The phase Spanish football is going through at the moment is exceptional. Spain’s top sport is at its peak. The beginning of everything –and what a beginning! – was just 3 years ago at the Euro in Austria and Switzerland. Spain reached the semi finals for the first time in many years after beating the great Italy in penalties. ‘La Roja’ then went on to win the final against the even greater Germany with the goal from ‘Niño’ Torres, a goal that we will always remember.
Then, as we all know, Spain went through a bad patch –a bad patch that turned out to be a good thing for them -, with their elimination from the Confederations Cup in the semifinals. But all this was forgotten when at last they won the first World Cup in their history in South Africa last year with the goal from the football giant Andrés Iniesta.
No one wants this dream to end, but these two years without competitions until the European Championship next year could have brought out some Spanish pessimism (which is nevertheless on the decrease). But this was not at all the case, quite the contrary in fact, with the U-21 team , now known as ‘La Rojita’, and their victories, bringing our national pride back up to level this summer. They were the favorites to win the cup and they have not disappointed. Spain won the Euro’ final with a 2-0 win against Switzerland.
Spain’s U21 team is made up of players who will be future stars. Dídac Vila, Muniain, Dominguez, Ander (who scored the first of two goals in the final)… These are players with great prospects. However, among the under-21s there are current stars. And we have proved it during both the World Cup and in the few weeks that followed. The goalkeeper of the U-21 team, David De Gea, just signed (and with a star’s price) for Manchester United. He will have the difficult task of filling Van der Sar’s shoes or even bettering him. He won’t disappoint. Then there is Thiago Alcántara. The Spaniard renewed his deal with Barcelona just two days ago (he will be playing with the Catalans until 2015). Thiago’s deal is worth 90 million, which is a lot for such a young player. However, everything points to him being an exceptional player, so Guardiola and Barça’s board wanted to make sure he would continue playing at the Camp Nou.
Don’t forget these names; don’t forget Rojita’s players, because they are the ones who will have to lead Spain to the top in a few years time. And no doubt they will manage it.