Thursday, July 26, 2012
As the hangover from the recent Euro 2012 has passed, I have had somewhat of a football break just until today when the Olympic football tournament has started. Olympic football has often been looked down upon by European sides (unless they win themselves), but the tournament is largely admired by the rest of the world, and the youth sides, combined with three "extra" stars, are usually very strong indeed. In fact, Brazil and Uruguay are both going to the tournament with sides that will likely will be very similar to their 2014 World Cup sides, while Spain has a team of players that have all won a number of youth European championships, as well as three world champion players. So as the tournament begins, there is no doubt that Spain were favourites in their opening match against Japan. But this is also the beauty of Olympic football: usual favouritism counts for little, and in this match Japan was truly much better than Spain. Their 1-0 victory was too small against a Spanish side with a very weak defense and no attacking prowess. Passing the ball around (and in generally poorly) they simply did not create any chances, and they are not looking like a gold-winning team at all. Spain may still rise in their coming matches against Morocco and Honduras, but they must improve if Spain is not to be among the best, as they have otherwise been ever time over the last years.