It’s not terribly uncommon for former winners to bail out in the group stage of the next World Cup, but I think everyone would agree that Spain’s departure is a huge shock. There was Italy in 2010, France in 2002, and several others dating further back.
Given the talent that this Spanish squad still possess though, it is hard to believe that we won’t be seeing Diego Costa, David Silva, and Sergio Ramos in the knockout rounds.
After the first two matches in Group B, we’ve seen Chile and Netherlands prosper and display some incredible football. Attackers Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie have returned to an inhuman form at the moment, with each player scoring three goals for the Dutch. Australia certainly gave the men in orange a scare on Tuesday, with forward Tim Cahill scoring one of the goals of the tournament thus far for the Socceroos.
The Chileans led by Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez have been efficient on both end of the field so far. Sending Spain home packing should be a big enough victory for the South American team, but I think that this team have much bigger aspirations. With a chance to play Mexico or Croatia in the next round, the team is setting themselves up for a potential run to the quarterfinals at the very least.
With the Dutch and Chileans set to advance sitting on six points each, both sides will now battle it out to decide who will win Group B and possibly avoid hosts Brazil in the next round. The Selecao haven’t been dominant in their opening two matches though, which doesn’t make them an extraordinarily scary opponent at this point. Obviously, with Neymar and the various other weapons that Brazil possess, neither the Netherlands nor Chile will take any chances.