• News

Remembering Spain’s World Cup Golden Generation 

Getty Images

Nine years ago today, the Spain National Football Team made history by becoming one of the best squads in World Cup history.

The city of Johannesburg in South Africa saw Spain make World Cup history exactly nine years ago today, this was the Spanish Golden Generation.

This was the time when Tiki-Taka was only two years old, it was presented to the world during the 2008 European Championship and it was double confirmed in the 2010 World Cup.

Before this group of players came to dominate the sport through their beautiful game, we didn’t have the same type of Spanish players in the national team.

Although they did have players like Pep Guardiola, Raul Gonzalez Blanco, or ‘Guti’, Spain still lacked something that they discovered during four magical years.

The key to all this success and impressive skill was in this team’s midfield, which is perhaps the best line of players in football history.

It was composed by Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, and Andres Iniesta.

Each of these players had a different set of unique abilities that only added to the already impressive roster, they truly schooled the world of football during that era.

All of them had a very specific task that we are about to break down for you, as today we celebrate Spain’s one and only World Cup title that took place on July 11, 2010.

Busquets joined Xabi Alonso in the back.

When the 2008 squad won the European Championship, that summer was about to bring us a player who is arguably considered the best defensive midfielder in football history.

This man was Sergio Busquets, who also happens to be Pep Guardiola’s greatest discovery.

The Catalan midfielder already had many similarities with Xabi Alonso, but he also had some unique skills that the Donostiarra player didn’t possess.

While Alonso was a top-class stopper in the back midfield line, he was much better at long passes than Busquets.

Sergio had this very impressive skill of always making the right pass at the perfect moment, even his short passes had a vision that no other Spanish midfielder could bring to the table.

This is how Busquets took full control of the space right in front of the centre-backs, and left Xabi Alonso more room to play the ball with Xavi and Iniesta.

The 2008 tournament had Marcos Senna to perform this task, but Vicente del Bosque quickly realized that Busquets was the best at this specific job.

Busquets took care of destroying the opposition’s game and always delivering the best possible pass in order to create goals.

Alonso was also great at this but ‘Busi’ was the master.

Xavi and Iniesta.

Vicente del Bosque also had the greatest midfield duo in football history at his disposal, he knew that Xavi and Iniesta would bring the World Cup back home.

These two players almost seemed like they were born to play football together, we can’t understand Spain’s success without these two players together on the pitch.

Xavi was the top assist provider and the man who gave the squad an identity as they moved the ball, Iniesta was the cherry on top.

Andres had all the qualities that the rest of the midfielders had in Spain, but he also had the dribbling skill that granted him the privilege to finish some of the most important buildup moments.

It was Andres who scored the most important goal in Spanish football history, he did it nine years ago against the Netherlands in the World Cup final.

We also can’t leave without mentioning the contributions that Cesc Fabregas made to this squad, he was another brilliant midfielder from that generation.

Even though he wasn’t prominent in the squad’s starting eleven, Cesc did have a key role in Spain’s most important moments during all three tournaments they won.

When we talk about the specific World Cup title, he was the one who served the assist for Iniesta to score that winning goal nine years ago.

That Spain side is right up there with the legendary 1970 Brazil squad that won the World Cup back then.

Where would you rank this Spanish side amongst the best teams in football history? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.