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The future of Spanish football is safe

Disappointing, unexpected and disastrous - just a few of the (more polite) words that have been used to describe Spain's performance at the Olympics.

'La Rojita' were knocked out of London 2012 on Sunday after 1-0 defeats against Japan and Honduras.

A goal in the seventh minute was enough for Honduras to beat a misguided Spain and send one of the favourites for the gold medal back home.

Although Luis Milla's team had chances to score, hit the post three times and had two penalty claims turned down, there's no excuse for Spain's display at London 2012.

Athletic de Bilbao's midfielder Javi Martinez couldn't believe what happened: "We are very disappointed. This didn't happen before. We've had 24 shots on target and have not scored.

"We've not scored a goal in two games. That's unfair, but if you don't take advantage of your changes, you'll pay for it."

The shock of Spain's early exit aside, the reality is that performances have been poor, especially against Japan in the first match.

Now the question is if this unexpected elimination could be a warning about the future of Spanish football in international tournaments.

There's no reason to be so negative. While it's clear that Spain have not fulfilled expectations, their Under-19 squad have won the European Championship this summer. So there's no reason to make extreme conclusions.

Next stop Brazil 2014

The World Cup in 2014 will be the next big test for Spain, to see if they can continue making history. After an unforgettable run for Spanish football with two European Championships (2008, 2012) and one World Cup (2010), the challenge is to do the 'double double' in Brazil.

It will be a tough ask as there will be the final flourish for some of the most important footballers of a Spanish generation that has astonished football fans around the world in the last four years.

Players like Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Fernando Torres and David Villa could have their last chance to represent the national team in a major event. All them have been vital components in the recent Spanish accomplishments and Spain need secure replacements in order to extend this golden era.

Spain not only have young players with a brilliant future like Jordi Alba (pictured) and Iker Muniain, but also have men who are already experienced for club and country and can be decisive players in the future.

Relatively young players like Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Javi Martinez, David Silva, Juan Mata, Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Llorente can also ensure that Spain will have a top team in the next World Cup.

We can't never forget Andres Iniesta, aged 28, who is in the middle of the two generations and will be one of the leaders in Brazil and potentially also in the European Championship in 2016 in France, if injuries don't punish him.

There is a huge task ahead for Spain to retain their World Cup title, but an early flight home from London does not mean that the future of Spanish football is in danger. The Olympics blow has just been a warning for Spain to not get complacent and work harder.

By Iván Molina - Follow me on Twitter @IvanMolinaC

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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