Spain licks its wounds after Brazilian battering

And relax. The Confederations Cup is over, which means that the Spanish football press can return to what it does exceptionally well – making stuff up about transfers. And we wouldn't want it any other way.

Barcelona are still sniffing around PSG’s Thiago Silva in the manner of a dog lingering longingly over a patch of grass where an old pork chop once lay.

Madrid is still a fairly quiet place, though, which leaves a vacuum for stories in Marca that the club would like to further weaken the opposition sides in La Liga, after the Isco land-grab, by snatching tongue-twisting Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi.

Apparently Atlético Madrid are ever closer to snapping up Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla, who in turn have taken Marko Marin on loan from Chelsea and are planning to plug the gap left by Jesús Navas with the ever-reliable José Antonio Reyes. Good luck with that plan.

Betis are working out if they can afford Bojan on loan from Barcelona while Athletic Bilbao are on the brink of confirming Osasuna’s limited but Basque-friendly striker Kike Sola as another new signing for the next season.

Nevertheless, despite all this thrilling excitement in the transfer market, there are still rumblings over Sunday’s Copa del Rey defeat to Brazil, a 3-0 thrashing that left the Spanish media both defiant and vulnerable at the same time. Monday's front pages of Marca and AS promised that “We’ll be back!”, with a distraught and possibly sleep-deprived Tomás Roncero writing of “a fiasco of nuclear dimensions.”

Iniesta and friends watch the Confederations coronation

The post-match debate in Spain has echoed that taking place everywhere else in a quiet summer. Was the losing battle in Brazil merely the result of a tired team taking on a considerably fresher and more motivated opponent? Or the fabled end of an era, for the 47th time?

Sport leant towards the latter, with Josep Maria Casanova writing that the Confederations Cup defeat was a second warning to the squad's Camp Nou contingent. “Physical force was the determining factor in the superiority of Brazil, in the way that Bayern outmuscled Messi and company,” opined the Catalan columnist. “Either you are at 100% physically there, or anyone can beat you.”

AS editor Alfredo Relaño also paints a picture of a troubled summer of worrying for Spain. In Tuesday’s edition the paper’s bigwig writes that “Spain arrived having won everything, and this setback has affected the team. A defeat creates doubts. Doubts over names, doubts over the style... reasonable doubts.”

These doubts will certainly linger a while but LLL feels that everyone needs to calm down a little and realise that the result was hugely affected by incentive and generally being quite knackered. The blog likes to think that Spain were playing a little rope-a-dope – and that in 12 months' time, should the sides' paths cross again, Brazil might not find the affair so easy. 

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