Vicente del Bosque is a very lucky man. He's managing the best generation of players to ever play for Spain at the National Team level. He inherited a fantastic Euro 2008-winning team and stumbled into a 2010 World Cup win.
I say stumbled because that's what he did. Spain wasn't dominating. It's a big and common misconception to think Spain pummeled their rivals on route to a WC win. They didn't.
When fans see Xavi and Iniesta, they think Spain plays like Barcelona, and that they dominate just like the Catalans.
But truth is, Del Bosque's men struggled all tournament long, and won all their matches by one goal except for a 2-nil win over lowly Honduras.
Spain was hindered because one man didn't fit in. A man named Xabi Alonso.
Instead of playing just like Barcelona does, Del Bosque made a little personal switch. He put in Xabi Alonso next to Busquets, instantly making Spain's team way more defensive.
Xabi Alonso's prime asset is long balls. And Spanish "tiki-taka" style just doesn't need long passing like Liverpool or other teams employ.
In other words: Xabi's not needed. Especially when you have one of the best midfielders in the world in Cesc Fábregas waiting on the bench.
Yet Del Bosque remains utterly clueless on why Spain just doesn't perform like Barcelona. The match against Chile on Thursday seemed to indicate that he's even willing to change Spain's style to adapt to Alonso's long passing expertise.
The result? Spain losing 0-2 at halftime.
The minute Xabi Alonso left to make way for Iniesta...ta-da! Spain fights back to win it 3-2.
The same happened in the World Cup Final against Netherlands. Xabi Alonso out, Cesc in. A few minutes later, Spain won themselves their first World Cup trophy.
Yet Xabi Alonso prevails.
I don't know if it's because he's a Madrid player or if he's Del Bosque's friend.
What I do know is that's he's in no shape to be a starter for Spain. And even less so to be an undisputed one at that.
And now that Cesc plays for Barcelona, what's keeping Del Bosque from fielding Busquets/Cesc-Xavi-Iniesta in what would be an all Barca midfield?
Well, that's a question you have to ask Vicente himself.
With every moment that passes, there's just less reasons to have Alonso in there.
Del Bosque will probably be the last one to find that out, though.
Follow Andrés Ehrli on Twitter! @ehrli
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