From 1984 to 2002 I thoroughly enjoyed the way Spain played.
They could have achieved something more, a couple of times were really misfortunate, especially with big mistakes by very good goalkeepers, some other times they weren’t truly helped by the officials, I’ve already whined about Ghandour recently, but at the end of it, they were often a joy to watch, even when loosing.
To make a point their bout with Nigeria at the 1998WC was one of the greatest 1st round match at World Cups ever.
Already in 2004 and 2006 anyway it was clear something was starting to go amiss, and albeit their victory in 2008, at that point they had completely lost it. In recent years watching Spain has become akin to watch grass grow.
They have become worst than the worst Brazilian or Colombian teams at their dreamy worst, for large bits of their matches you would be forgiven to start snoring, players seems more concerned of getting the ball in the empty areas of the field than to try to score a goal, at times I despair some of these players will at some point remember even to give a try at that! It is such an uneuropean way to play, I truly hope it is not representative of the way teams are playing in La Liga nowadays, but if that would be so, I’d not understand where these players came from. They played already so in 2008, and if possible, they have been only been worsening since then.
The British press went rightly berserk for the display of England against Algeria, now I understand the Spanish press and public opinion has been quite happy with the soporific way of life of Spain in recent years, but I suspect that may well be because they have got some victory at last, victory snatched more by the merit of some erratic individual flare than from real sustained, fast, full of pace, all around team effort, I cannot fathom how they will be able to afford to go forward along that path in the long term.