Being World and European Champions, which as most LLL readers will probably be aware is the position Spain currently find themselves in, has allowed everyone in the country - especially certain groups of players - to be more than a little ambivalent when it comes to playing lowly friendlies, even if the games result in a defeat.
After all, Vicente del BosqueÃ¢ÂÂs side have lost out to Argentina, Italy and Portugal since winning the World Cup, so it was no great shock that the team were beaten by rubbish old England at Wembley on Saturday evening - all be it, a little unfortunately.
But what seems to have upset the Spanish press most of all in regardÃ¢ÂÂs to their latest slip-up is that the national team lost out to a Fabio Capello outfit that has largely been rated and then slated as quite hopeless. On Sunday, Marca - whose front page concerned the greatness of Real Madrid, of course - were hugely disparaging of both the quality of SpainÃ¢ÂÂs performance and of their sideÃ¢ÂÂs rivals.
Ã¢ÂÂThis was sterile, leaden possession,Ã¢ÂÂ sniffed Marca on SpainÃ¢ÂÂs usual dominance in terms of possession. Ã¢ÂÂThe defeat says more about a certain carelessness of Spain than the qualities of their adversary.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂThe Spanish side left Wembley with the bittersweet sensation of a team who were superior to their opponents in all facets of the game except the scoreline,Ã¢ÂÂ noted the editorial. In fact Marca had very little nice to say about England at all, describing the crowd as Ã¢ÂÂsilent half the gameÃ¢ÂÂ and the winning goal as Ã¢ÂÂvery English and very Lampard-esque.Ã¢ÂÂ
AS were turning their collective nose up at England too, with editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o huffing that Ã¢ÂÂEngland parked the bus in front of goal, grabbed a goal at the start of the second half with the only ball dropped into our area and came away with a victory.Ã¢ÂÂ
MondayÃ¢ÂÂs El PaÃÂs writes that even playing England in what is known in Spain as 'the home of football' wasnÃ¢ÂÂt motivation enough for Del BosqueÃ¢ÂÂs side. Ã¢ÂÂThe team took on routines which gave off signs of boredom: little movement off the ball during possession, less runs and an unusual lack of shots on target.Ã¢ÂÂ
This ennui is unlikely to be lifted during TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs friendly, which sees the side crossing the Atlantic for a money-spinning match against Costa Rica that will reportedly earn the Spanish FA Ã¢ÂÂ¬2 million but will be of almost no tactical use to Del Bosque. But these exhibition games - that interest neither the Spanish players, nor supporters - are the cost that comes with being both the worldÃ¢ÂÂs best side and a plump-uddered cash cow for its bosses.
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