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Dec 1, 2022

Just over a decade ago, Spanish football was in the midst of its greatest-ever era. Firstly under Luis Aragonés and then under Vicente Del Bosque, Las Rojas romped to back-to-back European Championships, with a first and only World Cup success sandwiched in the middle. And that success was built off the back of one club, FC Barcelona.

Back in 2008, Luis Aragonés led a new-look Spanish side to Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Out went the old guard such as Real Madrid legend Raul and in came a wealth of younger technical players, including the likes of Cesc Fabregas and David Silva. But the jewel in the Spanish crown was of course the Catalonian duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

With that pairing creating opportunity after opportunity in central midfield as well as David Villa and Fernando Torres feasting on a glut of service, Spain lifted the trophy for the first time since 1964. Aragonés left his post on a high at the end of the tournament and was replaced by Del Bosque, who continued the Atletico Madrid legend's incredible work.

Spain’s Rise Coincides with The Blaugrana Under Pep Guardiola

Just as Del Bosque was taking up the reigns with the national team, Barcelona also had a new man at the helm. A man that goes by the name of Pep Guardiola.

The club's former captain also helped usher in a new era in Spanish football. Out went two of Barcelona’s most decorated players, Ronaldinho and Deco, and in came opportunities for younger talent, with Lionel Messi of course being the spearhead.

In Guardiola’s first season in charge in the Nou Camp, his side swept all before them, winning all six competitions available to them in the year of 2009, including the first treble in the history of Spanish football. Two years later, they would win the Champions League again, with Spanish La Masia graduates Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Pedro, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol integral to the club's success.

As well as that, Guardiola also implemented a tiki-taka style similar to what Aragonés employed with the national team, with emphasis placed on technical ability rather than pace and power. The results were immediate, and it wasn’t just Barcelona that would reap the rewards.

Spain would go on to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, with Iniesta firing home a 116th-minute winner in Johannesberg to down the Netherlands. And in that Soccer City Stadium showpiece, all six of Barca’s academy products started.

Spain At Qatar 2022

12 years on from Spain’s finest hour, current boss Luis Enrique is looking to implement the same Barcelona-centric tactics. Enrique of course led the Catalonians to their second-ever treble in 2015 however, that success was heavily reliant on a front three of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. The current Spanish team has no such luxuries.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer lines don’t favor Spain’s chances to lift the trophy in Qatar. Instead, that honor went to the likes of Brazil and the reigning champions of France. But not for long.

Just as Aragones did back in 2008, Enrique has had to usher in a new era for the Spain team. Gone are the glory days of Torres, Villa, Iniesta and Xavi, instead new diamonds must be found. And the former Barca boss has found them at the place he knows best, La Masia.

Enrique has handed debuts to a number of Barcelona’s youngest stars such as Pedri and Gavi, with the latter being barely 18 years of age. In fact, he was aged just 17 years and 62 days when he made his international debut last October. But the risk his manager took when gambling on his ability has already paid off.

In Spain’s opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, they romped to a 7-0 victory over Costa Rica, with Gavi becoming the youngest scorer at the World Cup since Pele back in 1958. And just as was the case with Spain’s golden generation, this current squad is built around the stockpile of talent at Camp Nou. Barcelona stars Busquets, Gavi, Pedri, Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres all started that victory - as well as the 1-1 draw with Germany days later - with an additional three on the bench, namely Ansu Fati, Alejandro Balde and Eric Garcia.

How far the Spanish go in the desert remains to be seen. A last-16 tie with any one of Belgium, Croatia or Morocco will await in the second round, with tournament favourites Brazil awaiting in the quarterfinals.

But this young Spain side under Luis Enrique shouldn’t fear anyone. They reached the semifinals of last year's European Championships, only to be downed by Italy on penalties when they had been the better team for long periods. They have also reached back-to-back UEFA Nations League Finals.

And with Brazil’s shining light - Neymar - sidelined with an ankle injury, Spain could go on and do the unthinkable again this winter.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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