• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Can Spain recover from Holland thrashing?

AFP · 17 Jun 2014, 09:57

Published: 17 Jun 2014 09:57 GMT+02:00

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.

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.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

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

"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.

- 'Dead, but not out' -

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

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 give 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.

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."

Story continues below…

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.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Five reasons why Spain's Socialists won't back Rajoy
Pedro Sanchez has repeatedly said he won't support Rajoy. Photo: AFP

Have you been wondering why Spain's politicians can't break the deadlock?

Bull fatally gores Spaniard through the neck at fiesta
Bulls running through the streets form part of fiestas across Spain. Photo: AFP

A 36-year-old Spaniard died on Tuesday after being gored in the neck by a bull during a village fiesta.

Spain's Rajoy faces doomed parliament vote to form govt
Rajoy is lacking the support to form a government. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Spanish MPs were expected to slap down the acting prime minister's bid to form a government on Wednesday.

Spain's crazy fiestas boom after tomato fight's success
The Tomatina festival in Bunol has spawned copycats around Spain and beyond. Photo: Bien Alino/AFP

The popularity of the world's biggest food fight has spawned dozens of imitations across Spain and beyond.

Give Spain a government, Rajoy implores MPs
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy kisses Congress President Ana Pastor on arrival at the Spanish Congress. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Spain's caretaker Prime Minister says Spain needs a government, and insists it should be led by him.

Human bones from 'religious ritual' found in the Med
The discoveries have been made off Calpe. Photo: Víctor Gutiérrez Navarro / Flickr

Police are investigating a series of bizarre discoveries by divers off Calpe that include human bones and items used in religious rituals in the Caribbean.

Hapless thief caught after FOUR hours trapped in hot car
Photo: Joan Carles Valero / ABC

Police rescued a thief after a robbery went wrong and he spent four hours trapped inside a car parked in the heat of the day in Barcelona

Christmas Day elections loom as opposition blocks govt deal
Rajoy has not got the support he needs to form a government. Photo: AFP

Spain could be heading for the polls on Christmas Day if Mariano Rajoy fails to win a confidence vote in Parliament today.

The ten commandments for expats living in Spain
Sometimes you just need to throw yourself into the local culture. Photo: AFP

Irish expat Carol Byrne outlines the ten golden rules you will need to follow to be a happy expat in Spain.

Madrid LGBT group takes action over ‘gay cure therapy’
Madrid introduced anti-homophobic laws earlier this month. Photo: AFP

A Spanish pressure group that fights against homophobia has filed a complaint against a therapist who offers “to cure homosexuality”.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
La Tomatina: Everything you need to know about epic fiesta
National
Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Politics
What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Features
Eight reasons to spend your gap year exploring Spain
International
'We won't ban burqinis on our beaches' insists Barcelona
National
British dad drowns saving daughter on red flagged beach
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
11 Spanish words that English must adopt right now
Lifestyle
Justin Bieber just bought an amazing new pad in Lanzarote
Lifestyle
Recipe: How to make Andalusian Ajo Blanco soup
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Travel
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
Ten touristy types you'll meet in Spain: Which one are you?
Lifestyle
Ten top tips to avoid looking like a guiri when in Spain
International
Don't miss this spectacular meteor shower over Spain
Travel
Desperate Ryanair passenger chases after missed flight
Travel
What's on in Spain: August 2016
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
National
German firestarter blames blaze on 'toilet paper mishap'
National
Flashmob prank sparks 'terror attack' panic in Spanish resort
Culture
Croquemon Go: Spain invents twist on game to 'eat 'em all'
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
National
Spanish parents fight for right to name their son 'Wolf'
National
Beach closed after shark attack in southern Spain
3,030
jobs available