Spain 0-2 Chile, World Cup 2014: Where Did It All Go Wrong For La Roja?

Chile Con Carnage: Where Did It All Go Wrong For Spain?

Spain became the third World Cup holders to crash out at the group stage this century following a 2-0 defeat to Chile in the Maracanã.

The loss, coming a year after their 3-0 Confederations Cup final thrashing at the hands of Brazil and days after Holland eviscerated them 5-1, signals the end of Spain's international football dominance.

Here are four reasons why it went wrong for La Roja...


David de Gea picked up a buttocks injury in Spain training last week and his absence proved to be a pain in the arse against Chile. He might not have started if he was fit, since Vicente del Bosque retained the forlorn Iker Casillas ahead of the experienced yet erratic Pepe Reina, and the Real Madrid No.2 disappointed again as he assisted Charles Aránguiz's rebound strike with a feeble punch.

Both José Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti overlooked Casillas at Real Madrid and he should not have even started at this World Cup. Casillas flourished under Del Bosque as a 19-year-old and the loyalty has lingered, only it is blinkered. Casillas denied Arjen Robben with the scoreline goalless in the 2010 final, but that is an irrelevant accomplishment. Del Bosque was living in the past and paid for it in the present.


It was complacent to dismiss the 5-1 thumping against Holland as a mere freak result, yet Del Bosque made just two changes for the Chile match. He was right to eschew an overhaul of the starting XI, and made the same amount of alterations following the opening defeat to Switzerland in 2010. However Xabi Alonso was slow and wasteful versus the Dutch and experienced arguably the worst performance of his international career before he was hauled off for Koke against Chile.

Alonso was a danger to his own side against Chile

Diego Costa was toothless again as well. Spain were soporific at the Euros two years ago yet their football functioned well, so crowbarring Costa into an invariably strikerless side was liable to have repercussions. The Brazilian-born forward rarely looked in sync with his teammates as his hurried ascension was exploited by Holland, yet Del Bosque persisted with him when it would have perhaps been prudent to revert to tiki-taka. Again, Costa was withdrawn after a blunt display.


For a nation with the most enviable conveyor belt of talent in international football, the sight of the impotent Fernando Torres warming up as the supposed saviour was a surreal sight. Del Bosque overlooked Fernando Llorente, Álvaro Negredo and Jesús Navas when picking his 23-man squad, and the trio would have offered a greater impact than some of the options sat on the bench Wednesday night. David Villa was once the best striker in the world but his recent transfer to the MLS retirement home suggests his squad selection was wasted. Spain were reduced to playing defender Sergio Ramos up front in the dying embers.


Barcelona endured their worst season in six years recently, yet five of their players were in the line-up against Holland. Gerard Piqué and Jordi Alba's fitness was questionable going into the tournament and Xavi had finally started to look his age after a forgettable domestic campaign. They bore the look of success-starved players hungover from a draining season and Del Bosque's failure to reinvigorate the XI was ridiculed by the energetic Dutch.


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