This generation of great Spanish footballers has something that goes beyond ability. They have trust, trust in one another and trust in their collective desire to win. Even when things get tough, when everybody around them is suggesting that they need to change, the Spanish just keep going. They maintain their trust in one another and continue to play, such is their belief in the way they play that they could be losing by five goals and would still play the same way, would still trust in one another.
This level of trust can be seen in all of the Spanish players. It is not about individuals with the Spanish team these days. The damaging Real Madrid and Barcelona rivalry within the camp has long gone. It was buried alongside Spain’s historic failure to win an international trophy, even when they did have some of the most talented players in the world amongst their number.
You only have to look at Fernando Torres in the final. Here was a player who had a nightmare season, arguably a nightmare two years. But, in this Spain team it is not just about Torres. It is about the collective group. Nobody is solely reliant on Torres and he can play with a freedom he has rarely enjoyed in his whole career. His team mates have trust in him to play his role and he has trust in them to find him when he makes his runs. Here is a man who would not take a penalty for Chelsea earlier in the season but who came on as a substitute for Spain and scored the decisive goal in the final, setting up the fourth goal shortly after. There is collective belief and a collective sharing of the pressures in this record breaking squad."
I’ve started reading Más Secretos de La Roja, and the quote that stood out and stuck with me was Villa saying in 06, Aragonés believed in a bunch of perennial losers who were so down after their loss in Germany, they just kept losing, and that this belief and trust even though they were doing so badly was a huge component in them turning it all around and becoming who they are today.