The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
More considered thoughts to come, but for now, a quick question: What more could Spain possibly have done in this tournament? They went through Italy and Germany to win the title. They beat the breakthrough team of the tournament by three goals, then did it a second time. They stifled the breakout star of the tournament. They won all their games—something no European champion had done in over 20 years—and kept alive their 22-game winning streak. They produced the tournament’s top scorer. They went through the knockout stages without conceding a single goal, yet still played some of the most attractive football in the tournament.
If this isn’t the best team in Europe, what is? And is any other team in the world playing half as well right now?
by Brian Phillips · June 29, 2008