The samba bodies were moving to the tune of drums — in a sea of yellow — as if the sunflowers at Corsica have suddenly come to life in South America. The left foot of the country’s latest golden boy, in a split-second of immense happiness in a country embraced with every emotion other than that — and Brazil sang together, ‘The Champions are back.’
All this while, the game saw the minute technicalities of a gifted Spanish side being broken — it was the end of a 29-match unbeaten streak. And however meaningless the tournament might be — it seemed the word ‘invincible’ had suddenly been abolished in the world of football.
Go back a month in time, and in a comparatively less dramatic way, but still more emphatically, Bayern Munich slew Barcelona. The Catalan giants were humbled with such great style that football fans couldn’t decide what was more exciting — the eventual fall of the giant or the rise of a new Goliath in Bayern Munich.
As Bayern finished off Barcelona, one must not forget that Borussia Dortmund got the better of the other big Spanish team in Real Madrid.
These results had one thing in common. It brought about a belief that tiki-taka can be beaten at the highest stage. There is an end to its tyranny if you apply yourself with complete discipline for about 90-odd minutes. In three matches (two Bayern vs Barca legs and Brazil vs Spain), the invincibility of the style of play that has enchanted so many was suddenly brought to an abrupt halt.
More than believing in the myth that tiki-taka is completely finished; the wins give hope that teams can beat a philosophy that is seeped into every top Spanish player’s blood.
In this debate, two sports analysts examine the relevance of the tiki-taka style of play in today’s football.