubs for what seems like many years now, is still only 20. These players all have 10-15 years left in an international career, and could go on and play for longer.

I tried to decide the strongest starting eleven on paper, and simply found it too hard. I would find a great player, who could join most teams around the world and get straight into the starting line-up, but would then find another player even better. Deciding just eleven players was too tough. Players such as Montoya, Amat, Gomez, Muniesia, are all still very young, but can form a solid back four that don't concede in three games, even against tough sides. Even the Spanish national side fail to do that at times, with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique. Gerard Deulofeu is known to be a massive star of the future, a Barcelona wonderkid. Even his place in the side isn't secure, with players such as Cristiano Tello, Suso and Jese all wanting to start too.

When the current Spanish national side end their reign, which will likely be after the 2014 World Cup, maybe also competing to retain their European title at the 2016 European Championship's, we may well see a new breed of stars raring to get going on the international stage, adding to their collection of trophies and medals as an U21 side. However, this doesn't just stop here. Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid after bringing through numerous young stars, at the ages of just 15 and 16. With some of the best coaches and training facilities in the world, we could even see these stars take over from the current young players in years to come, meaning that unless other teams begin to develop their national players, Spain could be seen in many finals, and lifting the trophy many times, over the years, changing the way Spanish football is seen even more.

In the recent Champions League Semi Finals involving Spanish stars Xavi, Iniesta and Xavi Alonso to name a few, you can see the players tiring as the game went on, not having the same ability to perform exceptionally throughout the game. Spain play a passing style of football, very Barcelona-esque, keeping hold of possession, running the game from the midfield. With these midfielders obviously losing their touch slightly, we could see some young players sooner then expected. You cannot hid the fact that Julen Lopetegui, the current manager of the Under-21 side, has worked wonders with the players, and the loyalty and chemistry between player and manager can be seen clearly though, so with Vicente Del Bosque's contract expiring next summer, after the FIFA World Cup, we could see the introduction of Lopetgui into the first team to continue working with his wonderkids.

So with the players Julen Lopetegui has to choose from, Spain could stay as the dominant force of international football for many years to come.

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