The global press "said good-bye" to the Spanish national team following its 2-0 loss to Chile on Wednesday, according to Jesús Balseiro of AS. The loss, which means defending World Cup champ Spain will not advance beyond the group stage, led to newspapers throughout the world weighing in on the end of a run in which Spain sandwiched Euro championships in '08 and '12 around the World Cup crown La Roja earned in '10. Berlin's Bild said, "Tiki-taka has died." Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport called it a "collapse" and a "requiem." British publications "were even more harsh." The London Daily Mail said, "And what if tiki-taka never existed and they were just 11 great footballers?" Reactions from various global publications are below:
France's L'Equipe: "Spain turns in its crown. Being champion of the world does not protect you any more. For the third time in the last four World Cups, the defending champion has been eliminated in the group stage. ... Spain has fallen from very high."
Italy's La Gazzetta: "A sad end to a marvelous cycle. A requiem for a team that won everything. .... A requiem for tiki-taka. ... Good-bye to the great Spain, a part of history starting now."
The London Daily Mirror: "When the most powerful fall, the entire Earth seems to shake. After six years of international dominance, Spain made the worst World Cup title defense in history."
Buenos Aires' Olé: "A cruel good-bye for the tiki-taka generation. We will always remember you for your beautiful tiki-taka, renew yourself and return soon."
Portugal's A Bola: "See you later, Spain. The reigning champion is out of the World Cup after losing to Chile 2-0" (AS, 6/19).
SADNESS IN SPAIN: ESPN's Dermot Corrigan wrote the Spanish newspapers were "filled with pain and sadness but also an enduring sense of pride on the morning after" La Roja's loss. Marca's "simple 'The End' front page showed Andres Iniesta walking alone into the distance, and summed up the feelings of a country shocked by such a brutal end." A Marca analysis piece by Javier Estepa had the headline, "The end of a unique generation." It reminded Spain's fans "that in time this painful end would not overshadow the incredible past achievements of these players." Estepa wrote, "It is logical that Spain's fans are disappointed, but the respect owed to this team must be eternal." AS's cover, with Iniesta and "forlorn captain Iker Casillas pictured," said, "It was nice while it lasted." Inside, Juanma Trueba's match report began, "The end was horrible. It had to come some day, that was accepted, but we never imagined such a painful goodbye, so unrecognizable and so vulgar. Goodbye, World Cup." Jose Samano of El Pais "likened La Roja to the Titanic, and said this had been a harsh way for things to finish" (ESPN, 6/19).
IN CHILE: EL CONFIDENCIAL reported the Chilean press "heaped praise on its national team." The country's top publications and media outlets "elevated Chile Manager Jorge Sampaoli and his players to the category of heroes." El Mercurio wrote, "Chile writes a new 'Maracanazo:' eliminating the world champion and advancing to the knockout round." La Nacion: "Historic! Chile beats Spain." Radio Cooperativa's website said, "Chao champions! Chile beats Spain and advances. ... The national team achieved its first win over the Iberians and assured its place in the round of 16" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 6/19). In Barcelona, Begoña Villarrubia wrote Chilean daily El Trabajo's headline read, "Total madness after the classification." El Gráfico's cover read, "Maracanazo" and featured Chilean forward Eduardo Vargas (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 6/19).