The spine still tingles. The sight of Vicente Del Bosque's team of torero's teasing and tormenting an Italian side, whose honest application should have made such subjugation subject to penalty on the grounds of cruelty, was as devastating a show of technical prowess and collective intuitiveness as you're ever likely to see during your time on planet earth.
The superlatives have long been exhausted and the cliches are too simplistic to capture the audacity of winning the European Championship, arguably the hardest competition in international football, by four clear goals against an Azzurri side bestowed with its own array of experienced superstars.
But thrash them they did, and with a swagger too.
The opening goal from David Silva was essentially an exercise from an exhibition match with the Harlem Globetrotters.
A routine created to prove that footballers too can be artists of a sporting aesthetic. The second from Jordi Alba, thrown in to demonstrate how total-football works: defenders can strike, midfielders roam according to instinct and hunt in packs when out of possession, center backs (even goalkeepers) can pass and hold the ball at feet, strikers ... well, in this case, sit mainly on the bench actually.
Though Fernando Torres, in a rare moment away from his bench-warming duties, scored a third by coolly slotting home yet another assist from the Gods delivered via their man on the ground, Xavi.
And then to underline the strong team ethos of the squad, El Niño passed up the chance to clinch the tournament's top scorer mantle by setting up late sub and club teammate Juan Mata for the fourth.
True Italy were down to 10 men by this stage but even before Cesare Prandelli’s side were at a numerical disadvantage, Spain had shown enough to demonstrate the gulf in class between the two teams.
The victory was a crowning glory for a side who are undoubtedly one of the greatest ever assembled, with no other team having ever successfully defended the European title or won three major international trophies on the bounce.
But are they the greatest of all time?
Before jumping to any rash conclusions, like the many deluded commentators who labelled Spain "boring" in the preceding rounds of the tournament, a few statistics should be considered:
Del Bosque, who has now guided Spain to 52 wins in 60 games, is the first coach in history to have managed a side to World Cup, European Championship and European Champions League glory. In addition, La Roja’s third European title equals Germany's record.
Unbeaten in their last 12 European Championship finals matches, Spain have not conceded a goal in their last five, both competition records. Furthermore, they have kept clean sheets in their last 10 knockout games at the European and World Cup finals. How many sides of the past have combined defence and attack so powerfully?
Incredibly, their last defeat in European Championship play was a 2-0 loss to Sweden in qualifying in 2006, a streak that has created a 29-game undefeated run.
And in a side known for their attacking ingenuity, goalkeeper Iker Casillas has kept a record 79 clean sheets in his 136 appearances.
What's more, of the starting eleven for the 2012 final, Xavi will be the oldest member at 34 come 2014. As the likes of Paul Scholes, Paolo Maldini and Ryan Giggs will attest, this is an age at which it is still possible to be winning silverware.
The nexus of the team - Casillas, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso - will surely have only formed a greater bond by the time Brazil plays host to the World Cup.
And this is without considering the array of emerging talent Spain has at it's disposal, including the likes of winger Jesus Navas and Alba.
Of the great sides from the ages it is always hard to compare like for like: were Hungary's “Magical Magyars” better than Johan Cruyff's “total” Holland side of the 1970s? Would the Brazil of Pele and Garrincha have beaten Diego Maradona's Argentina of 1986? Or was Zinedine Zidane's French side a finer winner of trophies than the Germany of Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Mueller?
In truth, great teams can only be measured by the opposition they conquer, the silverware they claim and the memories they create. And on each of these criteria Spain surely match any of the legends listed above. The strong possibility remains that they're not finished yet either.
Favorites for the 2014 World Cup? You bet. And if they successfully defend their world title you might be celebrating the fact the undisputed greatest team of all time played during your lifetime.
The spanish own football at the moment. You either hate em or love em, there is no denying them.
SPAIN IS DA BEST . LOVE FROM TURKEY
spain is da best
Now they only need to top it all with a victory in the World Cup Brazil 2012. Truly an amazing team! :).
They are by far the greatest TEAM that has ever stepped on the pitch.
They play the most beautiful style of the beautiful game.
La Roja is difinetly the best team to ever walk on this planet
never in the history of Mankind did so many people celebrated while they are heading for an economic doom.
Is called " living you live"
U must be a robot....
bravo Spain,to get the real champion they must reach a gold medal in Olympics Games 2012 in London . Spain's teams have completely with Charles Puyol and David Villa . GO MATADOR.
When you draw 1-1 and then beat the same team 4-0 then you probably draw or even lose the next I would say that you're only as good as you're last game.
When you draw 1-1 and then beat the same team 4-0 then you probably draw or even lose the next and the next I would say that you're only as good as you're last game.
QUOTE: "Before jumping to any rash conclusions, like the many deluded commentators who labelled Spain 'boring' in the preceding rounds of the tournament, ..."
Well, excuse me for being "deluded" :) I can state for a fact that I was bored, so how can I be deluded?
Brazil's 1970 team and the Dutch "total football" team turned it on consistently, not just in results, but also thrilling football. A great team, for me, is not just about beating strong opponents or winning silverware. It's about entertaining.
Sure, the current Spanish side can be highly entertaining, but in can also be as dull as mud. But as this blog points out, they may still improve and challenge for a place among the all-time greats. Not yet, though.
I will only accept Spain as the greatest team of all time if they meet Brazil and Argentina a beats them in 2014 world cup.
In the 20th century the 1970 Brazilian team with Pele was probably the best at that time but history will clearly show that Spain is now the best. Winners of Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012. No team anywhere in the world has three back to back titles in such a way.
Best team ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think the last years they are showing that they are the best team in all histori of football including here the personal records of some players (torres casillas xavi etc) and the record of spain as a football team.
This Spain has proven to be one of the best teams ever and the results speak for themselves but to name it the best team ever might be a little bit too much. I still think Brazil has that title deservedly.
Who said German team is the best?
Mentally the Germans are not strong. They can beat weak team but when it really counts they always loses. In tennis, it's call the Big Points. Before the game with Italy, the German coach were saying that their were so strong, they could beat any team. Now we know better.
Even if they would have won against the Italians, Spain would have destroy them.
Ole, Ole, Ole Spain!!!
Best team ever was Brazil 1982.. yet no world cup
Viva España!!!!! Claro que somos los mejores!! Grande España
Lost in translation.. it was italy who lost miserable.. they didnt seem to have legs in second half.. Only reason why spain looked so invincible. They adjusted to summer heat marvellously well can could see 4 spainiards surrounding the ball when mattered.
This is triumphalist nonsense. It is impossible to know which of the great teams was the greatest. First, there is no way to measure one team against another because the amount of games played, the style of rivals encountered, and the conditions under which the great teams have played are all different. Notice, for example, that this article's "statistics" are nothing but cherry picked facts to drive home a point. (E.g., Argentina's 4-0 thrashing of Spain right after the World Cup? Conveniently omitted.) Additionally, the article does not present facts comparing Spain to other national teams. (E.g., is Spain the national team with the longest undefeated streak in history? This question may be extremely hard to answer. Do you count minutes of play or actual days? Do you count official games only or friendlies as well? Do you consider only European and South American teams or teams from all over the world? The article makes no attempt to find out and present any of this data.) Finally, there will always be a lot of subjectivity in deciding what "the best team" is. *(E.g., those who saw Garrincha play will tell you that there isn't a player today on the pitch that can hold a candle to him. For all I know, they may be 100% right.) So, Spain's case for the best team ever is not so much based on objective criteria as on a subjective frenzy. But, if it makes the Spanish feel good, good for them. They need it.
German football is irrelevant, English football is obsolete, Brazilian samba pales in comparison with the Spanish master class. Viva Espana, the gold standard on how football should be played.
If England is dreaming of wining a major title again, they must reinvent themselfves like the spaniards have done. Brazil must go back to the drawing board and recultivate the art of playing football.
Forza Espana. Now teach Brazil how soccer should be played.
What is wrong with the title? "Best ever" Anything which is newer is "best ever". It is a misuse of "best ever". Such comparisons are meaningless. Very soon this Spanish team will disappear from the headlines and just become history as everything else. Then another person will call some other team "best ever".
The only team than can beat Spain, is sitting in their bench in the sidelines!!
Cactus and football ...
The economy may be in shambles, the country going down the drain, but there must be soccer..........
WOW! what a game ,what a team,an amazing FINAL
Nobody likes admitting that the present is superior to the past. It is easier to admit inferiority to those who have gone before than those who still share the stage with us. Every grand old school has its greatest ever heroes. Rarely will they still be in the school at the time they are so acclaimed. But history doesn’t reside in a textbook it lives all around us, for it is made everyday minute of everyday.
Which epoch of history is greater is determined by the achievements of the era not when they were achieved.
The Brazil of 1970 is the eternal rebuke lazily countered to the claims of the current Spanish generation to the [peak of the games pantheon. The names of Pele, Gerson, Tostao, Rivelinio, echoing though the ages seemingly enough to drown out those of Iniesta, Xavi, Casillas and co. but what is the reality.
We have all seen the full matches played by Spain, their genius and their flaws scrutinised by cameras from every angle. But how many who glorify the boys of 1970 have seen the full clips of the matches they played in that world cup.
I have. They were great. But they had their flaws. In the final the great Pele dived far more times in one match that Xtiano Ronaldo did in the entire 2012 tournament. In the same match they misplaced more passes than Spain did in their worst game of this tournament – against Portugal. The 1 goal Italy scored in the mexico final was conceded through a misplaced Brazillian pass that today’s commentators would damn as childish
They played against teams who had the courage not to park the bus around their 18 yard box. The two occasions when Spain came up against similar opposition in this Euros – Italy in the final and Ireland they scored 4.
If every team had played the Spanish with the freedom all Brazil’s opponents displayed in 1970, the Spanish would have doubled Pele and Co’s goal tally at this tournament.
Spain were never outplayed in this tournament and have not been in any of the last 3 they have won. Brazil were clearly outplayed in most of the match they played against England in 1970 by an English team that were superior to the ones who won the world cup in 1960.
The Spanish have won more then the team of 1970 who never won the South American cup and collapsed into a thuggish rabble when they defended their crown so gloriously won in the Mexican sunshine when they defended it in Germany in 1974.
On what basis then beyond misty eyed nostalgia where the Brazilian team of 1970 better than the current Spanish generation.
The greatest team of all times is Brazil, 5 times champion of the FIFA World Cup. Spain is 1 time champion. To overcome Brazil, Spain would take minimum 20 years if it won the five subsequent FIFA World Cups from 2014 until 2034. Check here a show of goals by Pele, his skills https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsTribdZBQU&feature=plcp
it's a good team and also other national teams aren't as good as they used to be. I think it's the combination of factors.
Dont think they are the best team ever...they one just one world cup, not 2, or 3 or 5.
It is not possible to compare different ages, but Spain is, no doubt, the Best team of the last 5 years, the unique to win Eurocup, Wolrd Cup and Eurocup in a row and, in a football that is more professional and competitive than ever, i really will bet that not any team in history will be better.
And for those who say that Spainsh football is boring ... think again, what is boring is the Spanish rivals putting 10 Players aside their keeper and trying only to defend themselves. If another team tries to play "face to face" we receive a master class like yerterday.
It is impossible to make spectacle if the other team does not want to play. The spectacle in a football match is a matter of two.
Spain is the best team!
We are the best !!!!!!!
They're good but the best team ever? Is this a joke or the comment is coming from someone who have no soccer knowledge?
An amazing team, an amazing game....Congratulation !!!
I hope in 2014 my team will win it all....Vamos Brasil.
Gabriel: the article talks about official games and not friendly matches. Officially the last game they loss against was in the World Cup agains Switzerland, if I remember correctly. No matter how you look at it, they are probably the best team or one of the best teams ever. Friendly matches are exactly that, friendly.
Spain are a great team but the Spanish league setup gives them a big advantage. There are many other European teams who would have similar success with the same setup.
Most of the first eleven comes from 2 clubs and so, in international matches, they're playing with the same team-mates that they play with every week. Also the standard of the other teams in the Primera Liga is very poor and so the players don't need to try as in other European leagues to win games. This gives them a big fitness advantage over other teams when playing in European club competitions and internationals.
Also before they consider themselves a great side then they need to beat the best South American sides.
I'm a huge fan of Spain (the football team and the country – I even married one of their women!), but such comparisons are non-starters. There is simply no way to objectively identify whether Spain (or any other team) is the best ever. My suggestion is to just enjoy the sport and the team for what they are now. Why are such comparisons relevant?
Spain has been an amazing team since 2008 that has defeated all team with the best soccer around the world and is the favorites to win 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
It's the best team in this generation but the best team ever is too much, could be one of the best.
When you think about soccer Brazilian' team in 1970 is the reference. It's the best one.
Some times, and the history has talked a lot, the best soccer team couldn't win the world cup. In 1950 Brazil lost in home, 1954 Hungary lost, 1974 Holland lost, 1982 Brazil lost despite the fact that had one of the best team ever.
Soccer has been the most amazing sport because of this, some times the best can not win.
Congrats to Spain,but, apart from in the Final, they WERE boring to me. That's not delusional that's FACT, I WAS bored. Heard a stat that they averaged 39 passes to produce a single chance. That is not what I want to see. I can appreciate intricate passing if it leads to something but if it's just keeping the ball for the sake of keeping it, then it's not really football because the aim of the game is to stick the ball in the net. Spain did that in the final, and that's fine, they put on a great performance. But what about the rest of their Euro campaign in which they provided close to zero drama or entertainment. So, to me, ( and I reserve the right to decide for myself what bores me and what doesn't), Spain pales in comparison to Brazil 1970 or the French of '08-2000 because those teams got results AND entertained. Technically, Spain are excellent, but I'm not buying in to this pseudo intellectual "Emperor's new clothes" appreciation of their technical skills. Call me a Philistine but they are NOT exciting, and that's where it starts and ends for me.
Best team ever? It can never ever be answered for any team. Because:
1. You can never have the best teams of different era's play each other to determine who is better.
2. You can never have people who have seen ALL of the best teams of different times, be alive and available to objectively assess / compare etc
3. As is rightly said, performance is always relative – to the opposition, to the prevailing standards of the game, things like weight & material of the ball etc. So how do we ensure all of these referential factors to be at par before we set out to compare teams across the ages??
4. Statistics is not everything for all the above reasons. Basing judgement on it alone would be fallacious. Equally so would be to go with 'expert' opinions or polls as all of the participants would only have seen one or two such teams in action.
Spain is a great team, but not the best team ever. If they win in 2014, then they will be. The Brazil team of Pele 1958-1962, won back to back world Cups, which is by far harder than 2 consecutive Euros. Plus, in that era, 1958-1970, they won 3 out of 4 world cups. Since Brazil can't play in the Euro, to make a comment that Spain is the best ever is without merit.
This is a statement a 16-year old Spanish boy would make.
Between 1994 and 2002 (eight years), Brazil was 2 times world champions (went to 3 finals), 2 times Copa America (our equivalent to Eurocopa) (went to 3 finals), and 1 Confederations Cup (2 finals).
And this is the SECOND round of greatness, we where 3 times world champions before this guy's fathers were alive. "Greatest Team Ever" is silly in the mouths of people that did not see Pele, Garrincha, and the Dutch '74 teams play.
@Kola. You are mixing things. We cannot compare the football styles from different eras. There is no use to compare present Spain to former Brazil. The comparison should be made taking into account the football environment in each past time. For instance: was Spain better than Brazil in 1958, 1962, 1970? Which other country is so consistent in quality as Brazil, who (is the only in history that) classified to all FIFA World Cups since this global tournament began?
In every analysis, two points should be discussed (a) technical level at their historic environment and (b) performance. For (a), Brazil is the best team ever, Brazil changed the way football was played in the world. Masters like Mazzola, Pele, Garrincha, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho are recognized as the best in the world in their times. For (b), Brazil is also the best team ever, because the country delivered consistently a performance that resulted in 5 FIFA World Cups along 80 years of existence of this competition. Brazil is also the only country in the world that classified to all FIFA World Cups. It would take Spain 24 years to overcome Brazil`s performance, if Spain could deliver the hypothetical but implausible performance of winning all FIFA World Cups from 2014 to 2034. This is mathematically possible, but you and me and everybody here knows in our hearts that this will not happen so soon. It took Brazil 80 years to reach the leadership. Great national teams from Germany, Italy, Argentina and Brazil will fight and win Spain and win the FIFA World Cup in the next years. This is another proof of the great feat Brazil performed, by winning 5 times over all those great teams.
Of course, they must be the best team ever, and I'm also quite certain that had Spain not mopped the floor with Italy (who miraculously overcame Germany, a team that would not have been so easy on Spain), this article might not be here.
Using words like "ever" is usually dangerous, and in this case inaccurate. Even as a commented above noted, just after winning the world cup, Argentina wiped the floor with Spain to the same tune Spain wiped the floor with Italy, winning 4-0. But wait, conveniently that's nowhere to be found in this article? I thought Spain was the "best team ever"
Please get informed about more than a couple statistics when writing an article for CNN, and CNN, again you're foolish for posting this crap.
Spain's a good team, but please get off their jock. kthx.
We don't care if the Spaniards are the best footballers or not. Just pay up the darn debts they owe,darn Spaniard debtors!!! Stop leeching on the other countries and live within your means!!!
SPAIN , U ARE THE BEST !
Hello! Im Dani, from Cadiz (Spain).
I dislike the main Pic at CNN. Sure, Spain is probably the best Team. Everybody knows its hard. Please put a better main pic :) Thanks!
Hola! soy Dani, desde Cádiz España.
No me gusta la foto principal que habéis puesto en CNN. No hace honor a la altura de este evento.
Cierto! España es probablemente el mejor Equipo.
Todo el mundo, repito: TODO EL MUNDO sabe lo dificil que se lo han puesto a este equipo, y al Pueblo Español.
Por favor, poned una foto a la altura del evento :) Gracias!
Yes, the best team ever !
....but more than that, they are just great artists on the field.
The team is so much more than the sum of all players. That was a magical moment...
Thank you so much for that !
I like spanish club and the are the best ever in the world football.
Can we get this soccer garbage off the front page please? We have bigger things to worry about than grown men kicking a ball around.
you know is this same pinto that said Spanish football is boring and they won't make it to far..
WTF??????? Brazil is the best team ever.
I am a Spain and Barcelona fan. But, greatest team ever? I beg to differ. I have watched Brazil 1970, Holland 1974, Argentina 1986, France 1998 and all of the above teams played a much more exciting football than Spain. The difference was that all those teams had on top of 10 great players ONE exceptional talent that the whole world could admire. Pele, Cruyff, Maradona and Zidane made the difference. Spain doesn't have that. And that's why it's so difficult to identify with them and take the admiration to th next level whcih is adoration.
The Spanish people should not let themselves be used by their government. Governments are ever exploring events like World Cups and Olympics to take the attention of their peoples from more important actions or to mask their incompetence. The goal now for Spain is not to win future World Cups but to work hard and pay its debts, put the country into economic recovery, reduce joblessness and suffering for its people and other most important tasks. This is the case of Brazil also, though with a better economic standing than Spain, they are spending too much for the World Cup and the Olympic Games, while favelas abound and economy is reducing growth to a standstill.
hahaha.. Spain the best? hahahah, play ten times against any team of Brazil they will loose at least 8....
I congratulate Spain not only for their victory but also by their gentlemen game. They proved that it's possible to play fair, and combine beauty with victory.
Spain was undoubtedly too strong for Italy, but I still feel sympathy for the azzurri: they played well too, didn't use any of their traditional tricks and were over all fair players.
Nothing to do with the dirty Dutch players who fought (you can't say they played) the World Cup final two years ago. Their game was more a guerrilla fight than a sport and they made a mockery of fair-play. I am glad they left this Eurocup through the back door in complete dishonor.
There could be an argument that the current Spanish squad is one of the best multi-year teams ever. The overall depth, the synchronization of ages, the compatibility and complimenting of skill sets – all make for a watching an amazingly enjoyable team. But I have seen many teams better that maybe were on fire for 2-3 years- when they peaked they were unbeatable and much better than this Spanish squad. The teams I think of had such passion and superstar drama that many times the team itself was torn apart afterwards. After 60 years of watching football – the Spanish club is good, its great, its fun to watch – but I've seen better many times.
Gracias españa por tantos buenos momentos¡¡¡ Todas las imagenes despues del partido aqui: http://goo.gl/GbaMz
Greatest team ever, I think the Uruguay team of the late 1920s and early 1930s deserve a mention. Uruguay won the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Football Tournaments and then won the 1930 FIFA World Cup. All three competitions were recognised by FIFA as “football world championship” meaning Uruguay were world champions three times in a row ! Either side of winning the Olympic gold medal in 1924 they were also South American champions in 1923 and 1924. So they have actually won a three a row twice over ! Media guilty of recentism when claiming Spain are 1st to win three majors in a row.
UNTIL you include Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina in this tourney this kind of talk is pathetic.
this team is very good but is no the best team ever i dont so like the boring end fest football this team pley..is reely like gamevideo.lol ilove ection !!its to much respect for the spain .spain your dey is off no more win pliz.
next:argentina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:))world cap 2014 brazilll.
From spain: this is a amazing soccer team and we are very hapy. Now i think is the best national team and i hope they still be the best in brazil and they will win another world cup. But the best team of the history? i cant ask this question, Guardiolas barcelona is (or was)better and in the history of world cup teams like Brazil, Argentina and others made greats perfomances. sorry about my inglish.
Spains success can only be explained with two words: "La Masia" (Barcelona's school)
The Greatness of Blue and Yellow Colored inspiring Spanish Footballers is yet to continue throughout this decade!
Oh so here we go again.. Spain wins big against a rather jaded looking Italian side and they are now vying for the "greatest ever" – RIDICULOUS. They played superb football in the final alright BUT where were they in the crunch match against Portugal. The "greatest side" should have won that comfortably NOT through a lucky penalty shoot-out. Germany would have tested them alright.
By the way the greatest teams over the years do one thing consistently well – they win by scoriing big. This Spanish did look rather dull at times.
The greatest team remains the 1970 Brazilian team of majestic players. Yeah they were a bit lazy in defence but would have blasted this Spain if challenged by "experts". The 1954 Magyars, 1974 Dutchmen and the Brazilian teams of 1982 and 1950 were better, And no Maradona's 1986 team was NOT a great team – had France or Brazil got through to the final that year, instead of running themselves to the ground in their gut wrenching QF, they would have thrashed Argentina , Maradona notwithstanding.
Yes Spain are a superb side but they are someway down the ladder in term of greatness. All the great teams of the past had at least one all time great player – Spain have none anywhere near.
I get a warm feeling just remembering the way Spain played last night. That, I think, is how football should be played. As for El Roja being the best team 'ever' ... well, I think I agree with the comment by Marin above; you need to use the criteria he/she has listed here. I would love to see Spain play Argentina, Brazil and even Uruguay in a competitive setting. Perhaps the next world cup will give us that opportunity. Until then, claims of being the best 'ever' team are just premature.
Xavi and Iniesta are the reasson for Spain´s today success, if they together on field. Without one or another, Spain looks a quite weak squad. Any team that can hold the pace of Xavi and Iniesta will beat (not easily for sure) Spain. Just remember Chelsea defeating the then invencible Barcelona. As for who is the best ever, Brazil cannot be measured today. By the way, if Pele scored some 1.257 at long ago, today he would make double. Any way, Spain deserves her place at the Pantheon.
I love barcelona and I am happy for spain but come on stop the best time ever..first win six world cups and then talk to me
Please stop telling the Spaniards that they are the best. They will start believing it. They are the most arrogant people in the world. They are bad losers and bad winners. The best team in the world was Brazil in 1970. The Spanish are good for the moment, but the best ever, that is going too far. After all, Brazil has won the World Soccer Cup 3 times, and the Spaniards have done it only once. I still remember when one of these "heroes" slapped a member of the Honduran team in South Africa. No, they are not the best, never.....
Spain is definitely a great team, and have racked up two Euro championships and a World Cup for their trophy case, but the best team ever to play on a pitch? I'm not convinced of that at all as I have witnessed some great teams throughout the history of football. The Brazilian side of 1970 and 1982, The Dutch and German sides of 1974, The Argentine side of 1986, the French side of 1998. On any given day, anyone of these sides could beat the current Spanish squad. What Spain has learned in the past four years is how to win and close out a game. That's what champion caibre sides do. But I don't expect Spain to win the World Cup in Brazil, does anyone really think so? On Brazilian soil? In that World Cup, folks will be saying, "Whatever happened to Spain?"
Spain boring? The only thing boring about them is that they win and are technically better than anyone else. Anything more exciting than a team that attacks and defends as a whole unit? Boring is a team that sits back and waits for Spain to attack so that they, if their lucky, can mount sporadic and uncontrolled counterattacks. The long pass football game is passe. I agree that we'll have to wait till the 2014 World Cup to see if they can be crowned as the best team ever. Eat your hearts out "boring" critics!
Spain could win the World Cup in Brazil. But it will be very very difficult.
Pro: the have a good team and the back-up players, the player in the bench , are sensational (Muniain, J. Martinez, Thiago, etc). Within 2 years, the Spanish team will not change very much.
Con: The will play in Brazil, in Marcana. And Spain will be THE TEAM TO BEAT (as the are now).
The chances for Spain are 50-50. But they couldinwin. Let´s see what happens in the Olympics in London.
Best team in History? Well, this is a topic which is debatable. But Spain has a very exceptional and fantastic team. They ARE STILL MAKING HISTORY. Ole for Spain!
the best team ever, xavi and ineasta, they are the best ever,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
the best you ever think of
I remember very well the Brazil of the 70's and there is no comparison, Spain is much better.
The speed that the spaniards move the ball and the way they dominate the game is much better than any other team in the history of the soccer.
The only way to stop the spaniards is the way Holland play the World Cup final...playing rough and doerty....
Absolutely amazing Spain!
congratulations champs! And thanks for make me enjoy your beautiful game.
I only laughed at those geniuses that were speaking nonsense about Spain being a boring team, without a doubt people with not much knowledge of the game of Futbol, and who doesn't understand what our National Selection does with the possession of the ball. This final game was a pure example of what a cohesive team does, where there is not one single star, but the whole team are all super stars, while living their egos outside the door. Spain once again gave a lesson of Futbol to those who did not know the game well, proving that their domination is not a fluke, and will continue no doubts given that the majority of team players are still young men. ! Viva España !!!!
Not to be a grammar snob, but Spain isn't a plural. There is only one Spain. So the title should be "Is Spain the best football team ever?".
Spain have come with new style. No strickers. anyone can score. what a team.not even brazil of the socrates 1986 will match spain. I hate to love them. they are soo good, it's just like music man.
they are two types of spectators. one those who want to see goals and the other ones who want to see enjoy passes and football. Spain has both, so what else do you want. it's up to you.
The best ever ? Well, ask Blatter and Platini until when they are going to win everything.
To be correct Holland won the europeen championchip in 88
Being Dutch I am a honoured that you mention the Dutch football as the start of the great football Spain is now showcasting, but you should get your facts right...
Holland won the European Championship in 1988!
Spain, the only Football Triple Crown winner ever. European Champion 2008, World Champion 2010 and European Champion 2012.
Due to its team work, Spain's national team is the all time single great player ever.
If you've watched soccer games for only 4 years, since the Euro 2008, so you'd say Spain is the best, but come on! This team is far behind Brazil's 1958, 1970 and 1982 teams. Soccer was not invented yesterday.
in the sports program they said that the dutch invented totalfootball but never won a big tournament, but they did at the europeen championchip in 88
Congratulations are indeed in order for Spain for winning Euro 2012 but I'll hold off on bestowing the title of Best Football Team ever until it achieves what no other European team has done, i.e. win a World Cup outside of Europe.
Brazil is still the standard by which all global football powers are measured, not only by its five World Cups, but the fact that they were won in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Ok, I'll say what most people think but are afraid to say. The Spanish team compared to all the other great teams of the past and what separates them is this: Charisma. Spain has no charisma as a team. It's like watching a team of well programmed robots play perfect football like they were programmed to do. They work hard, they run and pass exquisitely and when I watch them I say to myself. "If Spain had an iconic player like Leonel Messi, then everyone would love them" but they don't have that one player who does the unexpected with the ball and produce pure magic. Actually, watching Spain play football is like being promised a ticket to watch one of the Harry Potter movies and realizing there's no Harry Potter on the pitch. Iniesta is a great player, but he's not Harry Potter. So in conclusion: This Spanish side would be a lot more entertaining if they produced a Spanish Messi, which hasn't happened yet. In Brazil, I think it will be the Messi and Neymar show and Spain will fizzle... so enjoy it while it lasts Spain because soon it will be some other country.
They're the best. They earned it.. oh wait... Spain had to lend 100 billion of North Europe. And they've got the most expensive team. Almost 1 billion euro on the field. 1,5 with Italy.
Where's that price money??
Its their season ..but certainly not the best of all time :-)
Everyone is free to decide which is their favourite team in history and there are arguments to consider a few. I would say that probably only the Brazil of 1970 and maybe the Hungary of 1954 could be serious contenders on the basis of their flair.
However, and if you believe football is about winning, that is, defending and attacking and being effective you just have to put Spain on top of everyone regardless of the fact that it may bore you at times. And if it bores you, it is normally because the opposition simply renounce to play football at all and just put 10 players behind the ball.
The Brazil of 1970 didn´t have the continuity of Spain and the Hungary of 1954 failed to win any silverware. Likewise, the Spanish team of 1962 was too a very gifted one and just failed to win the WC that Brazil eventually won mainly due to scandalous refereeing. The Dutch team of 1974-78 was indeed fantastic but lacked the continuity and failed to conquer some silverware. They should have won the WC of 1978 if Argentina hadn´t had the support of the dictator Videla and hadn´t enjoyed the advantage of playing on home soil. The France of 1998-2000 I think is nowhere near this Spanish side. They won a World Cup at home (which takes some value out of it) and they won the Euro in a dramatic fashion against Italy which should have won that tournament. The Argentina of 1986 is just not a contender at all as it was a one-man show and aided by referees at times (remember the "hand of god"?). Apart from Maradona that team was rather weak and Maradona took almost all credit for that victory.
As said, we all have opinions based on our experiences, football values and even based on patriotic issues. But it is clear that on objective grounds this Spanish team deserves to be up there among the very best.
Gabriel, you complain about the article lacking data but the few numbers you throw in just don´t make sense. Argentina beat Spain after the WC 4-0, true, but it was just a friendly. And the Spanish team was still under the hangover after the WC. How can you expect a team which has just won the WC to be fully focused on a friendly?
It may be true that the article could have more data but the more data you throw in you´d probably even reinforce the conclusion. You may argue that the WC of 2010 was not the best in terms of goals scored and in that respect you cannot compare it to the performance of Brazil in 1970. But again, no other team has managed to win 3 major tournaments in a row showing such consistency and effectiveness and brilliance on many occasions.
Rob and a few others who are mentioning the 4-0 defeat against Argentina after winning the WC.
IT WAS A FRIENDLY WITH NO COMPETITIVE AVALUE AT ALL!!!! Besides, they were still under the euphoria and logical hangover of winning the most coveted sports trophy. It is normal that after such an achievement players relax, namely mentally.
Last post! I promise!
With all due respect, your post reveals you know very little about football and specifically about European football.
If it were for the set-up of the league, Spain would have won virtually all WCs in the past 50 years. Real Madrid and Barcelona have normally been the largest contributors to the national team. But there are other teams that contribute key players too: Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Malaga, etc. And there are a few key players too who play abroad (Silva in ManCity, Mata and Torres in Chelsea, Reina in Liverpool, etc.). Hence, your argument is kind of weak.
Then, you dare to say the remaining teams of the Spanish League are very poor. It is true that Real and Barça are way ahead of the rest of the teams, as they are well ahead of the rest of European teams under any metric (that doesn´t mean they always win, thanfully). But well, if you check UEFA´s page you would see Spain tops the ranking this year based on the performance of its clubs in European competitions. Not only Real and Barcelona reached the semi-finales of the Champions League where they were the top 2 favourites but 3 out of 4 semi-finalists (and the 2 finalists) this year of the Europa League were Spanish. So you could argue that the Spanish players endured the toughest season amongst all contenders. To make matters worse, the Spanish Cup final which featured Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao (both of which contribute quite a few key players to team) was played end of May, leaving virtually no time to prepare the competition adequately, let alone the players rest.
And I mention this year because it is the relevant one when judging this Euro but if you look back only the English Premier League is on a similar level to the Spanish League as a whole. If you look at the aggregate 5-year ranking, the EPL comes first by a very very thin margin.
So I hope this clarifies a bit why maybe Spain at times didn´t play at full steam at times. They just needed to manage their thin reserves.
And Chris F, forgot to address your last point. If Spain haven´t defeated in the past years either Argentina or Brazil in major competitions is because they have been lousy and failed to advance to the latest stages. So probably they would have been beaten too by Spain.
And don´t mention the Confeds Cup where Brazil played and won the final because that really is not a competition of the stature of a WC or Euro and resembles more a friendly event. Only the Asian, African and North American rep really take it seriously as it´s their chance to face some of the big guys of the game.
Everybody is entitled to their opinino but this Spanish team, despite their trophy winning, is a total bore to watch ! If good football means I have to watch Spain play, then perhaps I'll stop watching their games. Brazil 1982 was one of the most exciting teams to watch and had flair and class and didn't win any trophies but everybody loved that team... but it seems that the only ones who really admire the Spanish squad are the spanish supporters. We'll see what happens when they have to square up to Brazil and Argentina again... Spain... best team ever? Not really, not ever!
Of course, Spain is the best ever.
Si España jugase con Brasil de los 70, los anularía y ganaría sin problemas..
There's something in Del Bosque's demeanor as a manager that can shift the mindset of his players away from personal ego's and focus instead on the objective as a collective/team. From Real Madrid's return to glory with the players of the highest profiles to the La Roja made up of players mainly made up of heated rival teams. He can earn their faith and believe in thinking and working together as a unit to achieve the common goal of winning... AS A TEAM.
This article is so ridiculous that I refuse to considerate it. Spain victorious team (2 eurocopas, 1 world title), never can be compared with holand, italy, and even with argentina e brasil!
Spain are playing basic futsal on grass. There´s no drible, no football in this hot potato footsport that they play.
And Spain conquer eurocopas, like argentina e brazil made everytime in copa américa and not so that called best team ever. But Brasil won FIVE (5) world titles and brazilians are the actual cofederations cup champions! So, say to the world: are you serious football journalist or just another pedro pinto trying to do the best "american football expert"?
I suspect that I know enough about European football to know the facts.
In the past Barcelona had a lot more foreign players in the starting eleven but recently they've become a lot more focussed on recruiting Spanish players. Before Spain were winning international cups, the team was made up mainly of the same players and yet they weren't winning anything.
I stated that the Spanish team is primarily made up of players from either Barca or Real which is a fact. I didn't state that they're all from Barca/Real. Claiming that 'your statement is kind of weak' is rather flawed. (You may also note that the foreign based players generally don't start matches or are substituted. Presumably this is because they don't have the advantages that the Spain based players have.)
There is a good reason why Spain is high in the rankings for European competitions. The standard of the other teams in Primera Liga is poor and Barca/Real players don't need to try as hard to win as in other European leagues. This leaves them much fitter than players from other European clubs who have to work much harder to win matches. The points gap in the Primera Liga proves the difference in quality. The fact that most of the Barca/Real matches were won by at least 3 goals proves that they can win easily. I also note that very little is being done to make Primera Liga more competitive.
Claiming that the Spanish players endured the toughest season is a flawed argument. Please read the comments above which explains why the Spanish based players have a fitness advantage over other European leagues.
Spain certainly wouldn't have won 'virtually all WCs in the last 50 years' because they would have to have beaten sides that were just as great. I suggest that you go and watch some videos of the great sides.
I dont understand why columnists come up with such unobjective and dull tiles to their articles. Mr Wyatt and Co we thought you guys are supposed to be more intelligent but nay. Your comparatives are out of place and touch. You can compare football teams from different periods and players with those now. You are the same guys who like to come up with these best teams/best player rubbish to prop a team or a player of your liking. First it was "Pele is the best player to have walked the football pitch ever. Then followed Maradona, then Ronaldnho, Ronaldo, Messi and who else will come up and you tell us the same story? Yes we agree for the past few years Spain have been excellent. That does not necessarily make them the best team in human history. That's just dull. Even if they went on to win 5 world cups the argument wouldnt still stand. A player is regarded the best for the time he has played PERIOD. Others will come up in future and by then you may be long dead to bore us with similar headlines. So NO THANK YOU!! Spain is a very very good side FOR NOW. Not in the past and not for the future or life time. Congrats to them on their wonderful display in the final
this article is a quantum leap from the 'has boring spain lost its football mojo article'!!!! they're a great side of course, best ever arguments are never conclusive, but with 3 majors they're rightfully part of any discussion. as for the boring business, well, that's nonsense. what is boring is the other team's inability to get the ball back. to criticise good possession football is nonsense. it's up to the others to catch up...which i'm sure one day soon someone will. croatia and portugal pushed them to the limit let's not forget!!
I feel that many are irked by the fact that Spain dominates the planet football right now. The comments about the economy, the debt (sorry to say but Spain has not borrowed any money as of yet), being arrogant, etc. are just excuses and quite racist comments.
Many just want to see Spain fail, irrationally, and their anger does not allow them to see the reality: enjoy the fact that you can the best team in history. Yes it is as a team, because there is not just a single player that you can choose over the others. You can start with Casillas and finish with Jordi Alba, Xavi, Iniesta, Ramos, etc., all are great guys, none of them is arrogant, and they are modest and down to earth. Unlike many other players who go around as "big stars".
For those who want to see Spain fail, I have bad news. Besides a couple players, the current team is quite young. And you know what? Look at the under-21, under-19, under-17 championships and check the rankings. I think that the talent of many, great young Spanish players will anger for years to come those who want to see Spain fail. Please, admit the obvious.
Your arguments are as hard to understand and to prove that actually they can't be unproven because there is no evidence at all supporting them.
But saying that Real and Barça have an advantage over other European teams due to fitness issues is just too hard to believe. They are better, among other reasons, because they are the richest clubs in the world in terms of revenues. Their prestige and stature of course helps them to attract the best players. And a favourable Spanish taxing system in the past helped them too (not any more, though).
The UEFA club rankings don´t just reflect the performance of Real and Barça.The reflect the performance of ALL CLUBS playing European competitions. Just have a look at the teams Atletico and Athletic had to beat to reach the Europa League final. Ath. Bilbao, amongst others, defeated Man Utd both in England and in Spain. Spanish clubs (ALL OF THEM) have ranked either 1 or 2 in the past years, in close contention with the EPL, as I said. The Italian and German leagues, 3rd and 4th, are way behind La Liga and the EPL.
The reason why Real Madrid and Barcelona are so ahead of the rest is not because the others are bad, is just because those two are too good and on a 38 game competition there is no way teams with a third of their budget may attempt to get close. If the other teams were that bad they wouldn´t have reached finals and won the Europa league so many times in recent years. If Real or Barcça don't win the Champions League every year is becasue the format of this competition allows for more surprises (beating Real or Barça over 180 minutes is possible but over 38 games is bloody difficult). If you don't believe me, please check any betting site and look at the odds. Both Real and Barça are top favourites well ahead, for instance, Chelsea, the latest champion.
Please visit the UEFA site, look at the actual figures and don't elaborate strange theories with no consistency and hard to defend looking at actual figures. But I do agree with you that La Liga must do something in order to try to brigde a little bit the differences between the top two and the rest.
And finally, and in most top European teams, always 1 or 2 teams have been dominant in contributing players. In Italy, it has been Juventus with some Milan additions. In Germany, Bayern Munich with some Borussia Dortmund additions (and of course with Ozil and Khedira from Real Madrid).
Chrst F: How can you say spanish league is poor? Definetively you don´t meet it at all... just a fake.
First you have to learn and later to speak. Currently the spanish league must be the strongest football european competition, and always it has been one of three mayors too. If you study the final split from the first 5/6 team you will realize how wrong is your opinion. Second: just study the result of others spanish team, by figure... the fourth sp classified on sp league won the UEFA cup... only by figure and only for your information. That you said is a completelly sily thing and shows how poor is your knowledge about foreing sports.
Only keeper Iker Casillas appears to be in one fixed place between the sticks. The other ten are busy doing all sorts of things. Difficult for rivals to comprehend and arrest the flow of passes. Man to man marking or zonal marking are virtually impossible.
Men on the bench are more dangerous than men off it. Injuries to one or more core members makes very little difference. It is a project leading to a product. My Spanish friends say the best is yet to come. In two years time, Brazil is the place to be.
Excuse me, We are not that arrogant and bad loser how you said.
Thiat is completely false, if you read the players interview, the coach... we always respect the otrers team, we always say that we have to do the best, to effort, to play as a team... so how you can say arrogant? on the other hand being happy after win is so so normal right?
just please be honest with us, only that. You never never will hear a unrespectfully word from an spaniard player, just never.
Probably you will hear more unrespectfull words from peoples that dislike our success but... we are guilty for being winning last years?
Concerning Brazyl 3 times WC winner... well I thint that we are talking about this TEAM nor the general national team. The Brazyl of Pele does not win the 3 WC, it was Brazyl but no the same team talking about players... That concrete brazilyan team does not win the confederation cup and WC three concesutive times... so... wich concrete team is better cause most the current spaniard players are the same that win on european cup and WC...
Just have a nice day Martha
No they are not. Simply put they will have to win 4 more world cups o even be considered as among the best. Stop with these stupid best ever crap and lets move on already.
>Rob July 2nd, 2012 2:50 pm ET
Of course, they must be the best team ever, and I'm also quite certain that had Spain not mopped the floor with Italy (who miraculously overcame Germany, a team that would not have been so easy on Spain), this article might not be here.
You must be one of those guys that knows a lot about football. Like that Germany has never beaten Italy on a competitive match on a final tournament.
You are such an expert in football that you probably didn't bother to see the game between them, And probably neither tha face of the german coach and players the day after. Yeah, sure, it was a "lucky" victory for Italy.
Btw, Switzerland, USA and Northern Ireland have also beaten Spain not so long ago. You may add that to your point and your brilliant knowledge about football and delight us with your expertize.
Why Spain is the best team now and doesn't have any of the best soccer players in the world?........
truth be told, Spain played well and deserved the cup. i still don't like them though!
Spain last Sunday won, again, the U-19 European Championship for the 6th time (out of 11 tournaments held so far). This is a sign that there is more to the Spanish success than just luck or a coincidence of an exceptional generation of players (which indeed they are and really hard to repeat). A serious work is being done from the youth up to the senior teams.
Spain has in its team many of the top players in their positions. Players like Xavi or Iniesta are only second to Messi. That players like Ronaldo get more media attention based on his looks is another story.
Silva, Busquets and Xabi Alonso are too world class players in midfield. Silva is one of the top players in the EPL.
Defenders like Ramos, Alba, Piqué are among the best in the world. Casillas is the best goalie in the world. Villa has been the most successful striker in recent years (top scorer in Euro 2008 and WC 2010) and couldn´t start in the Spanish team this last tournament due to injury.
And if you look at the bench you just start to pale because with the substitutues you could still one of the most powerful teams in Europe (Javi Martinez, Fabregas at times, Llorente, Mata, Cazorla, Valdés, Torres, etc, etc.).
So I think your rather uninformed question is answered.
Spain are unstoppable. To be fair, there isn't really much competitionfor 2014 Rio World Cup. Spain vs The Best Brazilian Team anybody could ever think of. My result: Spain 3-1.
Casillas, best goalie ever.
Xavi and Iniesta, best midfielders in the world.
Pique/Puyol/Ramos, best trio of defenders in the world.
Villa, not the absolute best in the world and was not able to play the last Euro due to injury.
Torres – hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...... maybe best in the world 3 or 4 years ago.....
Anyway, Silva, Mata, Fabregas, Busquets and Xabi Alonso are also included, all of them world-class aswell. So you can see that these players could unargueably beat any team, and ugly, including the 4-0 win versus Italy in the Euro 2012 Final.
Comin back at you too! I also think Dutch 74 were as great as there's ever been. They would have certainly asked this present Spanish side a few questions. Let's face it, any strong side that believes in themselves would do the same. Look at how Munich tackled Barcelona this year in the Champions league semi final. You can pass the ball as much as you like but when we get the ball we have players who will ask you serious questions, That's all it takes.
Collaborator and co-creator of CNN sport concepts such as The CNNFC, The Circuit and Aiming for Gold I have a passion for all things world football, F1 and athletic excellence.
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