In the world of business, like any other discipline, the only way to prepare for the future is by analyzing the past. Many theories and ideologies have been established over the years but none more important than the Sigmoid Curve. The Sigmoid Curve shows that nature and everything around us works in a cyclical motion. Light and darkness, summer and winter, life and death – everything rises and falls periodically.
The curve has two points, point A and point B; these points signify major milestones in the life of an organization. The general rule of the Sigmoid Curve is to never reach point B. Just after passing point A, an organization should make the appropriate investments to ensure that there is never a slump. These investments might hinder the current path of the organization but will be beneficial in the long run.
The Spanish Football Federation, like many other companies, has failed to understand the Sigmoid Curve and thus endured a sharp decline. After Euro 2012, Vicente Del Bosque suggested that he step down but was persuaded to stay by the Spanish Football Federation. Why fix something that isn’t broken right?
Wrong. Euro 2012 was a clear indicator that things were changing. Spain might have comfortably won but you got the sense that this wasn’t as good of a team that had won the World Cup two years ago. With the absence of Villa and Puyol, Spain struggled but managed to cover up the departures of their two pillars. Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Fernando Torres were next as their growing age meant they couldn’t have the same impact as they once commanded. Bit by bit, Spain’s golden generation started to fade.
The 2014 World Cup should have been the wake-up call for the Spanish Football Federation. Del Bosque was hesitant to change the formula that had brought him so much success in the past and he suffered. Del Bosque, like in 2014, decided to stick by what he knew and resisted change in 2016. Despite having terrible seasons at Chelsea, both Cesc and Pedro made the squad. Players like Isco and Saul, who are widely considered to be the future of Spanish football, were both not called up despite playing in the Champions League final.
Unlike Pedro however, Cesc started every single game in the tournament ahead of Thiago and Koke. Lucas Vazquez, despite being one of Real Madrid’s best performers during the season, could only get twenty minutes in the final game. In those twenty minutes, however, he did more than most of the Spanish players had done all game and gave the Italians something different to worry about. Instead of patiently passing it around, Vazquez brought about a direct approach and ran at the defenders. Vazquez replacing Morata instead of Cesc or Silva almost perfectly symbolized Del Bosque’s reluctance to abandon his system.
Spain’s next generation of superstars deserves its own opportunity to excel in a system that fits their style of play and not that of their predecessors. Del Bosque will always be remembered as the man who orchestrated one of the greatest teams in the history of international football, but his time has come.