Here are 5 reasons why the Spanish campaign to defend World Cup title went horribly wrong -
Delay in announcing the team: Spain coach Vicente del Bosque delayed announcing his World Cup squad sweating over the fitness of Costa. Additionally, he recalled Torres who was woefully out of form.
Torres himself expressed his surprise on being included in the national team for the world cup. In addition of these two, Spain's another forward David Villa was named in the team. Considering Villa's career is coming to a closure with age is not on his side that was not a wise call.
Stale mid-field: For long, Spain has played with the mid-field comprising of Xavi, Iniesta, Xavi Alonso and Sergio Busquets. While they have delivered more often that not, the combination failed to offer anything new; in energy and in their play.
While Spain’s tiki-taka served them well in the past, the same approach cost Spain heavily in the ongoing World Cup.
Weak defence: IkerCasillas is a world-class goalkeeper; make no mistake about that. But he looked out of sorts and more importantly, out of common sense as Spain were beaten by Netherlands and Chile.
With Spain’s highly talked about defenders coming cropper, it made Casillas job even more vital. But with him failing to secure the goalpost, Spain became vulnerable and that opened up floodgates of goals for their opposition.
Safe play: While the settled team and team formations are good and have proven richly rewarding for Spain, the team is in need of serious shake up in ideas and team formations.
As Spain’s coach Vicente del Bosque stated following a defeat against Chile, “changes are in store for Spain - and maybe himself.”
Complacency and fatigue: While Spain faced two competitive opponents in two games in a row, Spain looked jaded and tired against the competition.
In addition to that, it was pretty evident that Spain was banking heavily on past laurels to help them sail through the initial stages of the tournament.
Although there goes a theory that champion teams win battles even before they set foot on the field, Spain did not generate any such fear factor among Netherlands or Chile squads.