Sun Still Shining On Spanish Success
Every so often the planets align as one nation moves to the centre of the footballing universe. Clouds part and the sun shines as dreams become reality. For Spanish football the forecast often looked promising but rarely delivered, then in 2008 everything changed.
Taking on the role of messiah was the unlikely figure of Luis Aragones – aged 66 he took charge of the national side and while his reign was at times controversial, it ended in glory as the promised land was finally reached. The European Championship, was just reward for Aragones’ efforts but the great underachievers had been starved of success for 44 years and one feed is unlikely to cure a famine. Enter Vicente Del Bosque…
Meanwhile closer to home, La Liga has often been admired across Europe but rarely have its two shining lights – Barcelona and Real Madrid – been in such rude health. Last season Barca wowed fans across Europe with some delectable attacking football en route to a third Champions League triumph. Not to be outdone, Madrid have spent the early part of the summer flexing their new-found financial muscles, signing not one but two superstars.
Should Real return to the forefront it will not be unusual territory but what some may forget is that their last wave of success would have been a mere ripple were it not for Del Bosque. The last bunch of “Galacticos” had a true emperor and with Spain he is looking to strike back.
…So it’s back to national concerns and our man has picked up where Lord Luis left off. 14 matches have been won in a row, which equals the world record for consecutive victories. Should they avoid defeat against South Africa on Saturday, they will equal another record – namely Brazil’s 35 match unbeaten streak.
The run has been extraordinary but the football universe is a curious beast. It’s a well known fact that the sun can only shine over one nation for so long. Yet you can’t help but feel that it will take more than a little drizzle to knock this parrot off its perch.