Spain death tiki-taka GFXGOAL

The death of tiki-taka: Can Spain win Euro 2024 after ditching possession-heavy football?

It's often said that modern football is increasingly homogeneous in a tactical sense. Yet, while it's true that the ease with which ideas can be shared has led to many teams' playing styles converging, there have been a few exceptions to the rule. In the international game, Spain had been one such case.

Following a lengthy spell in the footballing wilderness, La Roja rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 2000s, winning the Euros in 2008 and 2012, as well as the World Cup in 2010. Key to establishing this dominance was their possession-heavy style.

'Tiki-taka', as it would become known to the world - much to Pep Guardiola's chagrin - has its roots in Catalunya. You can trace it back to Johan Cruyff, but its most successful proponent was Guardiola. During the same period as Spain's incredible success, Pep's Barca were demolishing the club game, winning 14 of the 19 trophies available to them between 2008 and 2012.

And even after the silverware dried up more recently, following the retirement of their golden generation, La Roja have retained a fanatical devotion to possession-first football. That is, until very recently.

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