Spain became the third defending champions to crash out in the group stages of the last four World Cups.
But when it comes to Spain, not just everything is black or white. They are still a great team. They were the best in the world yesterday and suddenly they are the worst team in the world.
I think we need to take it easy with Spain. Everybody had been waiting for them and opponents were studying this team because they have a special way of playing football. But it’s normal, what’s happened to them Football is like life, there are some cycles and one team can’t be at the top forever.
When you are at the top for so long, I think there’s only one other way and that’s downwards. But I think they can hope for big things in the future. They have great under-21 team. Spanish league is still very good so it’s not all gloomy for them in the future.
Chile much better
|Spain scored just one goal in the two matches they lost while conceding seven [GALLO/GETTY]
But ofcourse, there are many, many other good teams now. Take Chile, for example. They were the exact opposite of Spain. They looked sharp, quick and motivated. They played forward but with Spain we didn’t know what exactly they were playing at. They were trying to hold the ball like always but there was no direction in the way they played. They looked tired as well. But like I said, it’s not as bad as we think it is.
It is also important to say that everybody enjoyed watching Spain over the last few years. What they’ve done is historical. Everybody is grateful for what they’ve brought to football in general. Lot of teams have been inspired by Spain’s way of playing football.
But there is no single way of playing football. There’s no Spanish way, no Englsh way and no Italian way. Football is about evolving the game all the time. You have to pick what is best in football and work on that. There is no one way of achieving success in football.
While we talk of success, what we saw from Cameroon yesterday was shameful.
As an ex-African footballer, I look at this problem from two angles. Of course it’s was shameful for football and for Africa to show this kind of image to the world. Also, when you start a competition like this – refusing to board a plane because of bonus-related issues – you have problems. You need to separate football from these things. We saw in 2010 how France had things other than football in their minds. And we saw the results.
Everybody should take lessons from the past. It’s impossible to have anything other than football in mind if you want to achieve something in a big competition like a world cup.
The other angle is that being ex-African footballer, I can tell you that there are many, many problems in African football federations. These are things that don’t help the players focus on football unfortunately. Ofcourse the payers have a lot of responsibility but we need to sort things out behind those doors too.
Until the African football federations start helping the young generations and help players focus on football, and to be more organised with football, we won’t achieve anything unfortunately.