>They now belong to an elite group of all football powerhouse having won the WC.
That is one of the main reason why the World Cup is considered the highest bar, the golden standard to which a national team’s greatness will be judged.<
Precisely. With all due respect, I doubt many consider Greece, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark (all past Euro winners) as being among the football “elite group”. To many, you gotta win the big one (won by only 8).
(Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia are SA teams that have won the SA championship, but not the WC)
@MAIS1- Yes, Copa America and SA qualifiers are televised in the U.S. with ESPN, FOX soccer channels and Spanish language networks TeleMundo and Univision providing most of the coverage. Not everyone has digital cable, but fans can always see the matches at closed-circuit sattelite feed shown at many restaurants and cafes.
I just saw Venezuela’s recent upset of Argentina (full squad with Messi), further proof that qualifiers in SA is dead-even and will be a tough one for all. And the quality of football was outstanding (at least until heavy monsoon season begins)- beautiful passing game never gets old.
Euro/ UEFA qualifiers receives more exposure because of the big name countries involved and the obvious popularity of the European leagues.
and as defending WC champions the favorite to win 2014.
WC is a young man’s competition. Xavi will be 34, Alonso 32 and Iniesta 30…the team’s engine. And Villa is still their only proven forward (and he’ll be 32). But if they do take 2014, they undoubtedly go down as the greatest international side in history.
^^ I would love to witness that.
Knowing the Brasilian media, the public pressure will be much of a burden for Brasil’s young team to make it to the finals and win it. Only a victory will exorcise the demons of 1950 when they lost the WC finals at home to Uruguay.
The WC will be even harder, no doubt. For starters, the pasting Italy got in the final means few teams, if any, will risk playing an ‘open’ game against Spain, focusing their strategies instead on defense and containment. In this tournament too, Portugal, Croatia (to a lesser extent) and even Italy in the earlier group game (I wonder why they chose not to revert back to that formation for the final) showed that it’s possible to upset their rhythm and put them off their passing game a bit. Obviously, containing them is one thing, breaking down their cohesive and highly robust system and actually beating them entirely another, so if Spain can find more pace and urgency (a la Jordi Alba) to complement their aging midfield conductors, they’d still be a threat (to say the least).
Brasil doesn’t have any demons to exercise. They have more than their share of success to fall back on. If anything, I’m sure they would love all the talk about Spain being the favorites, greatest team of all time, blah blah blah. That’s great poster board material. It’s good to be the underdog, especially playing at home.
@BOBBY- “Brasil doesn’t have any demons to exercise. They have more than their share of success to fall back on.”
Haha, we can try and tell that to the Rio-Sao Paolo press. The dark clouds of Maracanazo will always be part of the folklore lurking around. Either way Brasil’s recent lackluster performances abroad will be enough wake up call for the team and would galvanise everyone’s effort to win the trophy at home. Resting on past laurels ain’t a thing for the public and Brasil fans everywhere.
@MLADY MUZ- I believe Spain still have enough depth in their bench to compliment its older veterans in 2014. I agree pace and urgency will be a key factor especially on breakaway sequences of play, as we aready saw in that Barcelona-Chelsea finals. Yes, Chelsea “parked the bus” and got the result, which Italy, to their credit didn’t employ in the finals.
I haven’t seen the full schedule for UEFA qualifiers yet (I think Spain is drawn on the same group with France), but surely the rest of the world had already placed Tiki-Taka under the microscope and now trying to come up with solutions to counter it. Spain’s post-Euro’08 loss to the U.S. and recently to Argentina in 2010 showed that it’s possible to overcome that system.
I can hardly wait for next year’s Confiderations Cup in Brasil. With Spain, Italy, Mexico, Brasil among the teams competing, this will be the dress rehearsal for the big thing in 2014 and a perfect testing ground for new tactics and strategies.
Frankly I can’t see Spain winning in 2014…but if they do, they would become only the second post-war team to win back to back WC titles. They would join the 1958-1962 squad of Brazil.
That ‘58-’62 squad (essentially the same group of players) gets my vote as the “greatest all-time football team”…
…Pele, Garrincha, Zito, Djalma Santos, Gilmar, Nilton Santos, Didi, Vava……
>Resting on past laurels ain’t a thing for the public and Brasil fans everywhere.<
Yup. Winning the cup is ALL. Finishing in 2nd place is considered a dismal failure.
’’>>Three successive championships in WC/ Euro>>
An impressive feat, but one first accomplished by Brazil : 2002 WC, 2004 & 2007 Copa America.’’
But there was a 2006 World Cup between those 2 Copa Americas and Brazil made a disastrous performance there, so those are not three successive championships…
Successive in that they successfully defended their 2004 SA championship (back-to-back)…but, yes, there was 2006 in between
Depends on how you look at it. To me, Brazil winning the 2002 WC, the 2004 SA championship, and successfully defending the latter next-kick-at-the-can, ie: back-to-back, is “successive”, the 2006 WC notwithstanding. Incidentally, Brazil also won the 2005 Confederations Cup.
That Brazil lost the 1959 SA championship to Argentina alters not the fact that they won 2 “successive” football championships: the 1958-1962 WCs back-to-back.
In any case, Spain is not the first country to win 3 “major” football tournaments in a row. One can go all the way back to the 1940s when Argentina won 3 “successive” SA championships (no WC held).
^^ “Depends on how you look at it.”
There’s a widely held opinion in the mainstream media that the Confederations Cup is a minor competition, or even an ‘exhibition/ friendly’ type tournament, which it is not (in the early ‘90s,maybe, but not anymore). This is why Spain’s semi-finals defeat by the U.S.after Euro’08 wasn’t counted for consideration when speaking of their long, impressive winning streak. For top flight internationals, many would beg to differ.
Of course the Confederations Cup isn’t “major”, I wasn’t implying that it was. But the SA championship is. Or do we only count the European championship as being “major”?
Sorry, I didn’t construct my sentence properly, when I wrote “…which it is not (in the early ‘90s,maybe, but not anymore)” it was to express my disagreement to mainstream media’s view on the subject of Conf. Cup being minor. Confiderations Cup is an official FIFA sanctioned tournament- any tournament that involves top teams (a Champions league for internationals) from all regions competing against each other should be considered major also and accounted for IMO.
SA/ Copa America is a major tournament no question. That’s not even up for debate and I’m sure majority of soccer fans will agree.
Goals of EURO 2012- this should be enough to fill the void ’til the next major internationals.
Horrendous defending, horrendous music… but good goals overall.
I honestly hope neither Brazil nor Spain wins in 2014. I’m rooting for France of course, but I will say Portugal is somewhat overdue for a major tournament win, along with The Netherlands.