rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Shocked Spaniards fear the worst in La Roja's clash with Chile

Shocked Spaniards fear the worst in La Roja's clash with Chile

June 17, 2014 17:00 IST

Shocked Spaniards fear the worst in La Roja's clash with Chile

     Next

Next

Stunned by the 5-1 humiliation by the Netherlands, Spaniards are already bemoaning the end of a glorious era and fearing the worst in
La Roja's World Cup life-or-death clash with Chile on Wednesday.

Diego Maradona put the challenge in a nutshell. 

"So how are Spain going to recover from this massive blow? Spain isn't used to letting in five goals," the Argentine legend told Latin American television station Telesur. On Friday night as Spain crumbled in the second half against the Dutch onslaught, some supporters still held out hope. 

"In 2010 we also lost the first match," one female supporter said tentatively. "But this was not just a defeat, they crushed us," said
another fan.

Catch the complete coverage of the football World Cup 

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Fans watch over the tribune as Spain's national team conducts a training session
Photographs: Henry Romero/Reuters

     Next

'It was not just a defeat, they crushed us'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

After a historic triple -- Euro 2008, the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2012 -- Spaniards are suddenly facing up to the prospect of losing heavily, perhaps even falling out in the group stage. 

"I have the impression that it's the end of an era. The cycle of victories is over," said Javier Gomez, sports presenter for the private television station La Sexta. He does not think Spain will make it to the quarter finals. 

"It is the end of a footballing model," he said, the tiki-taka trademark of Spain and Barcelona in which players make rapid-fire short passes aimed at frustrating the opponents by depriving them of the ball until the moment it ends up their net.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: A Spanish soccer fan watches as his team plays against the Netherlands
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Prev     Next

'Chile are going to try for a draw'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

It is a style that is now under challenge from a faster, more physical game, Gomez said. 

"Against Chile they may be able to take control because the players have been stung. But it's going to be very difficult because Chile are a very disciplined team, relentless, very physical on the attack," he predicted. 

And even a win against Chile may not be enough in a Group B dominated by an avalanche of Dutch goals. 

"Chile are going to try for a draw. I don't think Spain will be able to score more than two goals," fretted 21-year-old Madrid student Yoel Plaza as he left an official Real Madrid shop in the Spanish capital.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Two Spain fans kiss before the Group B match against Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Prev     Next

'This team live a lot in the past'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Spain's squad was selected with no thought for the future, Plaza complained. 

"This team live a lot in the past, in what they did in the European Cup and the World Cup. There are players who weren't chosen and who could have been a lot better than some in the team have been," he said. 

Online, many supporters seem to be ready to forgive keeper Iker Casillas who was savaged by the sporting press for his performance against the Netherlands. 

According to sports daily AS, more than 30,000 people online said they want him to keep his place against 18,200 for David De Gea.

"Casillas is still valued by the public but commentators and professionals have their doubts," said AS journalist Juan Jimenez.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: A Spanish soccer fan celebrates while watching Spain score a goal against the Netherlands
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Prev     Next

'Spain has to think of victory and scoring goals'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Casillas will definitely be on the pitch when the Chile game starts on Wednesday, said Javier Gomez. Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is known for being faithful to his players, he added. "If he takes him off, he kills him." Spanish manager Rafael Benitez, the former Liverpool boss now with Napoli, warned against burying La Roja too soon. 

"Their philosophy has given them numerous triumphs in the past. That should not be forgotten. And they should not change that because of a single defeat," Benitez wrote on his blog, quoted in leading Spanish sports daily Marca

"Spain has to think of victory and scoring goals," he said. Speaking of Spain's squad, journalist and writer Enric Gonzalez warned in conservative daily El Mundo that "there are corpses that bite". 

"They know and their next rivals know and we ourselves know that as a team they're dead. Dead but not out," he wrote. 


Image: Two Spain fans hold a flag
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Prev     More