After years of success, Spain were brought back to earth after being knocked out of the World Cup 2014 at the group stages. It has been reflected as an end of an era for the Spanish national team with several stars like Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas towards the end of year careers. Alonso may have recently extended his stay at Real Madrid with a new contract, but at 33 years of age, he is unlikely to carry on playing international football for long. This is almost certainly the last time he has played at the World Cup.
It is being increasingly suggestions that Alonso will announce his retirement from international football after the final match against Australia, but the former Liverpool midfielder says that his future has still not been decided yet. Alonso has been one of the players to reflect on the end of the era. Spain were defeated 2-0 by Chile in the second group match. However, this performance was a massive improvement over the 5-1 humiliation this suffered in the opening match against Netherlands.
The two defeats have rendered the final match against Australia as a meaningless encounter, but Spain will be going out to play for pride. The Euro 2016 qualifying campaign begins in a few months and it is expected that manager Vicente del Bosque will leave out a number of star names. “I’m still not at that moment, I want all this to end as soon as possible, go on holiday, disconnect a little and then decide things with time. Right now is not the time. I’m not going to say what’s happening in the dressing room, for me that should stay there,” said Alonso ahead of the Australia match.
Alonso has also stated that the exit proves how big an achievement they did in the last six years.