The Brazilian World Cup, The Davis Cup and the Basketball World Cup have all left a mark on 2014, full of disappointments and triumphs which have become day to day politics. Legends such as Nadal, Gasol and Alfonso have all fallen in the ranks due to either personal or sports affairs, whereas Mireia Belmonte, Contador and other sportsmen have all triumphed in their regimes; a year which whether good or bad, has captivated the international audiences once again.
During the Basketball World Cup, which was held this year in Spain, the Spanish team with players such as Gasol, Navarro, Calderón and many others known as the ” Dream Team ” was considered to be the guaranteed winners of the gold – More still considering the skill demonstrated by these players as well as having both the Japanese World Cup and two Euro baskets under their belts.
In a shocking twist, the team led by captain Orenga succumbed to the French team led by Vincent Collet 65-52 – A train wreck of a defeat which nobody expected.
Basketball to Football
After winning the South African world cup and the Euro cups in 2008 and 2010, Spain was expected to once again take the gold at the Brazilian world cup; However this competition would take no time in becoming a nightmare for Vicente del Bosque. They would be defeated at the hands of Chile and Holland in the first group resulting in their loss at a shot at the title.
Fortunately, the presence of the two Spanish clubs at the end of the UEFA Champions League cushioned the blow of the World Cup disaster. El Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid would face off in a historical duel which surprised both fans and non-fans alike due to its intensity, whilst at the same time setting a record of television audiences around the country.
Márquez y Alonso, A Bitter-Sweet Situation
During the Motorcycle World Cup 2014, Márquez would once again return victorious, finishing one of his most glorious seasons, and at the same time beating almost every record in the category; if that wasn’t enough, he also won the title for a second time consecutively – Clearly an unbeatable sportsman.
A bitter sweet taste however when compared to the F1. Fernando Alonso, who will now join McLaren next season, finished one of his most disappointing years, with just two podiums and lots of problems.
We shouldn’t however forget the efforts of Carlos Sainz and Roberto Merhi within the World Series, where Sainz was named champion after conquering gold medal Paul Ricard; Miguel Molina also made an impact within the DTM with excellent results in many different categories.
Feats and Failures In Tennis
Injuries and forfeits devastated the Spanish team in the Davis Cup, where Nadal has 5 victories since 2000. However, the impeccable efforts of Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci ruined the dreams of Carlos Moya, who lost his place within the World Group.
But Rafal Nadal did not miss his show down with Roland Garros, where he won his ninth title against Djokovic. David Ferrer didn’t leave empty handed either, being crowned for the third time, winner at the Open in Buenos Aires.
Mireia Belmonte and Contador
In many senses, Mireia Belmonte has become the protagonist of 2014, winning up to six medals in the European Swimming Championships of Berlin and two gold medals in the World Championships in Doha. The efforts of Duane da Rocha, Judit Ignacio and Jessica Vall also contributed admirably.
Cycling has also been a great success; Alberto Contador won the 69th edition of the Vuelta a España, a feat which he retrieved in 2008 and 2012. During the winning ceremony of the World Tour, Spanish cyclists won all of the awards for a second year consecutively – Something unheard of until now.
In many aspects, 2014 has been a tasteless year for Spanish sportsmen. It’s safe to say that in the upcoming years, we should expect moments full of expectations with Alonso signing with McLaren, Carlos Sainz Jr. and the rebirth of the Roja in the 2016 Euro cup. All these and many more promise a year that will return Spain to the peaks of competition.