Have Spain tried to evolve their team too quickly?

The Guardian's Spanish football expert chats to Team 33 on this week's show

Have Spain tried to evolve their team too quickly?

Spanish team poses prior to a friendly soccer match between Romania and Spain in Cluj, Romania, Sunday, March 27, 2016. Back row from left to right: Iker Casillas, Marc Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Koke. Front row from left to right: Pedro Rodriguez, Mario Perez, David Jimenez Silva, Paco Alcacer, Nolito Agudo and Jordi Alba. (AP Photo/Mircea Rosca)

Spain will go into this summer's European Championships as holders but not favourites.

Rebuilding after the shock first round exit at the last World Cup, Vicente Del Bosque's team will be an unknown quantity at Euro 2016.

They have a tricky group too with Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia looking to stop them.

The Guardian's Spanish football correspondent Sid Lowe was in Dublin last week for Football Weekly's live show at Vicar Street in Dublin and I caught up with him backstage for Newstalk's Team 33 to talk about some of the great non-Barecelona or Real Madrid sides of the Millennium so far.

But we ended on his thoughts on Spain's potential to retain their title ahead of this summer, which he feels are still shrouded in mystery.

"I felt that the World Cup was so disappointing that I actually think it encouraged them to accelerate too fast and that 'we need to change really significant things'. Then when you look at the starting XI, there probably wasn't a need to change much," he said, adding that the main changes required were successors to Xavi, David Villa and Xabi Alonso.

"You look at the side now and the starting XI if everyone is fit is still extraordinarily strong."


"In terms of their midfield, no one is going to have technically as gifted a midfield as they've got. Forward line I'm slightly less convinced. The defence if everyone is fit, I'm actually quite convinced. I  think De Gea will now finally become first choice, which is probably something that could have happened a couple of years ago."

But Sid reckons Spain's group is hard enough for La Roja for the worst to happen.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player below on Newstalk.com and iTunes