There have been moments that have marked the end of Tiki-Taka over the last four years. Italy beating Spain in a tactical masterclass is such a moment, along with an opportunity to make fun of the exiting European champions through memes.
After winning the 2008 Euro, 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro, Spain no longer hold on to any title. Just another national team, with an abundance of talent, but a manager who no longer knows how to make the most of it, or even call it up, or play it at the right time.
Vicente Del Bosque shouldn’t have carried on after the 2014 World Cup, but his trophies gave him credit. He stuck to guns that weren’t firing anymore, and despite their two impressive matches to start the tournament, Spain were exposed as the same kind of team, only with inferior players compared to before.
Italy, despite the pre-tournament decisions that vexed many people, are led by a fantastic manager in Antonio Conte, who has made them capable of playing in various formations and systems in the same match, and as they face Germany next, they remember they’ve never lost to the Germans in a World Cup or Euro tournament.