Football

Spain: The end of an era

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Del Bosque may need to ring the changes (©GettyImages)
Del Bosque may need to ring the changes (©GettyImages).

Spain recently lost the Confederations Cup final and questions have been asked. Is this Spanish team finished?

Spain have arguably had the best national team for the past six or seven years now but following their Confederations Cup final loss to Brazil - questions have been asked whether this team can win the World Cup again. 

Spain's golden generation have won two Euros and one World Cup since 2006 and were unbeaten for a record 29 matches. 

This Spanish squad bolsters the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso. 

However, with age catching up to players like Xavi, Alonso and David Villa - there may be time for a change. 

Xavi is nearly 34 now and has suffered many injuries in recent seasons. The same goes for Villa, who at 31 has yet to fully recover from the injury which made him miss the 2011/12 season for Barcelona. 

Questions also need to be raised on the topic of Spain's defence. 

Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and Alvaro Arbeloa all looked vulnerable against Italy in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup and the final against Brazil where they were lucky only to concede three goals.  

Similarities of Spain's recent downfall can be drawn with Barcelona and less so Real Madrid. 

Bayern Munich defeated Barcelona 4-0 at the Camp Nou in the semi-finals of this year's Champions League where the Spanish trio of Iniesta, Busquets and Xavi were playing for Barca. 

Real Madrid were also knocked out in the semis by Borussia Dortmund.

This Confederations Cup has shown that maybe this Spanish team needs an injection of pace. 

Jesus Navas has blistering pace and looked good every time he came on for Spain in the Confederations Cup and he could be an option to add width which the side is lacking. 

Arbeloa could be replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta who has had a decent first season for Chelsea and can bomb forward.

Also the forward line did not look convincing in the Confederations Cup with Villa and Fernando Torres both failing to make an impact in the big games. 

Roberto Soldado was used against Uruguay and scored a goal. He should be used more often with his hold up play and clinical finishing key to Spain's future success.

One of the most important issues is what to do with Xavi. Xavi is an integral part of the Spanish set-up and cannot be overused due to his age but cannot be made to feel unloved. 

Isco could be drafted in to ease the pressure on Xavi. Isco has starred for the Spanish U21s and has drawn comparisons to Xavi and Iniesta in his style of play. 

Isco recently joined Real Madrid giving him the chance to show Spain manager Vicente del Bosque he can do it at the highest level. 

Javi Martinez is another option with his strength giving Spain a different dimension.

Spain manager Del Bosque has some big decisions to make on the future of his big stars in the Spanish national side. 

If he can inject some youth and pace into the Spanish national side, Spain can win the World Cup in 2014 and prove all the doubters wrong.  

 

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Topics:
Football
Spain Football
Internationals
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