Xabi Alonso gave his version of Spain’s disastrous World Cup campaign, one which saw the defending champions knocked out of the competition after crashing to defeats in their opening two games.
Question of attitude: “We haven’t been able to maintain our hunger and the conviction we needed to make a serious attempt at defending the trophy. The happiness we experienced in the past and all of the successes are over. In terms of football, we made a lot of mistakes. We’ve lost our way, and the ability to be ourselves out on the pitch – that was what enabled us to win so many of our games in the past. The overall mood was different this time – not like it was in other tournaments”.
Drop in form: “That’s the saddest thing. Mentally, we were not fully prepared for this World Cup and physically, we were right at the very limit. Both of those things together meant that we weren’t in better conditions. We weren’t at the required level and we deserve to have been knocked out”.
The end of an era: “In football, the end of an era is usually signalled by a defeat. Maybe now's the time to start thinking about making changes”.
Outclassed by superior opponents: “We’ve met two great rivals who prepared for the games well. We didn’t know how to control certain situations like we have done in previous tournaments. We didn’t know how to respond after Holland levelled or tonight, after going 1-0 down to Chile”.