Spain won their maiden UEFA Nations League title by beating Croatia in the final. They thus won their first title since 2012, when they trounced Italy to win the European Championships. Incidentally, they beat the same opposition in the semifinal of the UEFA Nations League last Wednesday.
However, since then, it has been more than a decade of frustration and disappointment for La Furia Roja, with the likes of Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique failing to do anything significant while being in charge.
They flattered to deceive in the last three World Cups and have not been able to do much in the Euros either. Although Spanish giants Real Madrid have dominated the Champions League during the past decade, the national team have not been able to replicate it at international level, something that they were able to do with Barcelona players in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s.
Luis de la Fuente, the current Spanish manager, has now been able to make his mark in the history of Spanish football. The title triumph should mean a lot to his career.
One felt bad for Croatia and Luka Modric, as they once again were pipped at the post in a major tournament, but football lovers in general will be happy to see the resurgence of the Spanish side.
Spain have a number of exciting youngsters
With the likes of Sergio Busquets, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique no longer a part of the national team’s set-up, the Spanish have introduced players like Gavi, Pedri and Ansu Fati in recent call-ups. Each of those three youngsters are capable of producing moments of magic that can stun any opposition.
If one adds to it the experience of the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba, Jesus Navas, Dani Carvajal, Rodri and Alvaro Morata, one gets quite a formidable team that deserve to win titles at the highest level.
Both Laporte and Rodri are fresh from their victorious UEFA Champions League campaign for Manchester City. Rodri was adjudged the best player in the Champions League this season and undoubtedly remains one of the very best in the business in his position.
For all his defensive qualities, Rodri also has the uncanny knack of scoring important goals and remains a very good distance-shooter.
He should be the player around whom Spain should build the team for the future. Laporte and Alba will also lend their valuable experience to the Spanish defence and Unai Simon remains reliable under the bar.
Spain should now aim to do well in Euro 2024
Spain should be well-prepared ahead of the European Championships in Germany in 2024. However, they will have to qualify for it first and put the recent 2-0 reversal against Scotland behind them.
It remains to be seen how well they are able to do it. De la Fuente, meanwhile, should not stop believing and it is up to him to extract the best out of his players. Should he be able to do that, La Furia Roja could very well be in contention to win the title back amongst Europe’s elites.