A few months ago Spain won the World Cup, and has understandably been living on planet Glory since. However, today came the time to return to planet football: they must learn that every country will now want to defeat Spain - the scalp of a world champion is a precious one!
And so, the friendly match between Argentina and Spain today in Buenos Aires, was more than just a friendly encounter between two of the greatest footballing nations on earth!
Granted, Argentina were hungry: after their disappointing World Cup they are now under "caretaker" coach Sergio Batista, who after today should certainly be looking for a fixed contract. Argentina destroyed the world champions 4-1 in an entertaining match where Lionel Messi was splendid against many of his teammates, and Spain were also unlucky and with a goalkeeper Pepe Reina who is perhaps still a bit hungover.
Although Batista's team differed greatly from Diego Maradona's, it can hardly be the team of the future: Batista had included Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso from Inter. Two great players who were eager to show that they should have been in South Africa, but who in thelate thirties hardly will be the cornerstone of a future Argentinean side. However, the inclusion of Ever Banega also seems to show that Batista is not only looking for a steady job, but also for the future. Banega worked perfectly with Messi and Higuaín, and even Tévez seemed to fit in.
Spain's Vicente Del Bosque made many changes, and granted it wasn't the usual lineup. Still, some of the stars, such as Xabi Alonso had an off-day, and the defense around Marchena, Arbeloa and Piqué was a disaster.
There we see the importance of Puyol....
Anyway, in spite of the Spanish experiments and bad luck, such a defeat is not usual for a world champion, but is sure to feed Argentinean hopes for a new era. But no matter what, it was in the end just a friendly match!