In 2016, after a disappointing elimination against Italy at the Eurocup, Vicente del Bosque left the Spanish national team, perhaps too late. Despite his triumphs in 2010 and 2012, the World Cup of 2014 disaster that followed where they lost against Netherlands and Chile to get out in the first round, it already seemed the end of an era.

Xavi and Xabi Alonso retired from the national team, and yet Del Bosque thought that during the Eurocup in France there would be a real possibility to win again. Nevertheless, the team showed the similar problems as in Brazil: bad defending, lack of energy and without a high-pressure system that was implemented by Guardiola on Barcelona.

Thus, from the exit of the Eurocup until a week before the start of the World Cup in Russia, everything seemed forgotten. During that period, Spain played 20 matches, winning 14 and drawing 6, scoring 61 goals and just conceding 13. That was the length of Julen Lopetegui's running the team, the man chosen to succeed Vicente del Bosque.

An evolution of the style

He was the manager when Spain won the Eurocup under 21, and his idea of possession but attacking constantly and defending by pressing high was clear from the beginning.

Besides, he started to give direction to the young quality players capable of leading the team, such as Thiago, Koke, Saúl, Asensio or Isco. Precisely, the two members of Real Madrid were key to defeating Italy by 3-0 at the Bernabéu, in the decisive match to qualify for the World Cup.

During those 20 matches in charge, Spain destroyed Argentina, drawn in a clash of power with Germany, beat France in Paris and was capable to avoid a defeat in Wembley after England was leading by 2-0. Unfortunately, the regrettable decision that the new president of the Spanish Federation, Luis Rubiales made by sacking Lopetegui just two days before the debut in Russia, eventually led to another catastrophic performance for the Spanish team.

Luis Enrique is selected as the coach

Considering all the candidates to grab the position in the national team, it seems that the former coach of Barcelona is the best one. Certainly, he was successful during his first year at Barcelona, where he won the treble playing a style based on possession but exploding more of the counter-attacking that was obsolete with Guardiola.

Precisely, many supporters were criticising Luis Enrique because every season Barcelona looked less like the one managed by the actual coach of Manchester City. But as usual, that came when unexpected results, especially in his last season, when Barcelona was thrashed by Juventus in the Champions League and Real Madrid won La Liga.

Nowadays, the supporters of the Spanish national team are tired after three bad performances in a row, and just want to be happy with a competitive squad capable of reaching the last stages of the next tournament.

Therefore, with the UEFA Nations League, it looks like the perfect opportunity to see if a team full of talent can be competitive again. Indeed, with a group formed by England and Croatia and a first match played at Wembley, the challenge seems promising from the beginning.