The Morocco gamers fell again on protection and patiently watched as Spain stored passing the ball round midfield throughout their spherical of 16 match on the World Cup. Facet to aspect, from one Spanish participant to a different.
Move after move, Spain tried to seek out a gap via the Moroccan defense, however the Moroccans stayed dedicated, unwavering, patiently ready with 11 males behind the ball in entrance of their purpose.
The standard “tiki-taka” ball-possession model allowed Spain to maintain the ball throughout a lot of the match Tuesday, however to not get the objectives it wanted to maintain its World Cup marketing campaign alive, and the workforce misplaced 3-0 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 attract regulation and additional time to finish its World Cup marketing campaign.
It was the third time Spain did not make it previous the final 16 on the World Cup after successful its lone title in 2010, when Xavi and Andrés Iniesta have been the leaders of the ball-possession model that amazed the soccer world.
Spain’s “tiki-taka” clearly hasn’t produced the outcomes it as soon as did, not on the international stage or the membership stage with Barcelona, which was the place it began. Barcelona hasn’t gained a Champions League since 2015, and was eradicated within the group stage of the highest European membership competitors the final two seasons after Lionel Messi left and signed with Paris Saint-Germain.
The current failures have led to some to questions on whether or not it’s time for a philosophical overhaul of Spanish soccer, or if it’s only a matter of adjusting the model to fashionable days or discovering the suitable gamers to make it work again.
It’s been some time since Spain misplaced Xavi and Iniesta, key parts that made the “tiki-taka” thrive, and it hasn’t had a top-notch striker since Fernando Torres and David Villa, who have been key to assist remodel ball possession into objectives when La Roja gained its back-to-back European Championships and the World Cup greater than a decade in the past. This yr, Spain had just one true striker in its squad, Álvaro Morata, who is way from being thought of a finisher like Torres and Villa.
It seemed like Spain was going to make the “tiki-taka” work once more in Qatar after children Pedri and Gavi led the workforce to a convincing 7-0 opening win over Costa Rica, when La Roja accomplished a report 1,003 passes for a 90-minute recreation and completed with 75% of ball possession with 17 makes an attempt in opposition to zero by Costa Rica.
However La Roja couldn’t win once more after that, and it scored solely two extra objectives in its subsequent three matches. The workforce left the event with probably the most passes accomplished, with a median of 847 per recreation.
It didn’t take lengthy for the criticism to begin pouring in back home.
“Plenty of possession and never sufficient photographs,” the sports activities day by day AS mentioned on its entrance web page.
“Spain clearly dominates however can’t get the purpose to advance,” the newspaper Sport mentioned.
Opponents have clearly discovered methods to maintain the “tiki-taka” from working.
“We knew we weren’t going to have quite a lot of possession and we weren’t afraid of that,” Morocco coach Walid Regragui mentioned after his workforce’s win over Spain. “I seemed on the final 20 video games and Spain typically talking had 70% of possession in these video games. So I accepted that.”
Spain had 68% of possession and accomplished 967 passes Tuesday, however made just one try on the right track, two fewer than Morocco with its technique that relied solely on counterattacks.
“I knew it was going to be powerful,” Regragui mentioned. “We must be extraordinarily effectively organized. The protection and our midfielders and attackers labored very arduous to be sure that they didn’t have these angles for the passes.”
The technique labored to perfection.
One of many final instances Spain tried to maneuver away from the “tiki-taka” was with coach Julen Lopetegui earlier than the 2018 World Cup. Spain nonetheless tried to regulate possession, nevertheless it was extra direct when attacking. The workforce went to Russia with a formidable unbeaten streak, however Lopetegui was fired simply days earlier than the workforce’s debut after accepting a job with Actual Madrid with out telling Spanish soccer federation officers. Spain was eradicated in a penalty shootout in opposition to host Russia within the spherical of 16.