Does Euro 2016 mark an end of an era for Spain?

Does Euro 2016 mark an end of an era for Spain?

Euro 2016 may have indeed proven a rather exciting and celebratory affair for every Portuguese football fan gleefully cheering on their proud nation this summer – but for those formally dominant footballing demi-gods known more commonly as Vicente del Bosque and the Spanish national side – the widely anticipated international tournament once again failed to deliver in largely unceremonious style.

 

Although Spain certainly haven’t served merely to embarrass themselves in being knocked-out to an admittedly impressive Italian outfit headed up by newly installed Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, many would have nonetheless expected the Spanish to top their group with little fuss in the cold light of day – a notion that seemingly escaped del Bosque’s boys within the grand scheme of things.

 

Spain’s previously undisputed reign right at the very top of the European game has now come under great scrutiny once again this summer, for after the team’s dramatically poor showing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil two years ago, several important question-marks have begun to surround Spain and what fate ultimately has in store for this unquestionably wounded beast upon the international scene.

 

 

 

Without one Carles Puyol calling the shots among the very heart of the Spanish defensive back-line, Vicente del Bosque’s team arguably lacks a great deal of leadership across the park when all is said and done. Real Madrid’s no-nonsense figure of Sergio Ramos certainly represents a strong skipper if we’re all being honest with the situation, but does he simply offer the same level of organisation once things invariably turn sour for the Spanish? Perhaps not…

 

And maybe that particular notion has indeed served to halt Spain at both previous international tournaments, hosted by Brazil and France respectively. The likes of Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva and Alvaro Morata manage to orchestrate some nice enough stuff out on the pitch when everything is going swimmingly for their side, but once one or two problems seemingly arrive out of nowhere as they often do upon the international scene, the answers somehow prove a great deal harder to chance upon out there.

 

Players like Sergio Busquets nonetheless feel like somewhat of a wasted luxury when Spain are forced to pull a goal or two out of the bag rather urgently, the entire Spanish back-line has quite honestly looked far from unbreakable for a fair amount of time now truth be told – and whilst newly acquired Manchester City front-man, Nolito, does indeed seem like a rather exciting asset based on his prior performances at Euro 2016 – each of Alvaro Morata and Aritz Adruiz simply didn’t do enough when it was time to step up for their manager.

 

Does any of this mean that Chelsea’s Diego Costsa should have therefore been drafted in among the Spanish national squad despite his admittedly poor showing throughout the 2015/16 domestic campaign? That too arguably remains something of an untoward notion for the Spanish as well this summer…

 

So then, as Spain clearly need to freshen something up behind the scenes heading into the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Vicente del Bosque’s recent resignation from the national setup must seemingly go down as the right step forward for everybody involved in Spanish footballing affairs. This nonetheless remains one of the strongest sporting outfits across the entire international scene right in the here and now however, so even on the back of their distinctly disappointing exit from Euro 2016, this team are by no means finished when it comes to showcasing some of the most impressive footballing tendencies upon the world stage.