a look back at 2014
This year, 2014, wasn’t the best one for La Roja (that may be an understatement) as it will always be remembered for that spectacular collapse in Brazil.
In 2014, Spain played 12 games, winning seven, mostly against weaker teams (Italy, Bolivia, El Salvador, Australia, Macedonia, Luxembourg and Belarus) and losing five (the Netherlands, Chile, France, Slovakia and Germany), with 22 goals scored and 12 allowed.
The top goalscorers of the year were Pedro and David Villa, with three goals each. Torres, Busquets, Alcácer and Silva each scored two, while Diego Costa, Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Isco, Bernat, Mata and Sergio Ramos all netted one.
In a way, the collapse was inevitable, because La Roja had been playing at such a high level for such a long time. In fact, I think we became a bit spoiled, no? We got to the point where we just assumed they would play well, dominate and win, which is why the team’s failure to do so was so shocking. But six years is a long time to sustain success in football, and we were lucky enough to have accomplished that while playing beautiful football.
There are reasons to be optimistic about the future. There is a transition going on (along with some help, of course). So far, Vicente del Bosque has debuted 54 players in his time as manager of La Roja. In 2014, 16 players made their debuts with the red shirt: Diego Costa, Ander Iturraspe, Gerard Deulofeu, David de Gea, Mikel San José, Dani Carvajal, Raúl García, Paco Alcácer, Munir El Haddadi, Juan Bernat, Rodrigo Moreno, José Callejón, Álvaro Morata, Nolito, Ignacio Camacho and Kiko Casilla. Plus, there are quite a few excellent players in the lower categories who may be in contention for a spot on the senior team in the coming year(s).
I’m quite excited about some of the young players, such as Isco. Just look at this quality and control!
Hopefully, the older players will be able to impart all their knowledge and experience to the younger generation, and we will be able to see Spain on top of the world again shortly.
Another thing to be optimistic about is that we haven’t lost the family atmosphere, which gives us adorable moments and adorable photos.
For 2015, in addition to a return to our winning ways (for both the senior team and the U-21 team, which didn’t have a great year either), I would also love all players to have the same attitude as José Callejón. This was his response when El País asked about his commitment to the team: “I have more than enough commitment! I think that all footballers should have more than enough. I always train and play at 100 percent. I play each game as if it were the last one of my life, for my teammates and for me, and also because I want those who paid for tickets to be proud.”
As Sergio Ramos said in this tweet after the game against Belarus in Huelva, “feel, suffer, laugh, vibrate, cry, jump, shout, run, play and everything for the national team.”
So, here’s to a return to our winning ways in 2015!
To end, here’s the video from the RFEF with our boys wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and happy 2015. I love that Pedro and Sergio were blabbering on and on, and that Santi introduced himself. And what was it that caught Busquets’ attention repeatedly while the others were talking?
Even better are the extremely adorable outtakes, which show the boys prepping, cracking up, teasing each other and messing up! My favorite part is Chori’s special shout out to Motril (José Callejon’s hometown) and his insistence on sending that message. I wonder who was cackling off camera. And some of them need better posture, no?
I hope 2014 was a great year for all of you, and that 2015 will be even better!