Spain: Has the decline begun?

Spain's dominance in world football may soon come to an end as key players grow older

Alan Vincent
Published 03/25/2013 13:06 by Alan Vincent, read by 2,200 people.

Is the Spanish domination of World football about to come to an end?

The Spaniards have swept all before them in recent years, finally putting to bed claims that they can’t hack it in the big tournaments, by winning an unprecedented three major trophies in a row. They have won the European Championships 2008, World Cup 2010 and the European Championships in 2012 as well.

With their greatest generation of players ever, and in particular a collection of Barcelona players who have been dominating club football, the Spanish international team has looked unbeatable in recent years.

 But is that time now coming to an end? They are currently lying only second in their World Cup qualifying group, two points behind leaders France, with an upcoming crucial away game in Paris this week.

A 1-1 home draw with Finland on Friday was certainly a huge shock and after already drawing at home to France in their group, has put the Spanish in a tricky position.

Of course, even if France were to win the group, Spain are a comfortable second, and it'd be a brave man who'd bet against them coming through a play-off game.

But the signs aren't good, and don't bode well for next year's defence of their World Cup in Rio.

Perhaps one of the reasons, if they are indeed in decline, could be the fact that Xavi, surely the linchpin of their recent successes, is now 33-years-old.  Although still a force to be reckoned with, how much longer can he continue to dominate games? The Spanish have a superb squad but he could be the one man who is irreplaceable.

On top of this, David Villa is 31 and with his recent injury troubles he not the force he once was. Another ageing legend, becoming more injury prone, is Carles Puyol at 34.  Xabi Alonso and goalkeeper Iker Casillas are both 31, with the latter suffering an injury hit season.  

Obviously any team that can boast Juan Mata, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos cannot be written off.

But as Xavi, Puyol, Villa and Alonso come towards the tail end of their careers, perhaps we've seen the end of the reign of Spain.

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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