When most think of Spanish midfield genius they imagine the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso, and Fernando Hierro.
A player like Marcos Senna is forgotten amongst legends of the game and lacks the recognition he truly deserves. The Brazilian-turned-Spanish citizen made it possible for La Furia Roja to shed its unforgiving nickname of being the biggest underachievers in international football and became a club legend with Villarreal.
The career of the midfielder was slow and methodical, with his impact was not truly felt until 2005/2006 season where the yellow submarine experienced its greatest success in Europe with a trip to the Champions League semi-finals. Marcos Senna was largely the cause of the side’s success with his passing ability from the middle of the park. He was simple and effective with the occasional long strike in his back pocket.
Marcos Senna made the second most appearances in Villarreal history with 363 appearances. Not too bad for a player who had a total of 24 league appearances in his first two seasons. But the crowning performance of the Spanish midfielder was the Euro 2008 tournament where Spain won their first major title since the 1964 European Cup – ending a barren run of 44 years.
In the tournament, Senna was arguably the best player in the side for Spain, alongside the Golden Boot winner, David Villa, and the UEFA Player of the Tournament, Xavi Hernandez. He was the CDM that held the Spanish side together deflecting top players from the Spanish backline and letting the likes of Iniesta, Xavi, and the combo of David Villa and Fernando Torres up top operate with freedom.
Senna was N’Golo Kante before a player like Kante was worth $50million and appreciated for his simplicity. The Spanish midfielder was under appreciated and forgotten at times in a squad filled with superstars.
Senna was unseated by Sergio Busquets as the starter at CDM for Spain, but his influence should not be forgotten. He proved that being superb at the simple things and consistently could produce success. Plus, the CDM provided that grit in a Spanish side that was known for its ball movement and quick passes.
Senna could do things Busquets can’t do, but Busquets ultimately fit the Spanish style of play and Marcos Senna found himself as surplus to the national team. The likes of Cesc Fabregas and David Silva came into the side and Senna was no longer called up to the national team.
In total, Senna made only 28 appearances for the Spanish national team, but his impact at the 2008 Euro Cup will forever live on. He made history in such a short period of time and allowed for a new period of Spanish dominance to occur. Marcos Senna did his job well. He was a calming force and catalyst in the midfield that allowed creativity to flow around him.
Can’t imagine what he’d be worth now in the world of high transfer fees.