EDITOR’S BLOG: Spain Exits World Cup in a Blaze of Faded Glory

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It wasn’t a case of premeditated royal desertion but of awful performance by a team of golden footballers
who managed brilliantly to self-destruct

 After the onset of the terrible economic crisis that has been plaguing Spain since 2008, public – as well as private, notably the financial – institutions have suffered a considerable loss of popularity. The Spanish Crown has not been spared the disaffection though it has managed to remain best-valued by the people.

Last 2 June, however, King Juan Carlos announced that he was abdicating in favor of his son who, as a result, became King Felipe VI on the 19th of the month.  Apparently, as soon as the people heard he was giving up the throne, a great majority of them did some soul searching and faced what they’ve always known for a fact but had been trying to deny lately:  King Juan Carlos was crucial in keeping the factious Kingdom of Spain intact.

At the risk of sounding frivolous, this great service included bringing good luck to Spanish athletes by attending matches, particularly tennis where Rafa Nadal reigns Number One, and football, a national passion. Many believed he was a live lucky charm.

King Juan Carlos signs his abdication into organic law. President of the Spanish government Mariano Rajoy looks on.

King Juan Carlos signs his abdication into organic law. President of the Spanish government Mariano Rajoy looks on. (Photo: www.lamoncloa.gob.es)

Last 18 June, when the Spanish team slugged it out with Chile at the Maracana and was eliminated from the World Cup on a 0–2 score, quite a few thought if only King Juan Carlos was out in Brazil to cheer the team on it would not have been hit by the shocking catastrophe.   But that day he was at the Royal Palace in Madrid signing the bill of his own abdication into organic law in a solemn and emotive ceremony.

It wasn’t a case of premeditated royal desertion but of awful performance by a team of golden footballers who managed brilliantly to self-destruct. No amount of magic formula, even a royal one, could have saved it.

 

 

 

Gallery of the Ill-fated Match

 

The Maraca staium in Rio de Janeiro on the night of the Spain-Chile match

The Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on the night of the Spain-Chile match. (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images for Sony)

Spanish fans just before the Spain-Chile match. Who would have thought it'd turn out so bad?

Spanish fans just before the game. Who would have thought it’d turn out so bad? (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for Sony)

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A Spanish supporter: Noithing room with optimism. The Spanish team was reigning World Cup champion even after losing to the Netherlands on its debut in Brazil pic 5

A decidedly undaunted Spanish supporter: Nothing wrong with optimism. The Spanish team was reigning World Cup champion even after losing to the Netherlands on its debut in Brazil. Why cry before time? (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Sony)

 

Chile celebrates first goal -- it didn't bode well for the Spanish team - pic 6

Chileans Claudio Bravo and Gary Medel celebrate first goal — it didn’t bode well for the Spanish team. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for Sony)

The Chile team celebrates its second goal, sealing the doom of the Spanish - pic 7

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Sony shows Charles Aranquiz (2nd L) and his teammates in the glow of the goal he scored, the second for Chile, dooming Spain.

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas: How could it have gone so bad?

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas: Down and out? (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty  Images for Sony)

A match that's best forgotten

A match that’s best forgotten. (Photo be Clive Rose/Getty IImages for Sony)