Spain have been the superpower of world football for the last six years, winning two European Championships and a World Cup along the way.
But with their opening game in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup later today, is it likely that they can win a fourth successive major international tournament, or are the days of their domination over?
Over the last half dozen years it has not just been the national team of Spain who have been experiencing success, Spanish club side FC Barcelona have also been filling their trophy cabinet.
Under coach Pep Guardiola, Barca were the team to beat in Spain and Europe, winning four La Liga Titles and winning the Champions League in 2008-09 and 2010-11 seasons.
Two integral players for both Barcelona and the international side were midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta, players who complimented Guardiola’s ‘tiki-taka’ football. They both started in the middle for Spain and with quick short passing, invention and movement terrorized whoever they came up against in any competition.
However this year, Barcelona have had a pretty poor season by their standards and finished second to Atletico Madrid in La Liga whilst also being knocked out in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League.
With that such a large influence on the International side coming from Barcelona in the form of Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Fabregas amongst many others and such a poor season on the field, is there a possibility that this will continue onto the international stage? Is there a chance this might be one tournament too far for Spain?
It will be the first time in 6 years that the Spanish team will line up at a tournament not off the back of success from club side Barcelona.
So Spanish side Real Madrid may have won the Champions League, but realistically how big an influence do they have on the national team?
The only likely starters will be centre back Sergio Ramos and 'keeper Iker Casillas; compare that to the six who probably will start from Barcelona, of which a large contingent is the midfield that play such a key role in the way Spain play.
The disappointment of a trophy-less season could hangover the integral Barcelona part of the squad and might lead to come unfamiliar misery for the International team this summer.
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