SAO PAULO – The exit of defending champions, Spain with two defeats in a row at the ongoing World Cup before the conclusion of the group stages could be likened to the rise and fall of empires of old.
This is the view expressed by Nigeria’s former Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, who is in Brazil in solidarity with his colleague, Stephen Keshi now in the saddle.
With the exit, Spain has become the first high profile team to crash out of the ongoing 20th FIFA World Cup holding in Brazil ahead of their last group game.
Reacting to the exit, Siasia told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sao Paulo that he hailed the Spanish team for previous good efforts.
He added that it only showed their game was up. They achieved so much while up there.
“This is the time to quit in order to reorganise by giving way to a more youthful side just like it happened to great countries like France and Germany.
“Nothing lasts forever. They have stayed a long time as champions. The team had been together for upward of 12 years and achieved so much at the top level.
“It is time to look toward the younger generation of Spanish footballers,’’ he said.
The coach added that this could lift the morale of the national team to step up as to see what could be salvaged.
“This is football at its best,’’ he told a NAN correspondent covering the World Cup after Chile beat Spain 2-0 on Wednesday night.
The match was played at the 64-year-old Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro the edifice to host the final of the Mundial on July 13.
NAN reports that their second defeat to Chile ensured the Spaniard’s early exit from the world’s most glamorous sporting spectacle.
The defending champions had lost their opening match 1-5 to the rampaging Dutch team.
This is the second time in recent history of the competition that such a high profile team would exit in this manner.
France which hosted and won in 1998 had at the next World Cup jointly hosted by Korea and Japan lost at the group stages, including a loss to an African team, the Terranga Lions of Senegal.
The Lions later went on to reach the quarter-finals before crashing out. (NAN)