Filed under: 2014, Euro 2012, European Football, International Football | Tags: 1970, Brazil, Brazil 1970, Brazil 2014, Buffon, Carlos Alberto, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Gerard Pique, Gilmar, Greatest Team Ever, Iker Casillas, Iniesta, jairzinho, Nilton Snatos, Pele, Puyol, Spain, World Cup, World Cup 2014, Xavi
…so does that cement their claim as the greatest team ever? Instinct tells me no, but at the very least Spain has earned a comparison to the great international teams of the past. Before any of that discussion begins, however, we must pay homage to a dominating performance in the final. Spain was in remarkable form and took advantage of some poor defending to make a very good Italian side look very bad.
Each of Spain’s four goals was a thing a beauty. David Silva’s header was amazing. Heading the ball on the run to the upper-90 of the far post is a difficult task. Although that placement was not needed, it was perfect. To me the set up was even more impressive. Cesc Fabregas’s decision to take an extra touch in the box on a great scoring opportunity was a risk that paid off when his defender hesitated in anticipation of an early cross. Xavi’s feed to Fabregas was perhaps the simplest execution of a perfect pass and run in the entire tournament. Italy was shaky in defense all day, but that pass was unstoppable. The other goals looked very simple, but don’t be fooled into confusing perfect execution with easy goals. A vertical pass on a vertical run should never beat a good defense, but it was executed with enough precision to make sloppy defending appear downright amateur. The third goal saw Fernando Torres make Gianluigi Buffon look like an average goalkeeper, which he is not. Simply put, Spain put together an operatic performance in the finale of Euro 2012. Clearly Spain are the best team in Europe and it would be hard to argue against their global supremacy, but the question remains as to where Spain ranks against the best international teams of all time. (more…)
Filed under: 2014, AFC, American Soccer, CAF, Champion's League, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, England, European Football, International Football, Podcast, Spain, UEFA, USMNT | Tags: Jozy Altidore, Jurgen Klinsmann, Manchester United, Mario Balotelli, Real Madrid, Stuart Holden, Timmy Chandler
NTA is very proud to release our first podcast!
This week we provided a year in review and looked ahead to 2012, discussing the USMNT, EPL, La Liga and Champions League!