On the latest episode of The World Cup Project, host Marc Damon welcomes fellow PSG Talk contributor Cose Espinosa to discuss the golden era of Spanish football and the role Real Madrid and FC Barcelona played in their rise to dominance. As Paris Saint-Germain supporters have learned the hard way the last few years, these two clubs are very tough to beat and it’s easy to see why they essentially fuel one of the best teams at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Espinosa, who hails from Ecuador but is knowledgeable about all things Spanish football, discusses how Spain went from not qualifying for the World Cup in 1954, 1958, 1970, and 1974 to champions in South Africa in 2010–not to mention two UEFA European Championship wins in 2008 and 2012. La Roja‘s success boils down to a footballing culture unlike any in the world and a certain style–Tiki-taka–that would come to define them.
Spanish football, La Liga in particular, has also experienced a renaissance and two of the league’s biggest stars will be on display for all the world to watch this summer. Can Lionel Messi lead Argentina to the finals and win it all? Is this his last opportunity to prove himself on the international stage? Cristiano Ronaldo has to like his chances with his Portugal side. Not only do they have more talent than in recent years, but the draw was extremely kind to them. Can CR7 cement his legacy and one-up his La Liga rival?
To wrap up this episode, Damon and Espinosa discuss a couple of the other big South American clubs that qualified for the World Cup. Edinson Cavani’s Uruguay isn’t quite elite but they certainly have the quality to be dangerous. Colombia does have a big win over France recently but can James Rodríguez lead his squad on a deep run in the tournament?
Be sure to subscribe to our podcast (iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher) to receive every episode of The World Cup Project. The next episode will be available on May 14 and we will be talking with Louis Jacques about what it takes to manage a club in the World Cup. Talk to you then!