The defending World Cup champions had given up just two goals during their seven game World Cup final run in 2010 in South Africa. In the first two games of the 2014 tournament in Brazil, the Spanish side had given up seven goals.
Pundits and experts suggested the Spain team was headed into a decline, but none suspected it’d be this severe. Jose Mourinho, who is serving as Yahoo’s Global Football Ambassador, thinks a lot of the credit goes to the Netherlands and Chile, specifically coaches Louis van Gaal and Jorge Sampaoli. It is their strategy and their studying of Spain that allowed their teams to knock off the champions.
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“Spain’s numbers and points and the fact that they score one goal just with the penalty and they have zero points, and they are already packing up to go home,” Mourinho said.
“I think it’s fair to say that there is a big responsibility in Holland and in Chile. Big responsibility. I think they did what, I think, in modern football you have to do. You have to be strategic. Holland and Chile they were very good by the strategic point of view, and Spain couldn’t cope with it in my opinion. In this moment people learn how to play against the best teams. And when the best teams play, always believing that their philosophy is the one, the other people learn. And Spain was so amazing in the last 4 or 6 years, they were so amazing in the way they were playing football, that people learn, people look, people study.
“Louis van Gaal was brilliant in the way he analyzed and prepared the game against Spain. But today, Sampaoli, even more. I think we have to be fair, and instead of saying Spain didn’t play well, which I agree, but I think we have to be fair and say Chile did an amazing work and congratulations to the coach, Sampaoli.”
Jose Mourinho is an exclusive analyst for Yahoo’s worldwide football coverage and www.yahoo.co.uk/worldcup is the only place to read all his expert opinions during the FIFA World Cup 2014.