Going into this summer's World Cup, virtually everyone was pointing to the Spain World Cup home kit 2014 as the uniform of a frontrunner. Not only was Spain sitting at the top of FIFA's prestigious "world rankings" list, but the team had also successfully won three major tournaments in a row the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and performed admirably in the qualifiers for this year's cup. By all accounts, the Spain national football team should have arrived in Brazil ready to defend its title as the greatest team in all of football.
In that case, the question is this: what in the world just happened? After getting thrashed last week in a 5-1 match against The Netherlands, Spain was once again manhandled in a 2-0 match against Chile. The loss guaranteed two things: first, that the red and gold of the Spain football jerseys will not be appearing in later rounds; and second, that the red and white of the Chile soccer jerseys will be. Fans of the latter team can celebrate the victory by picking up a home or away shirt at Soccer Box.
But seriously, what happened? How did one of the most successful, consistent, and respected teams in all of football fall to two lower-ranked opponents? Evidently, the answer to that question is that Spain simply didn't come to Brazil ready for the challenges that awaited them. The Spanish national football team wanted to rest on its laurels last week against The Netherlands, but was overwhelmed by a team that was firing on all cylinders with a desire to win.
Something similar happened during Wednesday's match between Spain and Chile at the Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Now, since Chile won its first match against Australia, and since The Netherlands just defeated the Aussie team as well, both of Spain's defeaters are at the top of Group B with six points apiece.
Comparatively, with no wins or draws on their 2014 World Cup records, Spain and Australia are both still stalled at 0 points, a deficit that neither will be able to overcome with the one match they have left in the group stage. In other words, after next Monday's match between Spain and Australia, fans won't be seeing much of the Spain World Cup home kit 2014 in Brazil, because their team is going home.
Spain's loss came in a 90-minute burst of competitive furor, and the defending champs were thoroughly outplayed by the wearers of the Chile soccer jerseys throughout. This time though, the suffering for Spain's fans was long and slow, nothing like the rapid-fire five-goal onslaught that The Netherlands delivered last week.
Indeed, Chile scored both of its goals in the first half the first at 20 minutes, courtesy of forward Eduardo Vargas, and the second at the 43-minute mark, by midfielder Charles Aranguiz and from there, all the team had to do to guarantee its position in the round of 16 was to make sure Spain didn't score.
As a result, the second half was all about defense, with the Chile soccer jerseys repeatedly shutting down every drive and offensive play Spain's powerhouse squad tried to mount. The fact that Chile couldn't score a goal in the second half didn't matter: with a 2-0 lead, the South American underdogs were able to simply ride their early-match momentum to a victory.
For fans of the Spanish team, today's game was undoubtedly a crushingly disappointing one. Most of the players that drove Spain to victory in 2010 (and were expected to do so again in 2014) will probably not be back for another World Cup. From Xavi to Xabi Alonso, Iker Casilla to Andreas Inesta, Chile just closed the book on Spain's greatest squad ever in the harshest manner possible.
For Chile, though, today's match brought nothing but good news. Next week, the team will go up against The Netherlands for group domination. Spain, meanwhile, will meet Australia in a consolation match, with the only motivation for the defending champions being that they don't want to go home without a single win.
Whether you want to lay your hopes for the Spain team to rest with a Spain World Cup home kit, or celebrate Chile's newfound skill with a Chile away shirt, you can find exactly what you are looking for at Soccer Box.