Euro 2012: Spain's Easy Win Makes Them Obvious Favorite to Win 2014 World Cup
This Spanish football dynasty that the world has witnessed since the European Championships in 2008 is surely the clear-cut favorite to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
After running through the competition without a loss—scoring 12 goals and conceding just one—it's safe to say that the collection of players that Spain has brought together is the best football team in the history of the sport.
Sure, there will be more squads in the 2014 World Cup, many of which did not participate in the 2012 European Championships, but that doesn't matter.
It's obvious that Spain is in a class of its own. The effective passing brought about by the "tiki-taka" style of play lets Vicente Del Bosque's side possess the ball whenever and wherever they please.
There isn't a team in the world with the chemistry of La Roja. That chemistry isn't going to disappear over the next two seasons even if the players don't spend much time on the field with each other.
Take Jordi Alba's goal in the final match for example. Alba ran nearly the entire length of the field after dumping the ball off to Xavi Hernandez. He weaved his way in between two Italian defenders who didn't seem to realize what he was doing. Hernandez then sent a perfectly placed through ball right to Alba's boot, leading to the second goal of the night for Spain.
It's things like that, that make Spain seemingly unbeatable. The precision and fluidity combine to form something unstoppable on the pitch.
Don't forget that Spain was without David Villa and Carles Puyol for the duration of the tournament. Without one of their best attackers and one of their best defenders, the Spanish were able to dominate for the majority of the competition.
Italy gave them a problem in the opening match, playing La Roja to a draw, but Spain came back with a vengeance in the final. They crushed Italy in most aspects of the game.
It wasn't as though Italy played poorly, as Cesare Prandelli's side had to play a man down for the majority of the second half, but the Spaniards were the better team up to that point, anyway.
Is Spain's current team the best ever?
Spain isn't even on its last legs either. The team as a whole is relatively young, with Xavi serving as the elder statesman on the squad at 32 years old. Other than him, Xabi Alonso, 30, and Iker Casillas, 31, are the only critical players over the age of 30.
It would be egregious to believe that Spain's dominant stretch of football will come to an end in the 2014 World Cup. Obviously, it is too early to proclaim that they will definitively win, but there is no other team that should be looked at as the favorite leading up to the big stage in Brazil.
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