Spanish Tiki Taka, The New Football Philosophy!
Posted: Jul 09, 2012
To write about Spain at Euro 2012, one must start with Barcelona FC.
Some weeks ago on this page, I described Barcelona FC as the best football club in the world. From the scathing responses I received many readers did not agree with me.
Barcelona FC had impressed me very much in the past few years, win or lose, matches and titles. The team was playing a brand of football I had never seen before (and I have a long history of the game under my belt) and winning.
Before I started to watch and understand the football revolution that was going on inside the Barcelona Academy at Camp Nou, I had often wondered what else could be introduced to the game of football that would result in a completely unique playing style and character to drastically change the way the game is played?
What could be so radically different in football tactics or philosophy to impact on a team and make it the best in the world for years? Since total football was introduced in the early 1970s by the Dutch national team nothing of that magnitude had happened again to the game until Barca came along in the middle of the last decade.
It is Barcelona FC that discovered and introduced the secret formula that the rest of the world has since been trying to unravel and deal with without much success. The team started to stamp its authority on every game, draw, win or lose. Not everyone appreciated their increasingly steady and consistent performance, influence and eventual mastery of this new style of play. Until last weekend, when Spain, epitomising the style that defines the Barcelona FC philosophy, won the European Championships for the second consecutive time, many of my close friends and compatriots in the football business had not been completely convinced about the authenticity and longevity of Barca's unique brand of football. Now they have seen it and accept it is real.
For some years now, Barcelona FC and the Spanish national team have been the most entertaining sides in the world to watch. They have dominated every opposition with their passing and flawless ball possession, scoring goals in 'baskets', covering more miles on the field than other teams, and attacking and defending in endless running with uncommon enthusiastic gusto. In the period, Barca have won the Spanish La Liga, the UEFA Champions League and the World Club Cup, and Spain have won the European Championships and the World Cup.
But it was at the final match of Euro 2012 that the defining moment came to cast all doubts aside and reveal the genius and authenticity of the philosophy encapsulated in this new playing style.
SPAIN VERSUS ITALY
Note that I have been mentioning Barcelona and Spain almost in the same breath. It has become difficult to separate them. Both have become exponents of the newest kind of football in the world revealed in its full glory in the final match of Euro 2012. Playing against Italy, a team that knows how to win championships, with global records matched only by one or two other countries in the world, a team that had, in the same 2012 championships, defied all odds, made nonsense of pre-championship predictions by sweeping past all opposition, including pre-competition favourites (Germany), to get to the finals, Spain put up its greatest display of the new global football philosophy called Tiki Taka by the Spanish media. In doing so they totally 'destroyed' the great Azurris, with all their mastery of defensive play, with 4 beautiful goals.
Before the final match many people had described the performance of Spain as monotonous and predictable with their one-style-for-all approach against all manner of opposition. Many had, indeed, concluded that the style would be short-lived and would be rendered ineffective particularly by either Germany or Italy. At the end Spain played and earned the respect of the entire world. Suddenly, everyone is agreeing with me that through Euro 2012 we had taken a look into the future, and were indeed previewing the 2014 World Cup.
The big question now is: who can stop Spain in Brazil 2014?
TIKI TAKA - A NEW FOLLOWERSHIP!
Looking back I now believe that any short-sighted appreciation of Barcelona FC and their style of play can be attributed to their relatively smaller global followership compared to that of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal and Juventus.
When Barcelona met Chelsea at the semi-finals of the 2012 UEFA Champions League I was a special guest at Planet Heineken in Lagos where hundreds of football fans had been invited to watch the match on giant screens and were treated to an evening of lavish feast of football, drinks and snacks.
From the octane of raised voices in support of the teams it was very obvious that the fans of Barcelona, led by me incidentally, were a sprinkle compared to the teeming sea of Chelsea fans. My observation since then has confirmed that teams in the Spanish La Liga may attract admiration and viewership but they hardly attract the same level of followership.
But all of that, since last weekend, is now in the past. Things are changing rapidly. Spain's performance that cannot be separated from Barcelona's influence and image is driving the change. 5 of the players in the conquering Spanish team hold the key to Barcelona's phenomenal success and brand. They are Pique, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Pedro. The other Spanish players from Real Madrid, Chelsea and the others have had to adopt quickly and play the Barca way. As a unit they have become a well-oiled, unstoppable conquering machine They are presently the most complete and consistent team in the world characterised by the quality and quantum of their victories, seamless movement of the players into small open spaces in every part of the field, the back and forth quick passing that leaves opposing players chasing shadows in a daze, the interchange of positions, the close ball controls even in the tightest spaces, the speed of counter attacks, the wave after wave of attacks down the middle of the field, the chase of opposing players once ball possession is lost, the number of goal scoring options created. All of these put together make up the new football philosophy and style called, Tiki Taka.
Today on Complete Sports
Most Recent Stories
- » Bayern Munich claim fifth European title (0 comments)
- » Enugu Rangers Vs Sunshine Sets Coal City Agog (0 comments)
- » Mikel Obi Confirms For June Qualifiers, Confederations Cup (0 comments)
- » FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN! (0 comments)
- » La Liga Return! (0 comments)
- » Getting Stronger (0 comments)
- » Not A Happy Ending (0 comments)
There are no comments