Spain suffered a humiliation at the hands of the Netherlands in their opening Group B game at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil on Friday.
The reigning European and world champions took the lead at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on 27 minutes when Xabi Alonso slotted home from the penalty spot.
It was all going to plan at that point. Although Louis van Gaal’s side were expected to provide a tough opposition, ahead of the contest many thought that Spain would eventually come out on top and edge out a narrow win.
However, the Dutch had other ideas, as Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben each scored twice to help their side to a shocking but well-deserved 5-1 comeback victory over their European rivals.
Iker Casillas was one of the Spain players who had a terrible game. The Real Madrid goalkeeper could not really do much to keep out Van Persie’s world-class equalising header, but the 33-year-old made a terrible error of judgement for Stefan de Vrij’s goal and then committed a howler for the United forward’s second on 72 minutes.
Casillas is a living legend and has won everything a player based in Europe could win. However, the Spain captain has not been a regular for Madrid since January 2013. Under coach Carlo Ancelotti this past season, he was the second choice behind Diego Lopez, and there were concerns that he should not be the first-choice keeper for Spain.
Liverpool’s Pepe Reina and David de Gea of Manchester United are both younger and in better form than Casillas, and have also played more football this past campaign. There will be calls for either of them to replace Casillas between the sticks for Spain’s next Group B clash against Chile.
However, 31-year-old Reina, who played the 2013-14 season on loan for Napoli, has taken to social networking site Twitter to let everyone know that he and De Gea are not Casillas’ rivals but his teammates, and that they all will stick together during this tough period.