Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez Left Out Of Spain Vs. Australia In World Cup Farewell for Spain
By Christine Jane Caparras | June 23, 2014 5:08 PM EST
The 2014 FIFA World Cup ended in disaster for defending champions Spain. Their final group stage match will not feature goalkeeper Iker Casillas nor Xavi Hernandez.. The match against Australia will bear no weight in the competition since they have been mathematically eliminated after losing their first two matches,
Spain's coach Vicente Del Bosque gestures during the 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match against Chile at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro June 18, 2014
The 2010 winners opened their campaign in Brazil with a 5-1 thrashing from the Netherlands and failed to get redemption and effectively ended their title defence with a 2-0 defeat from Chile in their second match.
National team captain Iker Casillas faced a lot of criticism at the end of both matches but was defended by coach Vicente del Bosque. Spain conceded a total of seven goals in only two games.
Spain will face Australia in their final group stage match effectively only for show and to bid the World Cup good bye. Del Bosque has announced that Pepe Reina will be playing in place of Casillas and Xavi Hernandez will stay on the bench on account of a slight muscular problem.
In a report on FiFA's official website, Del Bosque still refuses to blame the poor results on the veterans alone stating that Reina will be given the opportunity to clock in minutes while Xavi will stay on the bench due to his injury and not because of poor performance.
"I don't think one game more or less is going to give him more recognition than he already has..He was the player that covered the most ground from both teams in the game against the Netherlands. They talk about renovation and marginalising the veterans, as if we have failed purely because of them. It is everyone who has lost together, but our recognition of Xavi remains huge."
Pepe Reina who will be replacing Casillas for the final match, is still determined to end the World Cup on a high. At 31 years of age, Reina is already a veteran of the national team but this will be his first World Cup appearance due largely to Casillas and his stellar performance in previous tournaments taking Spain to a World Cup title and two European Championship titles.
"It is the dream of any player to play in a World Cup. I wish it could be in different circumstances but the only thing we can't change is that we can't qualify. I don't think we are going to change the opinion of the people a lot because we are already out, but we want to end the competition in the most dignified way possible."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Pope Francis Meets Sudanese Woman Who Was Spared Death for Apostasy (PHOTOS)
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: King Williem-Alexander, Queen Maxima Hold Solemn Reception Ceremony for Victims
- Transfer News: FC Barcelona Shockingly Sign Valencia Defender [PHOTOS]
- Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult Allegedly Split: Mad Max Actor Cheats with Kristen Stewart & Riley Keough - Reports
Join the Conversation
- Rafael Nadal Blows Out Novak Djokovic as Top Contender For US Open Series – Tennis TV Poll
- Roger Federer Brings Danger To Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal at US Open
- Rugby Sevens Semis & Finals Live Stream, Schedule & Results – Commonwealth Games 2014
- Serena Williams Makes History; Among Most Dominant World's No.1 in History
- A Beautiful Distraction: 5 Things You Need to Know About Sabina Altynbekova
- Apple iPhone 6 on Two Confirmed Release Dates, New Parts Leaked Suggesting Bigger iPhone to Come
- Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Android 5.0 L Material Design Coming with More Interface Changes
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePlusOne vs Nexus 5: Mi4 is the ‘Perfect’ Phone
- Israeli Women Stripping Naked for IDF Soldiers
- Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A Android 4.4.2 KitKat Update Rolls Out: When to Hit Your Region
- HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Roll Out, Introducing the HTC One Remix
- OnePlus One Android 4.4.4 KitKat and Android L Update Guide