Even just a few months ago, it would have been sporting heresy. Now, it was just a throwaway comment between colleagues in the office. “I’m bored with Spain.” I nodded in agreement - it was hard to argue.
Can it be true? Are we really getting tired of watching the world and European champions? An international side that echoes the quality of Barcelona; a team of footballing matadors with players who can humiliate their opponents, passing them to death and running them into the ground as they chase the ball in vain.
Surely the combined talents of Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, David Silva and the rest epitomize how the game should be played? Good football can invoke a strangely primitive, physical reaction and Spain’s swashbuckling, "tiki taka" style is ideally suited to stimulate us. Their tactical aesthetic should be as joyous to behold as a famous work of art.
And yet there is something missing. A nagging feeling in the back of the mind that prevents you falling head over heels in love with this Spanish side.
We got a huge response when we posed this question on Twitter earlier. Sean said Spain are: “Technically superb but dull. Wouldn't watch if they didn't have Iniesta. They play to not lose.”
Matt hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “… they've taken the best of Barcelona and sterilised it with pragmatism. Devoid of creative abandon.”
The worry is that having conquered fluent, possession-based football, Spain’s players have set out their stall to win at all costs. Their focus on results has stunted their flair and taken the fun factor out of their play.
David told us: “My nipper, wife and I all agree that the speed and flair of the Germans is better to watch than the tippy tab (sic)." And hopefully that comment will counter any accusations that these are all remarks from jealous England supporters.
Germany, much like Croatia in their group game against Spain, have shown a passion and athleticism that the defending European champions seem to lack. I’ll admit it’s slightly unfair on the Spanish, but they make the game look too easy. Fans want to see the effort and strain on the players’ faces.
The same accusation used to be leveled at Formula One’s most successful driver, Michael Schumacher, or legendary golfer Ben Hogan. At their best, they were technically brilliant, practically unbeatable - but you may as well have been watching a machine such was the dispassionate nature of their excellence.
In many ways, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Spain won’t care if football fans are getting bored with their clinical aptitude as long as they carry on winning major trophies. There was a time when they were regarded as the big underachievers of the international game.
Not anymore. Now they are simply, predictably, efficiently good, but crashingly boring.
Not even a mention to the person that has made Spain dull and predictable. Vicente del Bosque is destroying the best Spanish generation ever. Spain were boring and unimpressive in the World Cup and it's happening the same at the Euros. A man who plays with two defensive midfielders, without striker and with wide players who score few goals tells its own story: he plays not to lose, relying on Spanish players' magic to win a game out of nowhere. But that's not all this team can achieve. This man is destroying this wonderful national team. Whoever doesn't think the current Spain side is boring, it's blind.
They keep the ball for long and do very little in terms of goals. Give me Germany any day.
Has 'boring' Spain lost its football mojo?
Good question but it only applies for those who cannot analyse soccer to the right extent.
-You all want Spain to play entertaining soccer please ask their opponents to stop defending. Or please let your team play against a parked defense like one Spain faces then you will talk.
-Everyone is talking about not using Torres and any other strikers but Spain calls up Cesc ! Upon this saying please notice that the opponents are just defending so tell me what is the use of a striker who cannot support the midfield in building plays to the goal. Please who ever is critising Spain's playing just know that until Torres or any other striker who just waits for ball up front to pouch or score that is not going to work especially if Spain's opponents are just sitting back, by that Torres or any of the other strikers have to come back and build scoring plays with the midfielder to have quick one two(s) to the goal and score . So that is the reason why Cesc,Iniesta or Silva are played up front to help open up the parked defense,
-Some people are saying Spain want to play like Barcelona ! True ! But how does barcelona play ? Answer: Messi, Alexis,Pedro drop back to support build up scoring plays with the midfielders that way they get alots of one two(s) to the goal and its a goal.
So before you starts speaking about Spain please analyse properly. I won't get surprised if someone comes up and says German is playing well ?
Thank you all take care
Spain's style of intricate keep-ball is not only boring it's also being figured out by other teams. While football fans can occasionally get all intellectual about the game what we ultimately like is cut and thrust, which is why the Barclay's Premier League is so popular and why a team like Germany gets the blood flowing at the Euros. The Spanish style was an interesting change because it was so complex, but now the novelty's worn off I think opponents are decreasingly blinded by the science and us fans are returning to the default of wanting heart on the sleeve thrills and drama instead of a chess match.
Awesome comment Johnny!! If people want to see pain and strain well they need to go elsewhere, Spain is playing smart why run around everywhere when you can just pass. Playing as a team is better!
I'll tell you why Spain is boring. They pass the ball like the videogame Pro-Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven. The real football (or soccer) when you play an international tournament is not like that at all. All the teams have fear. They are not going to attack because it's probably they don't want to leave a vulnerable defense.
In 2010 Spain won the world cup with a little bit of luck. The last 4 games, Spain was not really superior than the other teams (Portugal, Paraguay, Germany and Nederland loses to Spain only by 1 goal)
Barcelona contribute with many players to their national team, but the real weapon of Barcelona is not Xavi or Iniesta, is Lionel Messi. He is the only one who breaks defenses apart. Xavi and Iniesta are excellent players but they need someone like Messi, and Silva, Pedrito, Villa or Torres are not in the same level like him.
They're now having the same complaints levelled against them that Arsenal did for a great many years. Wonderfully intricate and attractive build up play, spoiled by a propensity to over complicate matters in the final 3rd. They were always looking to pass the ball into the net rather than taking advantage of the openings they created, and consequently often came up short against the more direct attacking of Man Utd.
better boring than losing
I would say that the teams they face are boring by barracading the midfield and defense and always playing on the counter attack.
We'll see how entertaining Germany are if they play Spain again (We destroyed them in the World Cup after much hype on how they would stop us).
I agree that Spain has become boring, but I hate to tell you the following: Germany plays in a very predictable way, they are machines that are only efficient on the counter-attack. The Germans cannot complete passes or maintain possession, but they are efficient at putting the goal through the net. They do not build up their game whatsoever.
Johnny summarized the style of Spain very well; I applaud you. Most people that are commenting here are believers that football or soccer is played from goal to goal in a straight line... yet there is a lot of space horizontally as well, and that is what Spain tries. Spain´s game is not boring, some games are. The game against Croatia was not the best, both teams had a lot of pressure and it reflected in the game, but Coach del Bosque showed why he is the best... while most coaches would put a second forward, he took the one out and brought in two more midfielders, knowing Coratia qould have to add another forward and that would leave more space in the midfield third. As Johnny said: the other team has a say in the games... and now most teams put 9 players right in front of the box and wait for a counter or set plays (like Croatia). Spain is not boring, some games are! (it is my opinion... not "The Truth")
Well, I have to disagree with the article. If the other teams go out and play to win and not to avoid being humilitated, then the game would be more exciting. You talked about Germany, but Bayern Munich (the base for German team) looked very "boring" during the Champions league also, when the other teams (Chelsea) parked the bus in front of their goal.
I think it is beautiful football.
All tournaments such as the European Championships or the World Cup for that matter is a calculation by the coaches of when a team is actually going to peak and perform at its best. It's vey typical of teams to try and prepare tactically for each opponent to get out of the group stage to advance to the quarterfinals. Spain's World Cup coach, Luis Aragones was a proponent of attacking football and it was entertaining and bold and it was actually Aragones who brought Spain out of years of disappointments in international tournaments to the force they are today. He played to win and taught the Spanish players how to close a game with confidence and an attacking style. Del Bosque is more of patience and eventually we'll wear down our opponents kind of coach. It's a calculated approach but no one can say that Spain isn't getting the results. The problem is exactly that. Spain is playing for results and points but in the next round which will be a one off game, those same tactics most likely won't be used. Spain has a generation of players that are extremely gifted and they have been playing together for a long time and all seem t know their roles on the national team, but the magic of football will always lie in the unexpected, things that happen during a game that no one can predict. For the first time in a long time, Croatia made Spain look beatable and through a questionable call they got the 1-0 victory. I hope other coaches watched that game and learned this very simple lesson: Take your chances against Spain and you might surprise them and catch them off guard. It's not Spain that people are calling boring, it's the fact that they expect to win every match on past merits and that's a dangerous game in football... ask the great team Brazil had in 1982, Italy beat them by being bold and attacked them and were rewarded for it. I think that's what fans want to see. A team that doesn't care Spain are the current number one team in the world and give them a run for their money.
Y'all are missing an important point. (I'm German and therefore quite pleased with any criticism of Spain, but I feel I really have to come to their defense here.) The reason why Spain looks "boring" at times - and the reason why Germany won't repeat their World Cup wins of 4:0 or 4:1 against Argentina and England, respectively - is that inferior teams such as Croatia, Greece, and Denmark are playing a completely destructive strategy. Their whole game is designed to frustrate the better team and to disrupt its more sophisticated ideas. Mind you, I don't blame them - I would do the same if I were in an inferior position. But the fact is, this kind of strategy has the tendency to make the better team look quite stupid or, yes, boring. Hell, I'm more afraid of Greece than I would be if we had to play Italy, for crying out loud.
Boring? The first thing a coach teaches a young player to do is pass! Now people are complaining because Spain is doing playing exactly like they should be playing – as a team!!!!
Yeah, it's probably better if we Americans don't embrace football. We obviously don't get it.
Jose, I sincerely hope Germany will get a chance to play Spain again :)
And I wouldn't say that Spain 'destroyed' Germany in 2010. 1:0 is 'barely won'. But they did score, and Germany didn't, So I guess Spain deserved to go through to the Final.
But Spain's game is stil boring! (And I'm not German :) )
Hmmm – Spain won clearly – but they didn't "destroy" Germany – a new and inexperienced team – at the World Cup. The young German players gained a lot of experience, got better since then – Spain didn't really add to what they had in South Africa..
So we shall see.
i guess everyone expects to much from Spain. .do you want spain to play like England.. they say without messi Barcelona won't be doing well. .if you put messi in Chelsea. .and there is no xavi or iniesta ..how will Lionel gets his ball.. this is a team. .everyone has thier positions. can messi be goal keeper..can he defend can he play midfield beta than xavi...all this positions does the job well so messi can score..he is a striker he suppose to score goals...spain has fabregas he does very well..so pls stop crtizing spain play..its nice.
Dear Mr. Thomas,
This is a silly article. It sounds like sour grapes to me or just noise coming from a bench warming critic who is looking to criticize for sake of criticism itself rather than make a valid point. Perhaps you just don’t like Spain and are looking to find a negative any negative that you can to an otherwise positive story. The bottom line is that Spain has produced great football teams the past few years that win championships and with class. They are great team to watch and play with as much passion as any other country's team. I will be rooting for them in final!
Did you watch the game against Ireland? Did they lose their mojo there as well?
As soon as Spain beats France in the next round, you will bring them back to the "heavens" of sporting glory...just to show more internet traffic on your web site
Spain are like a drawn – out foreplay: AWESOME and BORiNG after a while. They push all the right buttons but rarely the red hot one
Stupid article. As Johnny said, the reason their goalcount is down is because teams are just sitting back with 11 defenders and waiting.
If teams didn't do this, the Spanish side would be dropping many more goals per game. It would be exciting as hell. You want to blame someone for playing not to lose and for boring games, blame the other teams. I wouldn't do it, they have every right to play to win, but it's more their fault than Spain's.
Against Croatia they only scored once, but were attacking relentlessly. Defenders Ramos and Pique shot from well away from the goal, Ramos' being on target. Silva had on target shot after on target shot. Navas came in late in the game and did nothing but attack the goal. And anyone who doesn't enjoy watching Iniesta and Xavi's technical brilliance doesn't appreciate good football.
Somebody out there said "sourgraping", all I can say is, "indeed"!
I think Johnny makes a much better commentary than whoever wrote this completely biased article. You should hire him.
In basketball there is at least an attack time down to 20 sec and the ball is fairly given to the opponent if team runs out of that time and did not shoot. Thanks to the boring spanish pass forward-back-forward game it is time for Blater to introuduce similar to basketball rule in footbal. Let say it is 2 minutes and if Spain did not shoot or reached opponents penalty area in that time, referee stops the game and ball is given to the oponnent. Otherwise we gonna see this boring momentum groving in other teams and that would be an end of football. Hope Spain loses for the joy of sports.
am quite please and at ease when things are done with so much brain than brawn,Spain's style -a testimony.Even their style may be preditable,simple and direct but if you are not up to it you are done.
In the present Euro2012...most of the football games are slightly dull and stalemate....most of the teams are playing similar style and quality football...mostly very banal square passes which is mostly harmless and has no courage to shoot from the outside penalty area. Nowadays, football is mostly of staticstics of % of controlling the ball without considering the number of clear openning created by a side. It is clearly the time of a overwhelmingly superior footballing nation has gone. Famous tems and smaller teams are almost equal in standard barring some superstars players & mostly failed in international games. Ribery, Benzima (France), Hunteller, van Perci, Ruben (Netherlands), Teri (England) etc. are till now, completely failed. Christiano Ronaldo, Nani (Portugal), Samir Nasri (France), Schneider (Netherlands) are flashy in some matches but not consistent. They are super stars in local leagues (Spain, Italy, Germany, England) but rather average in international games. Bygone is the era where Pele, Maradona, Crueff, van Basten, Khulit, Linekar, bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore...used to play well both in local leagues as well as international games. Cheers (if you can)...!!!
The writers have no clue. They only write this to create a news story. Spain is a great team that wins games without key players. Boring? Let's put you in some boots and run around with them. This article was boring.....
Anybody saying Spain is boring in thier approach to the game does not know what he is talking about. And as for saying that they play not to lose is simply absurd. Tell me which team goes to the field with an intention to go and lose. Even the Samoan national team if pitted against Spain will like to as much as possible do damage limitation by packing the bus so that the scores are brought to the barest minimum. Spain is not boring. They play a typical team game, which is what the game is all about. The boring teams are those who put all the 11 players behind the ball to defend for 90 minutes and hoping to score the odd goal when the opponent makes a mistake. Please go write about something else and leave Spain alone.
Spain never had mojo. They steal it from Catalonia. They steal money and mojo from Catalonia, everyone knows that.
sorry Spanish football has been ALWAYS boring, going back to their lucky world cup run.(the lowest scoring world cup campaign) by the way. Chelsea showed how to stop Barcelona, now all teams that face that Spanish tiki taka will do the same, and we can finally put all the Spain fans to bed.
This is to all haters about Spanish football.
I only watch soccer because there is a Spanish team, keep them out of the soccer world and I'll be a goner.
BRING IT ON, The GERMAN TEAM and the whole world will see.
Boring?...what game are you watching??? Iniesta is in top shape and so is Silva, not to mention Navas! World class passing and entertainment
The way Spain play their football is a site to behold. I only wish that my team played the way they do. Superbly intelligent team play. What more can you ask for?
what a ridiculous article. either you've run out of things to write about, or you've lost creativity, or you're just criticizing just for the sake of criticizing.
i'm not sure what kind of football you're looking for. would 11 ronaldinho's with bicycle kicks and tricks do it for you? or would a Neimar do it? or 11 individualists who don't know the concept of passing satisfy what you're looking for?
or maybe just go watch street football because real football is too boring for you.
i'm not Spanish or a Spanish fan, but I do appreciate good, sound, and efficient football when i see it.
The writer of this article is clueless or jealous (the latter I believe). Spain plays complete football – artistic and beautiful.
Anybody who has played football will see a lot of drama/excitement in the way the Spanish play football. It is beautiful tactical football, the way they create opportunities and pounce on them. They dont have the build and strength of Germany. If they started running along like the Germans, possibly they might not have achieved so much in the last few years.
So please, everything need not be done to make it look exciting to the common supporter.
If you want to see people running around fast, then you must be missing of athletic.
Those of you dumb enough to bring LUCK in sports arguments must just go back to bed. Where on earth did luck win anyone anything? You lose a much when the other team scores more and you score less or dont score at all. How difficult is that?
As for the article the question is why did this guy even write it? It almost sounds pointless. Remember there are always two teams on the pitch and tactics play on every match from both sides. So stop being so paranoid and go watch wrestling
well, from the very last euros, i knew that the tikki taka football is anthetical to the beauty of the game.
i mean people knew there was no way that germany could beat spain in the final, and that was exactly how it was. football is about the two teams using the ball. but whereby only one team does that in every match, spain a la barca against any team; be you high and low, then you get the perfect recipe for boring , boring spain, albeit barca is next.
So tell me, how is the other team suposed to compete when it virtually has no ball to itself.
So that explains why madrid has to play sily and ugly to get anything out of any match against barca. chelsea had to do that timidly to get rid of barca. coz its virtually the only choice u've got.
Catalonia is Spain....I am so sorry. You need to study a few history
Spain beautiful football? Spain plays simple possession football, same goes to barcelona abet they also include some counter attacking element s. the whole ideal is to bore the opposition to chasing the balls and open up spaces.
spain doesnt possession wingers anymore, they rely on creative midfielders (take it as compliment)
Dear Pablo, I didn't say the opposite. So, maybe you need a "reading class". Cause Catalonia is Spain, they can steal money and mojo.
It seems this article was written by someone that doesn't know much about soccer. The reason that Spain might look "boring" is because the inferior teams that they face put 10 men behind the ball. If you know anything about soccer, you would know that it is hard to break that kind of defensive team. Let teams come out and play Spain the right way and i can guarantee you they wont be boring. In fact, the other team will be annihilated!
Because all the Spanish players are technically gifted, the best way to defend against them is to put many players behind the ball. Thus, Spain has no choice than to kick the ball around to find a breakthrough.
The problem is the manager. He's been too conservative, and he hasn't been willing to drop certain players in order to pick his best team. Not bringing Soldado to the tournament was completely unjustified, and the no striker model is a silly replacement strategy. Lucky for him he's got the players to bail him out.
Markwater, you blunt ignorance deserves little comment. Spain steals from Catalonia? First, Catalonia is part of Spain. Second, it´s actually rich regions like Madrid that have to support the excesses of catalan nationalist governments who have driven Catalonia into ruin.
Footbalistically, your assertion is completely false. Where is Iniesta from? Silva? Casillas? Villa? Ramos? Sorry, not catalan. Yes, Xavi is from Catalonia, as well as Piqué. But in the end they are all Spanish.
And, by the way, when Luis Aragonés instilled this style of play in the Spanish team Guardiola was coaching the Barcelona B team. Just to put things into perspective.
i believed that Spain and Barca plays the best football in the world,whatever team they play defend against them,simply because they dont want to be humiliated,spain national team have fantastic team work,this is why they are so good as a team which other teams lack,the build their play,they dont score u by luck,they are ceative,i love there style.
Such a biased article. Surely the author is bored of Spain, can't withstand the exciting play makers Spain have at their disposal. Spain has lost its mojo? Its a joke right? No other country provides entertainment at the highest level than Spain. They are the reason, football is still breathing life.
I think it's fair to point out that this is a blog, and is the opinion of the writer, so therefore of course it will have an element of bias. And you have every right not to agree with him :-)
Really? Boring Spain? Pretty ignorant comment, probably made by those whose team/s cannot handle La Roja. I guess a better football for some is stick everyone on defense and aim for a good counter attack. Many teams play with this strategy, which makes it hard to score as everyone is in the freakin box defending. So, basically, if you think Spain´s football is boring, it´s because of other teams strategies. Viva España! Viva el buen fútbol!
Sorry, I don't want to discuss about politics in a football tread, so, that's my last comment here.
I let you discuss silly things like "Spain steals mojo", of course that Spain can't steal mojo. It was a joke (as every person with a developed brain can see). But I don't let you say that Catalonia is ruined by nationalists, just learn about fiscal balances. I let you discuss about stupidities like "the mojo", but not discuss topics with verificable data. And if you want more information, take a look (a deeeeeeep look) to the problem called "mediterranean corridor vs central corridor" (Spain insists in a central corridor in front of a Mediterranean corridor, guaranteed by Europe -fortunalely Europen government don't try to obstruct Catalonia's growing, as others do-), and take a look at other similar problems that prevent the growing of Catalonia (Barajas airport vs El Prat airport, as example). Of course catalans are into ruin, who is not ruined in Spain actually? Madrid is into ruin too (yes, I know, they have a nationalist government too lol). The less ruined region is Basque Country... where... surprise, surprise... Spain can't steal money!!! And they have a nationalist governement!!! So curious!!!
Pleeeease, don't make discuss when the data are out there, it's boring.
Just to put things into perspective.
(I LOVE spaniards lol)
This is a prime example that team work can beat out individual play on any given day. I would agree that at times Spain's matches can be a bit dull to watch, but this is no way to the fault of the Spanish. Rather the faults lies with the teams who cannot manage to control the ball for longer than a few minutes because their egocentric play relies on individual talent. The reality is that the only way to play at the same level as the Spanish is to shove their game right back at them. Control the ball and make them chase a bit as well.
As for claiming that the Spanish play an effortless game: This only proves your athletic ignorance. The amount of work required to play a game with so much control of the ball and the smooth like quality you mention is unimaginable. These guys have learned to manage the ball with beautiful, sound technical skills that can only be acquired through hours and hours of training.
Do not bash on the Spanish for elevating the level of play into a thinking man's game rather than a brawl of pure raw athleticism– for that there already exists the NBA and NFL.
I think the real problem here is that people cant differentiate soccer to futbol. The people that think Spain is boring is because they dont understand futbol. These people want the stupid american version of soccer which is a version of adult Kick and Chase. That is not futbol its soccer and its more boring to watch than anything else. All you see are players running around in circles kicking the ball out of bounce when they get into trouble. La Roja is one of the only teams in the world that plays out of the back 99% of the time. They dont just kick it out of bounce like they do in other teams.
Furthermore the people that say that Spain doesnt score much that they only look for the 1-0 win. THAT IS WRONG. Spain during the group stages of the Euro 2012 scored more goals that Germany and had the highest goal differential of any team. Beating Germany by 2 goals. Im not saying Germany is bad or their style is worse because its not its just different. Which is what makes this sport so unique. It is one of the only sports that allows for different styles of play.
I will also like to note that Vicente del Bosque has done a great job. Its a hard job to be the one to put people like Mata, Cesc, Torres, Juanfran, Javi Martinez, etc.. on the bench because all these players could or are starters in some of the best teams in the world. As well as for the people that think Spain went on a lucky run in South Africa. You are stupid to think that because to go on a 7 win streak against the best teams in the world is hard and it takes a method and a great team to accomplish not plain luck.
Regarding the article. It is obvious that this author has no idea about real futbol. He is just trying to get attention and create arguments.
At least England are not boring, I Crap myself everytime they play.
Jealousy is such a horrible thing.....the most beautiful, brainy, elegant and creative soccer in decades and -what a surprise, oh my!- an anglosaxon journal attacks it (quite poorly, by the way). Get a life.
This article is complete and utter rubbish. Spain is not boring. They play the most beautiful brand of football in the world and are head and shoulders above any other team save only the Germans. The games are not as exciting because of the negative tactics employed against the Spanish. To call Spain boring shows a startling lack of insight. It is not Spain that is boring, but rather the teams Spain are playing. Spain are so good on the ball that teams are forced to defend for 70% of the game. Spain are constantly trying to break through a defense that usually has ten men behind the ball. If teams opened up and tried responding differently to Spain then the game would not be as boring. If Spain played Spain you would be treated to excellence. Instead, every other nation is just holding on for dear life and putting their entire team on defense. The games are not as exciting for this reason. It is, therefore, totally inaccurate and horribly unfair to call Spain boring.
Lost? They have never had it. Did ANYONE notice how they won all of their WC matches by 1 goal?
prior to my analysis, we can all see that using Torres as a striker against a team that sits back we hardly get results from him because his always watched as long as he does not get involved in setting up scoring plays right from the midfield. This is what Torres has to do, drop back play one two with the midfielder that way it destructs the defense for him too receive a polite through pass. But him waiting to pouch ball against 7 or 8 defenders, he only has 30% to score goal with those defenders around him.
SPAIN IS NOT BORING, BUT THE " GAME" PLAYED BETWEEN SPAIN AGAINST ANY TEAM THAT LOVES TO SIT BACK (DEFEND), MAKES THE GAME BORING!!
"Please give credit were credit is might to be given. Spain deceives it. I hope to see an energetic, fast and may be European Championship final game between Spain and Portugal only if Portugal does not come to defend OK!! "
Thank you all
Spain is wonderful the best we are very hapy.
Many teams have something that has made them great in world football, such as Italy's Catenaccio; Brasil's Samba; the Dutch had Total Football; England had the Direct Attack Soccer; France had Exquisite soccer; Germany's High Efficiency, and now the Spanish employ the Tiki Taka, which is the latest and most modern way to play the game. There is nothing boring about it, every soccer lover is mesmerized by their flair, the impressive accuracy of their passing, the incredible way all players that are selected into the team can, not just immediately adapt, but also and excel in the team.
Look at the clubs that are represented in the National Team: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Athletic de Bilbao, Malaga, Sevilla, Atletico de Madrid. All these clubs have a style that is their own; nevertheless, they become España when they report for duty for the national team.
Those of us who love the game are delighted to see them excel the way they have done for so many years, and I personally hope to see them continue to amaze, delight, and yes... anger their many (jealous) critics.
I am guessing that the writer of this article is not from Spain, or that the writer of this article would not be complaining if his national soccer team would have won the last Euro cup and the last world cup. Let's be honest if you like soccer, you have to love the way Spain is currently playing. Spain has currently the most talented players in the world, what makes watching its games so enjoyable disregarding you cheer for Spain or not. Do you really understand what is going on? I'll tell you. Like every single champion in every single sport, you get more experience and you become more frugal with your resources, because resources are limited (i.e. energy, players, etc) No one can argue that Spain's soccer styles is actually one of the most beautiful to watch and you can check the latest results statistics to see that it is also effective. Please, remember that Italy has won 4 World cups playing mostly with a boring defensive style, Germany has won 3 world cups playing mostly like a strong machine, so are you going to complaing about the style of Spain? I understand that you may be bored of watching the same team win again, but whoever wins right now to Spain won't be probably playing as enjoyable as Spain is right now doing it.
Yes I agree that the Spanish team are playing boring games, but I think these days this is the only way to win titles. Yes Spain won Euro 2008 with beautiful football and style but that won’t happen every time because football is changing, it’s all about tactics and using the player’s qualities to create chances and score goals while defending well and keeping the ball away from their opponent.
So it’s either playing attractive football & maybe loosing, or playing tactics with great chance of winning. For worldwide viewers off course they want to enjoy great football game but for the Spanish people they want to win titles and create history, which they started doing.
Oh Oh I'm NOT a sports fan or follower but how can people say spain is boring after their amazing world cup performance and what team has an equal to barcelona and a player better than torres ?
i totally agree with PETER WHITE, Spain plays intelligently,players pass ball properly and not crazy, Germany ... Croatia...they run a lot around the field, but without any strategy, only physics, and has been shown that in football is not just physical and body, but intelligence and quick thinking the best option.If Germany is still on top, not for their "beautiful" game, but because they are physically incredible, otherwise too predictable.The only hit that can be attributed to Spain, is the lack of speed in this euro, for the rest they are showing that is better to think first and act second. If you want to see pain in the faces... friend...you got the wrong sport, MOVE ON TO BOXING!!
Last evening against France, Spain played some beautiful football. Two goals against a talented France are indications of La Furya Roja peaking at the right time.
Those Spanish footballers are experienced winners. They have laid their hands on the last World Cup and European trophy, Europa Cup, some of them have touched the CL trophy, La Primera Liga, the Spanish King's Cup and the Super Cup. The combined strength of their winning mentality is mind boggling. Spain cannot be written off so soon.
Yes, Germany was the monster in the 2010 World Cup, but their speed and commitment was useless against "La Furia".
Let the final game be Spain – Germany so no more excuses on either side!!!
Jonny kikambi is right. Spain is not boring is praying kind of a game which other teams scared of them force them to pray. who says a team that has all 10 prayer on a defense prays good football? sit there and wait? this is not football. people are criticizing Spain football because they fear them. if people think Spain football is boring then let them tell the other team to stop praying a 10 man defense wait a game and they will see what happens to them and they will know exactly if Spain football is boring.Football is about possession , attacking and scoring and Spain is doing that what do people want?. Please it is time you all say Spain is a better side It is a world champ and Euro champ what else do you need them to do ? to a Africa champions?
Spain and Barcelona's reign will come to an end when Xavi retires from the game. Their whole game plan is based around him.
Let me start by saying that all teams want to win. It pains the most when your team, especially your national team, loses in such competitions. As a person from another country, my sole aim of watching soccer is entertainment (in which case i would like to see good dribbling, passes, and fast straight football) but as a person whose country is playing i would rather go for good strategies as long as they are not against the rules of football and at the end of the day win the match. spain is exceptionally good because it is bringing results as compared to rusty england which fails to produce results because they fail to come up with a strategy that can hand them a cup. It is not true that spain is playing boring football, thats what is important; ball possession has to be superior if you are to score or defend.
why then did Germany, Netherlands, lose? Thats where the superiority comes from. Remember they will continue winning if no team comes up with a better strategy against them. Is there any Spaniard complaining that their team is playing "boring soccer?", no. Let our teams learn from them lest they will continue losing and losing and losing and losing to this team with a superior winning strategy.
Of course Spain is not boring, My God such jealousy!!!!.... Huh what happened? Huh I fell asleep!
well, on my opinion, the germans are a different story... they usually begin good and win brilliantly against weak opposition. That is the reason, they are "likeable". If they play against stronger opposition, like Croatia (Euro 08) Serbia (World 10), Italy (World 06) of for that matter Spain (Euro 08 and World 10), odds are that they will loose and deservedly... One thing is to play good and win brilliantly against low level opposition (Greece Euro 12) or ill prepared teams (England and Argentina World 10) and other is to play against teams with technically superior players (Spain and Italy, or for example Argentina when they have a real trainer and not a mascot like Maradona...) Then things are different... I think, we will see another example of my point during the next Friday semifinal.
World class elegance, intelligent, creative, innovative and technical soccer is the new boring?
Congrats to the Spaniards, they have proven they are the best for years and they will be for many to come.
If you got the ball, the other team is not going to score. If you want the ball run and come for it. Spain midfieders are so superior and its football is so sofiscated that can look boring. In that way of mind Rafa Nadal got a very boring tennis, but he is the best, same like Spain in football
Spain are Barcelona without the diamond tip = Messi. It is getting boring but they definitely have raised the bar and only Mourinho and now Di Matteo out thought them..sorry are we talking about Spain or Barcelona?
It's only boring because they are the only team to play the game. Spain (and Barcelona) face opponents who pack it in and wait for the one counter attack to score a goal. It's hard to entertain when you have no room to operate in because your opponents park the bus.
The sad thing is that the team WITH the ball gets blamed for the PASSIVE team not having a shot at it...Really people???
I struggle to call spain boring , because as a futbol lover you can't deny their technical brilliance. Controlling the ball the way they do at this level will not be witnessed again for a long long time. This team however is simply not looking as good as in the past 2 tournaments, and it is a combination of a couple of different factors. Teams definitely play "not to lose" against them and their opponents completely pack the middle of the field so that Xavi can't play the incisive vertical passing that makes Barca so deadly in La Liga. On top of that they don't have the offensive wild cards they had in 2008, the year I think Spain really peaked. The team doesn't trust Torres with the ball, and they don't have Villa to work his magic around the 18, or in the case of Barca... Messi or even Alexis... look what happened with out Villa in the champs league. Spain also does not have Barca's Dani Alves with his option of a rocket from outside or solid crossing. Back in the day you had Ramos delivering a version of that option. But now he is in the middle too. pain's outside players are mediocre crossers of the ball (alba is pretty good at short range) and so even if Torres could finnish these days, or if Del Bosque played Llorente, the supply of dangerous long crosses would not be at a particularly impressive level.
It will be interesting to see how they play against a team like Portugal who will make them work to win the ball back and not just leave 1 isolated holding forward to try to capitalize on mistakes. Del Bosque will probably have to keep his defensive players restrained to keep an eye on Cristiano and company. That means they won't be able to completely swarm the midfield and final 3rd the same way they have against the scrubs who have just sat back so far this tournament (looking at you France... with that squad...pathetic). We will likely see a different spain in this game- more flair needed to get the vital goals.
It's not Spain (or Barcelona) who are boring but all their opponents who cannot find the remedy against their style. The matches become boring in the dressing room when the coach of the opposing team sends the players to the field advising them to try to survive the next 90 minutes and hoping to have at least one chance during the match when they can score.
This attitude is what makes Spain's or Barcelona's style boring.
Great comment "Johnny Kikambi". Remember football is a team sport and not a game that revolves around any 1 or 2 or 3 of the 11 player in the field. And currently no other team plays football as a team sport than Barcelona or Spain do. People are being bored because, there is only one country that want Spain to win & that is Spain itself & there are other dozens & dozens that want them to lose so that their country can be the next champion. So, Spain are just becoming a victim of absolute JEALOUSY. Spain's success has been a sweet ripen fruit of their years of hard team work & training down to the grass root level from academies to playing together at a club(mostly at Real Madrid & Barcelona).
Would we receive same comments & blames had the current English team won the Euro playing the same style of football?
Would Portugal play the same style of attacking football if Ronaldo was absent from their squad. So, Spain are also adapting to the situation in which their leading goal scorer is injured & absent from their squad. Also football wouldn't be beautiful if all teams started playing a common style of fast attacking football.
There wasn't a much noise around when Italy won the 2006 World Cup on the back of their solid Defensive performance. So why this fuss when Spain wins on the back of their Solid Midfield & Excellent Defense. Spain deserve every bit of plaudit as any other team do when they win.
If the game play style of Spain bores anybody then c'mon ask your team to take more possession of the ball dominate the game & defeat Spain at their own game. And I know nobody can do that just because the players don't have same level of understanding of each other as the Spanish players do & simply, THEY JUST CAN'T PLAY FOOTBALL AS A TEAM.
And for those who still think Spain are playing a boring game of football Spain will give you a mouthful of answer in the Coming World Cup Qualifying with plenty of goals as David Villa returns to the squad.
It doesn't seem the author of this article knows about football. The spanish team plays beautifully and really smart... but their opponents try not to play football, they just defend and cut the play constantly with dreadful pression and kicks so that the spaniards cannot make their fluent waltz as usual. I detect clearly the ENVY in the author of this article and in many of the commenters...
so sorry, but a very silly article and many silly comments...
Lets look at facts, for instance in this European cup...
Germany has scored just 1 more goal than Spain (as of Quarterfinals), but also received more goals than Spain.
Teams playing Spain give up on offense and focus whole strategy on defense, and often bordering violent defense....
Dam if you do and Dam if you don't seem to be the best comment... They run more km per game than opponents, they pass more, they score more, the get less goals against, their passes are also statistically better than others...
Watching Spain is a delight in precision, determination, fair play and superior athleticism... maybe not as tall as other players from North Europe, but they battle for every ball and run like hell...
WELL DONE SPAIN and so sad to see so much small minded envy
Boring playing like Mourinho teams or like all others that only defend, praying they do not get over power and ridicule by the other team that shows they have much better skills and ball control.
Please do not be stupid calling Spain's football boring......................
Posted by: Alex Thomas, CNN World Sport Anchor
Filed under: Football
are you sure it should'nt say Baseball?
For people that can seat for 4 hours watching nothing happend, how can you say Spanish soccer is boring???????????????????
Alex Thomas, go fly a kite
The next match will be : spain 90% "posesion" and 1 goal....excellent, brilliant......zzzzzzzzzzz
Nonsense! Thomas this is just a case of sour grapes, its footballing jealously pure and simple! Spain are playing a very intricate, free flowing game against teams that are bankrupt of ideas apart from defending! I admire the way the hold possession, frustrating their opponents until they loose their bearings, which is the moment Xavi or Iniesta make a clinical pass for Fabrigas or Villa to score! Focus on your hopeless England that gives its supporters nothing but long balls and ulcers!!
Spain is not boring to watch and they had an amazing performance in the last world cup anyone who thinks other has no clue how the game of soccer is played. No team in the history of the world cup has won the tournment when losing their first match, so all odds were against the team. Then the magic!!!! happened WE WON!!!!!!! and now everyone has put us in this catergory of boring soccer!!! you all are all fools, because you guys are basically saying that hey! we cant figure how to take the ball away from the spaniards so lets say they are boring!! and hope to steal the ball!!!! Jealousy is what I call it!!! When your on top everyone wants to bring you down!!!!.......TOOO BAD!!!! cause were are the best in the world and NO ONE can mess with US!!!!...VIVA ESPANA!!!!!
For those who say Spain is 'boring' – they were 'boring' enough to win Euro and the WC. Those aren't beauty pageants, they're soccer tournaments. Possession controls the game and Spain controls the possession. Not the most exciting style to watch (unless you're a true soccer aficionado) but if you can't beat them, you can't trash-talk them.
What is really boring and tiresome and is destroying football is to see defenders provoking five simoultaneous penalties in each fault or corner in the area, by grabbing attackers, by clearly embracing them, pushing them, kicking them...without any reaction from the referees. This is what we can expect from the final between Italy and Spain. Italians are much more masters than Spaniards in fine arts (theater and drama), when they are touched and they are masters in pushing, kicking, grabbing them from the shirts or from the balls or wherever and then appearing that they are innocents and did nothing. This is what is destroying football and fair play in this sport. Watch the final and carefully observe Italians....
What is killing football is catenaccio; and this has even trespassed borders to reach also Spain. So, I am afraid that the final will be effectively a poor match, with defenders grabbing, kicking, pushing and irregularly pressing attackers and with a lot of put it on (cuento).
This is what is killing football and making it boring to the extreme.
The missing ingredient for Spain now are great strikers ( like David Villa).Trying to mix Real Madrid and Barca plaers also doesn't help as that rivalry which goes beyond football brings its own issues. Finally, playing with 6 midfielders and no all out forward limits your ability to make forward runs and spread the defence and you end up with a packed midfield passing the ball around and not going forward much.
Watching Euro Final and ya I'm definitely bored with Spain. It was beautiful at first but after a few years of the same style, it had become predictable and boring. The styles of Germany and Portugal are more exciting and fun to watch. All that being said, Spain is still a great team, you can't argue with that.
So, have you seen better soccer than this, boring way of playing?
Do not even try to fix your stupid comment .
And now what... SPAIN 4 – ITALY 0. Still boring???....Come on guys... go and watch Baseball.....
4, four, cuatro.................
By the way... we (couse I am spanish) made history already.... Three on a row. Two europeans championships plus a World Championship,... On a ROW.... ;)
Tell me about boring Spain now...
The only boring thing about Spanish play on the last years is knowing the likely result of match: a victory. Simply find a team that fight Spain to get the ball, and play it trying to score, instead of defending with 9 players on his won field.
What could make a Spain match boring is the total lack of play from their rivals, only focused on defending and trying to get a lucky counterattack. One out of twenty matches, that strategy gets a good (and probably undeserved) result as Switzerland got on SouthAfrica2010. The rest, well you got the scores of last three tournaments.
Alex Thomas Please remove foot from mouth 3, 2 , 1!!!
4-0 very boring and defensive match! You really know your football!
Spain 4 – Italy 0
Honestly we couldn't care less what Alex Thomas says or else.
Today the Italians were destroyed, no more no less ... could've been 6 actually. Spain played brilliantly!!
Btw if you guys are bored do yourself a favor, turn the TV off or change the channel to the table tennis finals, the ball is faster there ... HAHA
European Champions 2008
World Champions 2010
European Champions 2012
Yeah ... Is really boring.
Nobody watch today's game?!?!?!?!?!
How can you say so after today's game?!?!?!
We won Italy 4-0 and could be more, They just play as well as the other team deserve: Croatia: Fighting, Portugal: patience (Bad game for us, I recognize that but the extra-time was our, and we won because of the champions luck)
France: Just playing football or Futbol.
Italy: WE PLAY AS NEVER ANY TEAM HAD TO AGAINST ITALY, We Fight, We play, we touch, we tiki-taka, we just erase Italy from the field, because our team, right now, is the best team ever in the FUTBOL (soccer for you who never ever seen something like that before)
For You All: Thank you for your wishes!!!
HISTORY IS ON OUR WAY!!
All haters below, after today, eat crow.
Interesting to see these comments after Spain's win today. La Roja did not have any boring moments today.
You can always have Germany always. Germany, Netherland and now Italy, all lost and none of them scored against the Spaniards whom you said, "they don't do anything with the ball" . On their way to the final, they beat France. Soccer is Geometry and art- Germany is all about Geometry, Spain does it both ways. They Spaniards are all skilled ball handlers.
Those of you who think Spain plays boring, obviously know nothing about soccer. Spain has just demonstrated that they are the best team in the world. Soccer is all about playing as a team and that is exactly what Spain does.
Well done Spain!
How is 4-0, boring! Not even Brasil in its best day has been able to pull that off, and if you complain about being boring or defensive just go and research about other styles of playing; you be surprised how un-colorfull other teams are compared to Spain. My guess a lot people problem is the old age problem of jealousy, that is very sad.
It is healthy to read back because we can see how harmful limited and shortsighted headlines and opinions can be. Without a real understanding of football many have touted Spain´s style as boring. The truth is, it is not Spain playing boring. Spain always plays the same tiki-taka style and makes it look easy. That in it self is remarkable. The truth is that other teams try to adjust their game to Spain´s style. So if Spain faces an opponent with 8 defenders the game will obviously be played differently than when an opponent tries to play head to head against Spain. The latter is what happened to Italy in the final and Spain has proven that head to head, they are unbeatable. Yet, most importantly, it´s beautiful to watch Spain beat the opponents that dare to play to win. Thanks and credit to Italy for wanting to win. Thank you Spain for being true to yourself and thank you for having shown the rest of the world possibly the best football final ever in history. Congrats for innovating and making football exciting. Looking forward to the world cup now.... Spain vs. Brazil... ? :)
Spain 4 – Italy 0
If a team tries to play soccer playing the ball with Spain. That's the result. Spain bores when opponents try to destroy the match.
For those who said/think Spain was boring in this thread, think again!!! Appreciating beautiful football even without goals is actually understanding football. But for those who only want to see goals, here's 4!! Football is much more than just about goals ... its about knowing how to pass the ball (xavi, iniesta), technical ability (silva, fabregas, jordi), strategy, class and knowing how to defend (ramos and pique). So stop being jealous and start UNDERSTANDING football!
Alex Thomas, I recommend to you to change your profession LOL... write something about Chess, because you don't seem to know about soccer more than I do about Cricket LOL.... ;))
To the balls......who ever you are, do you need more proof or 4-0 is good enough for you???????????
Maybe you need to learn about football first and then you might be able to opine
Euro Champions 2008, World Champs 2010 and now Euro Champs again 2012...boring??? you got to be kidding.
Best ever football team in the World by statistics and you call them boring...I smell envy...
You guys should hire someone who knows a little bit more about football...
I told you guys earlier "if you are not up to it,you are done", ask the Azurris,nevertheless they tried their best reaching final better luck next time.
One can only savour and relish the beauty and glamour the spanish pattern has brought into the game,to say it's boring is a myopic observation.It is left to other teams to devise an antidote to the "sweet taste" poison of the spanish style.This antidote in itself a thing to add to the bliss of the game- a constructive tactical approach- that will and able to undermine the aesthetical appreciation and clinical finish of the tiki-taka formula.
Boring? Have you been watching the same games as the rest of the world? Spain is technically the best team on earth for the last 4 years and for years to come. Are they boring because they didn't score as much leading into the final game? To quote Fabregas, I think those who say they're playing boring "...doesn't understand football."
After calls of Spain playing boring, they came out and responded with a 4:0 spanking of Italy – the most lopsided championship game in recent memory. The way they played the first 45 minutes was the most complete football ever played. They played the way football should be played – great ball movement, passing forward as opposed to sideways, attacking and defending. Spain has put on a clinic to silence all you haters.
Despite all criticisms lodged against them, Spain stayed true to their style and never sold-out and compromise their philosophy. All other teams haven't figured out a way to beat and play them other than playing an anti-football style by simply lining up their players into a defensive wall formation. Now that to me IS boring.
The Azzuris had one good game against 1 powerhouse Germany and the media is already itching to crown them the next champions. Good thing they never had the chance. A certain hotshot Azzuri striker learned during the finals the hard way what do those cavet emptor footnote is on investment funds prospectus actually mean – i.e. "...past performance is no guarantee of future performance..."
Prandelli himself said Spain is not boring, its just "...fear of seeing the same side always winning." So if you meant to equate watching the same team win all the time to being boring, then prepare yourself to be bored to death at least for another 2 years til the next World Cup.
The article MUST be written by someone with very little,(or none) knowledge of the sport.
Soccer, or football, depending in which side of the world you are standing, is played by 11 players that PASS the ball in a associated fashion, thus the name of the game: "Associated football".
When you have brilliant talent, such as Messi in Barcelona or Iniesta, you play to make them shine so that the team can SCORE.
Spain has done just that. PLAY, PASS and SCORE. Two European Cups and one World Cup are the result.
I rest my case.
Those who call it boring are those who don't understand soccer or those who have no solutions to beating Spain. Like it or not, Germany, ENGLAND, Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina etc have to up their game against Spain, They can be beaten with clinical finishing and strong work ethic at defending.
I think that every sport has accepted that technology enhances it, football knew the day would come for them, the day it became soo popular....
How i love boring with 4 goals against Italy in the final, golden boot winner, best tournament player and Euro cup to boot. Pray.... for the early commentaries above, how does it feel to be exposed as either envious, pretenders or ignorant.....
I am waiting for the apologies to the best team of this age..........
Great job Spain
hi their all , iam not a spain football team supporter but i can tell u something without an attacker and they still win thats what i call real football the generations of football has changed its all about possesion now and they have mastered it so people if other teams cant crack this good luck beating them next time
OK. Here we are!,You were probably right at the beginning :Spain was not doing their best. But facts show everything and they reached the final and they won, and you must recognise that it was not only luck. That match was great!
You must be very jelous not to love spanish soccer. What a team , what a play? even brazil of the zicos and socrates in not like spain. Every team on earth fear spain and every couch like to play his team like spain but they can't . You enjoy both, the talent and the goals. every team they play against play defensive so what do you want spain to play. Go get the ball or open the pitch then you will see how many goals you will concede. All managers in the world know that , that's why they play defence. Spain and barca are teams from another planet.
I can swear i love soccer more than any other sport in the world. When spain or barcelona play i leave everything to watch them.
You are aloud to hate spain. That's your opinion but you can't say spanish team is boring. As a fan you want to see both internainment and goals and for spain you enjoy both. it's like music. they play you dance to the tune.
I really feel i don't want to watch soccer if barcelona or spain is not playing. they have destroyed the enjoyment of football because after watching them you feel all football teams in the world are playing rugby.
Boring? Obviously the writer has no clue of what soccer is all about. True fans and players of the sport, whether a fan of the Spanish team or not, can appreciate the genius of their style. It is like telling Mohamed Ali your jabs were boring.
legal o estilo espanhol de jogar futebol...mais eu acho um futebol chato,falta o futebol arte..o corinthians tem o estilo de barcelona como toque de bola e futebol arte, um grande clube do brazil..
I have enjoyed the eruopean championship soccer this year (as half italian)i have to admit they deserved winning the final match but for the rest every match of spain was very boring to watch
I am very much optimistic that the current form of spanish National team is a force to reckon with. They made football quite interesting and simple, that watching them for 90mins is like 20mins. I hope my National team(Super Eagles of Nigeria) can copy such style of play. It is really the best way to play football in this our jet age.
Certainly. I agree with told all above. We can communicate on this theme. Here or in PM.
Lol! At all the butt-hurt spanish fans! Spain is already out of the World Cup, couldn't even make it past the group stage. Whereas the Germans and Netherlands are riding on a high! And about Del Bosque being the best, i disagree, if he is the best then how come he couldn't foresee these events and make the required changes in his team? While every other football blogs on the internet, such as this one, predicted that Spain would be undone by it's own "dull" strategy and gameplay! Best Manager Pfffft!
Spain really does need attacking players, like Messi. They had Villa but decided to save him for their last game at the group stage, what a farewell he got! Messi can still score regardless of "Xavi" or "Iniesta" being in the team or not, as he did in the game against "Bosnia" and "Iran" and boy what a goal that was, beating the defensive wall laid out by the Iranians. Xavi or Iniesta could never convert such a goal on their own. The least they could've done was let Villa play, then Xavi and Iniesta cud supply the ball to him to convert, such a waste of talents!
Alex Thomas is a sports correspondent and anchor with CNN International, working out of the company’s London office. As well as reporting from the 2009 and 2010 Champions League finals, in Rome and Madrid, Alex has been CNN’s man on the ground at the Wimbledon and French Open tennis Championships, Vancouver Winter Olympics and the football World Cup in South Africa. He has also interviewed world sports celebrities like Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Padraig Harrington, Arsene Wenger, Ji-Sung Park, Michael Ballack and Serena Williams.
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