Sunday, June 29, 2008

Has a sleeping giant awoken?

Long thought of as underachievers, Spain put the finishing touches on a tremendous showing at Euro 2008. Spain demolished the opposition in the first round and finally put their past to rest against Italy as Spain ousted the Italians via penalties. From there, a 3-0 semifinal win over Russia and Sunday's 1-0 win over Germany were somehwat anticlimactic. The championship was destined for Spain; all they had to do was claim it, which they did.

Given the abundance of Spanish talent available and the elite status of Spain's La Liga, it seems everything has long been in place for Spanish successes at European Championships and World Cups. Now that Spain finally has won a title, for the first time since 1964, has Spain joined the ranks of the upper echelon?

Is Spain a legit world power? Or do they still need to succeed at the World Cup? After all, Spain last reached the final four of a World Cup in 1950.

Spain could certainly pull a France and win two major tournaments in three years time. France beat Brazil to win the 1998 World Cup, then beat Italy to win Euro 2000. Spain will likely be considered one of the teams to beat entering the 2010 World Cup regardless of the draw and now that they shed their underachiever status, perhaps they can play with confidence they've not enjoyed for quite some time, if ever.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

sir I just don't think you can call them a giant. I mean really they hadn't won anything since when 1964? Had beaten Italy since when? Unitl this tourney. And have never won a World Cup? At least England can really justify calling itself a giant by that one star on their chest. Should we consider Greace a giant? After all they did win Euro 2004. They need to win a lot more of everything before i go calling them a gaint. Lets just say they are one of the cool kids...who just realized why they are even included in that club in the first place.

soyjimador said...

anonymous
PLEASE.

if spain isnt a world power, then england certainly isnt. heck, even the president of fifa during the 66 world cup said it was fixed. besides, what has england done recently? 42 years is a long time ago. (uruguay won it twice, so that makes them "giants"?) spain just won some hardware and are one of a select group that have won the tourney 2x.
england's never even made the eurocup final. its the media that hypes them up to "superpower" status....and its annoying as heck.

there's a huge difference between spain and greece - you make it seem like spain has no football history. greece has only qualified for 1 world cup (first round elimination) and 3 euros (2 first round eliminations). spain's got 12 WC appearances (with a wide range of finishes) and 8 euro appearances (2 goals away from a 3rd championship in 84). big difference.

and please get off that england high horse. it looks like pony.

Anonymous said...

The comparison the first poster made between Spain and Greece is stupid. Greece's Euro win will always go down as a fluke since they haven't done anything before or since they're Euro win in 2004. Spain on the other hand now has two Euro titles, one of the top leagues in the world, and has consistently qualified for the World and Euro cups, unlike Greece OR England. The reason Spain has been called an under-achieving team is because they've had so much talent at their disposal and had little to show for it until now.

What's even scarier about Spain is that they won without the likes of Bojan Krkic. Once this kid starts playing regularly with Spain, their front line is going to be down right amazing, if not the best in the world.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1,

Read the article again. If you still don't understand, Spain is considered a giant because:

The have one of the best leagues in the world, La Liga

They have a large number of top flight Spanish players

They are European champions

They can reasonably be expected to beat any other team in the world

The sleeping part is mentioned precisely because they haven't won anything since 1964 but now look like a serious threat to take the 2010 World Cup.

Anonymous said...

its been over 45 years since Spain won a trophy people! THATS JUST A FACT! So as stupid as it might seem a real "gaint" knows who to win Constistently. An yes winning a World Cup at least once should qualify as a first step to being a giant. All other are just wannabe giants. An yeah go back to the Greeace comparison they won the tourney 4 yrs ago fact. If Spain's win makes Spain a giant after over 45yrs of disappointment then Greece should have gotten more respect. Hell Turkey should be considered a minor power when you think of their performance in WC 2002. But because Spain has this glorious history 45 to 50 yrs ago they are surpose to be a giant?! PLEASE!! They are going to have to well in this World Cup before I give them that kind of respect. Otherwise those like Greece deserve the same kind of respect.

Anonymous said...

what a hater.
looks like someone's upset that england hasnt won a thing in 42 years. must be worse considering those "giants" didnt even qualify for this year's euros.

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of England, they are just as overrated as the Dutch and Spainish. All considered giants by most people. But at least England can point to their 1 WC title to justify the giant label. They are always overrated just like the Dutch. Well the Dutch just usually choked on the pressure. The English just are never as good as they think they are.

But Spain for years has always been expected to be loosers. Really goods teams always falling short again and again. Their own fans weren't expecting them to win these Euro, thats how much people were use to them losing. 45 years of falling short will do that to people. Now after one tournanment win they are back to being giants? No it takes a lot more then just winning 1 Euro to justify that claim. If they win an actual WC that to me justifies the label of "World Soccer Giant". I would prefer to think Spain as a powerhouse just a step below the true elite teams.

Lets be clear. I'm glade Spain won this thing. But I'm not quick to jump on the bandwagon and say they are a giant just b/c they won this Euro 08, they have to win the big one if they expect to be put in the same class as Italy, Germany, Brazil, and Argentina.

If history based on over 40 years ago is the justification for giant status then Uruaguay(sp) is a sleeping giant as well. But at least they have won a 1WC in their past.

Anonymous said...

Being Euro champs is good but all it means is your about the 3rd best team in the world. Argentina and Brazil are clearly best pure footballers in the world.

BBSC

Soledad said...

I would not call them a "world power", I certainly don't think of them as I do Brazil, Germany, Italy, and Argentina (I'm thisclose to moving Argentina down to a mere "power" with France).

I agree with anonymous (tee hee), they need to win the WC to become a "power". And then two more to become a world power.

And I'm just sayin' ... wherever you place Uruguay, England must be behind them.