Some say Spain’s 2010 World Cup winning squad was the best team ever assembled. Iniesta, Xavi, and Puyol–all were at their peak with Treble winners Barcelona. Let’s take a look at where these and other masters of the tika-taka are today.
He scored the game-winning goal to win Spain’s first World Cup in 2010. He’s widely considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time for playing an essential role in Barcelona’s 2009 and 2015 Treble, amassing a whopping 33 trophies over a 16-year career. So where is the ever versatile and inventive midfielder Andrés Iniesta now? He’s still playing football, of course, on a three year deal in Japan for the football club Vissel Kobe.
Xavi epitomized the short pass and move philosophy of the tiki-taka. In his 17 year spell for the Catalonia side, he won 8 Spanish titles, 6 Copa Del Rey, and 4 Champions League trophies. He also led Spain to its 2008 Euro trophy and 2010 World Cup trophy. After retiring from the Catalan giants in 2015, he joined Qatari club Al Sadd where he also plans to get into coaching.
Considered one of the best defenders for both Barcelona and his national side, Carles Puyol buttressed the Spain side that won the 2010 World Cup. In addition to playing nearly every minute with the squad, he scored the header against Germany that sent the team to the 2010 World Cup final. With a Euro trophy, a World Cup, and 20 major club titles, the rugged Puyol retired from the game in 2014. Having been invited by Iranian television to be a commentator for World Cup 2018, it appears that his future might involve some journalistic endeavor.
The versatile midfielder Xabi Alonso excelled in both offensive and defensive positions, acting as both playmaker and tactical tackler. As part of Spain’s golden era that won Euro 2008 and 2012 along with the 2010 World Cup., Xabi played 114 hardworking games for the national side, scoring 16 goals. After retiring from his club team Bayern Munich in 2017, he moved back to his old stomping grounds of Real Madrid to coach one of Real’s youth teams.
Once a world-class striker with lethal scoring abilities before nagging injuries, Fernando Torres helped lead La Roja during its unprecedented run from 2008 to 2012, collecting two Euros and a World Cup. After retiring from Atletico Madrid in 2018, he followed in the footsteps of Andres Iniesta to signed up to play football in Japan for club Sagan Tosu.
With his outstanding shot-stopping ability and quick reflexes, Iker Casillas helped the Spanish side that won two Euros and a World Cup. As captain of one of the greatest teams of all-time, he has cemented his legacy in Spanish football history. He’s also earned the team’s most caps with 167. Casillas has been playing for Porto ever since he departed his beloved Real Madrid after sixteen years.
For someone nicknamed “El Guaje” or “the little kid,” the goals were big and plentiful. David Villa remains Spain’s leading scorer, with 59 strikes in 97 national appearances. He served as the catalyst that drove Spain to its first World Cup victory in 2010. After playing for New York City FC in the MLS the last four years, he’s moving to Japan to team up with Andrés Iniesta of Vissel Kobe.
With 158 caps and 14 goals, Sergio Ramos has excelled for the national side ever since his senior debut in 2005. Building on the confidence from Euro 2008, the physical right back helped the team earn five clean sheets in its run-up to winning the 2010 World Cup. The engine and workhorse of the Spain defense, Ramos played every minute Euro 2012 as he did in the prior World Cup, earning the team yet another taste of glory. Still just 32 years old, the captain of Los Blancos is aiming to win his fifth Champions League trophy this year.
The creative midfielder has earned 125 caps with the Spanish side, notching 35 goals on his way to helping the team to a record-setting back to back Euro titles with a World Cup in between. At the club level, Silva still plays with the Manchester side where the maestro continues to shine in this his 9th season with the club.
The 2010 World Cup winner Sergio Busquets continues to excel in his deep-lying playmaker position for club side Barcelona. His ability to read the game combined with his pace has contributed to the team’s 3 Champions League titles, 7 La Liga titles, and 6 Spanish cups.
The first choice center back for Spain in World Cup 2010, the versatile defender Gerard Piqué is still a dependable player for Barcelona. In his 456 caps in his nine years with the squad, he’s won the Treble of Champions League, Spanish Cup, and La Liga twice.