Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 7:03 AM on Wednesday 3 September

/ Front page / Sport

Spain backs 'tiki-taka'

Afp
Friday, May 23, 2014

PARIS - Having won the past three major international tournaments, it is worth wondering if reigning champions Spain might finally come a cropper at this World Cup.

Their remarkable run of success simply has to come to an end eventually, and there are concerns that their style of football — epitomised by the ageing Xavi Hernandez — is already outdated.

Spain followed the Barcelona way of playing to win the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

In the latter tournament, they ultimately triumphed in style, destroying Italy 4-0 in the final, but the sterile way in which they dominated earlier matches led many to label Vicente del Bosque's side boring.

Even if wasn't always thrilling, it was effective. But the two years since have witnessed the decline of the Pep Guardiola empire at Barcelona.

The Catalans' possession-based game, popularly known as 'tiki-taka', was made to look utterly one-dimensional as they were taken apart by Bayern Munich, all power and fast transitions from defence to attack, in the Champions League semi-finals in 2013.

Fast forward a year and Bayern, with Guardiola in charge, were playing the 'tiki-taka' and being torn apart on the counter-attack by Real Madrid at the same stage. Recently, as a result, it has become popular to mourn the death of that style.

Alternative ways of playing have emerged at club level.

Borussia Dortmund's high-octane counter-pressing game took them to the 2013 Champions League final, while Atltico Madrid have achieved extraordinary success with a 4-4-2 formation centred around defensive discipline, midfield industry and the brute attacking force of Diego Costa.

But to say that 'tiki-taka' is dead is to jump to conclusions. After all, until 2011, Guardiola's Barcelona mixed their mesmerising short passing with a crucial element, a high-energy pressing game. And Guardiola's Bayern won the double in Germany in the season just finished.


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. 45 detained
  2. Teen's ice bucket death
  3. Nusra demands compensation, aid, for release of soldiers
  4. Filipino force defied UN commander in Golan crisis
  5. Ban assures Fiji
  6. Accident claims another life
  7. Family dispute leaves one dead, two in hospital
  8. Suburb housing project offers 210 flats
  9. UN demands release of captured Fijian soldiers
  10. Unique desserts shop opens

Top Stories this Week

  1. Van Gaal unhappy Wednesday (27 Aug)
  2. Commander confirms captured soldiers 'safe' Friday (29 Aug)
  3. Police act Wednesday (27 Aug)
  4. Show of support Thursday (28 Aug)
  5. Going Golan Monday (01 Sep)
  6. Dad tells of heartache as son is buried Wednesday (27 Aug)
  7. Rebels take our soldiers Saturday (30 Aug)
  8. Tough but right Monday (01 Sep)
  9. Police assault claim Thursday (28 Aug)
  10. Military not taking sides Monday (01 Sep)