Great passing, poor finishing. One gif of a clip from a training session for the Spanish national side shows all their strengths and one huge weakness in a matter of seconds, as some exquisite build play turns into an embarrassing miss by one of their strikers.
Despite being the defending World Champions and 2012 European champions, Spain aren’t considered as the big favorites to win the tournament. Maybe it has something to do with Tiki Taka suddenly becoming boring instead of exciting. Maybe it has something to do with the decline of Barcelona who seemed to serve as the model for their success, rising in accordance with Spain’s golden age beginning.
Maybe it has something to do with Brazil beating Spain 3-0 in the Confederation Cup, even though that tournament doesn’t do a very good job of predicting what happens a year later in the World Cup. But more than anything, it’s the difference between what they have in the midfield when compared with their striker situation.
Diego Costa seems to be the best option up front, but Costa has only two caps for the national team and might not be completely healthy. He is also someone who thrives in a different style, and might not fit Spain’s pass and move very much. David Villa has declined, Fernando Torres is, well, himself, and Pedro Rodriguez, listed as one of the four forwards, isn’t an actual striker.
Del Bosque did bring four forwards with him to the tournament, but there’s a very good chance we’ll see him starting with lineups that don’t include a single one of them. Spain are often at their best when Fabregas or even David Silva take the role of the front man or false nine, and if finishing is a weakness for his players, it’s better to simply add another one who can pass and move the ball at a level that no other team in the world can.