Four years ago, the Spain 2010 World Cup jersey became a symbol of glorified greatness when the Spanish national football team won its first ever World Cup title in South Africa. Combined with wins at the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, the
win posited the modern Spanish side as one of the best teams in soccer history, and has helped Spain maintain a spot at the top of FIFA's world rankings going into this year's World Cup in Brazil. Indeed, from all corners, it seemed as if the Spain 2014 World Cup home shirt was going to come to symbolize the same "glorified greatness" as the 2010 shirt did.
None of that seemed to matter during the debut appearance of the Spain football jersey at the 2014 World Cup, a game against group stage opponents The Netherlands. From the first day that the group stage drawings were announced, this match has been anticipated as one of the cup's early highlights, not only because it would be the first appearance of Spain as the de facto title frontrunner, but because it would also function as a rematch between Spain and the team they beat in the finals of the last World Cup. For good reason, the popularity of both teams' jerseys has been off the charts at the Soccer Box online store lately.
A Mistake in Seeding?
As the third match of the World Cup, the July 13th bout between Spain and The Netherlands was always going to have a lot of attention. The rematch factor made it a must-watch event, though many soccer analysts assumed that a later group stage match between Brazil and Portugal would be more exciting. With Spain ranked at number one by FIFA and The Netherlands sitting all the way back at number 15, many were calling the match in favor of the Spain 2014 World Cup home shirt, assuming it would be a seamless chance for the defending champions to reassert their dominance.
At first, it appeared like the match might end up coming to the same kind of 1-0 Spanish victory that won the World Cup in 2010. The Spanish team took the field in solid form, wearing a white "third" Spanish football jersey per a FIFA request, but still playing like the same team that usually wears bold red for its home matches.
At 27 minutes, a penalty earned Xabi Alonso a chance to move Spain into the lead, which he did with a well-aimed and self-assured kick. All was going according to plan, until Spain's faÃ§ade began to crack and the team's frontrunner status faded away in the face of a Dutch onslaught.
Momentum for The Netherlands
The tide began to turn against Spain at the 44-minute mark, with Netherlands striker and goal scoring wizard, Robin van Persie, netting a pre-halftime goal. Van Persie was given a stunning assist by Daley Blind, who footed a long cross from midfield into the penalty spot, where van Persie dove and knocked the ball into the goal with a masterful header. The game was tied, and just like that, the promise of the Spain football jersey began to unravel.
The Netherlands put three more goals into the net in the space of 20 minutes instantly knocking the status of the Spain 2014 World Cup home shirt as likely winners of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Arjen Robben scored the 1st goal at the 53 minute mark, he beat two defenders and a goalkeeper at the box to make the score 2-1. Stefan de Vrij netted another goal 12 minutes later, and van Persie his second of the tournament just seven minutes after that.
Arjen Robben scored his second of the tournament at 80 minutes, bringing the match to a jaw-dropping 5-1 finish that will undoubtedly cause the soccer community to re-evaluate a few things. Will this opening match represent a disastrous turn for the Spain football jersey and lead to the team's early elimination? Is it merely a sign of unexpected strength from the Netherlands?
Further matches will be necessary to assess Spain's chances, but one thing is for sure: no one will be underestimating the Dutch team again in this tournament. Group B now has the prospect of being one of the tournament's most exciting. Chile made a strong showing by beating Australia 3-1, and ensuring Spain's entry to the knockout stage is by no means guaranteed.
Do you still think Spain has a chance of winning the World Cup, or do you think that the rematch thrashing from the Netherlands will break the team's resolve? If you chose the former option, head to the Soccer Box online store today and buy a Spain 2014 World Cup home shirt to support your favorite team!