The World Cup winners curse looks like it struck again in Brazil last night, and then some, as holders Spain lost 5-1 to the Netherlands, the team they beat in the final in 2010.
The unbelievable thing about the result was the manner of the defeat, with Spain hugely outplayed once Robin van Persie equalised in the 44th minute. Braces from Van Persie, Arjen Robben and Stefan de Vrij came after former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso's opener from the penalty spot, and the reality is that the Netherlands could have scored into double figures.
It was Spain's biggest defeat since 1963, when they lost 6-2 to Scotland, and inevitably led to questions on whether this is the end of Spain's golden generation, a team that had won the last three football tournaments they'd entered.
Several Premier League players suffered as Spain lost, with Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta, and soon-to-be-Blue Diego Costa starting, with the latter earning Alonso's penalty but lucky not to be sent off for a headbutt, while Fernando Torres came on late on but missed a glorious chance when the game was already lost. New signing Cesc Fabregas also came on with 15 minutes left, replacing Manchester City's David Silva.
If the Netherlands top the group, it may mean Spain, should they recover from their nightmare start, may have to face hosts Brazil just 12 months after Neymar and co inflicted their own hammering on Vincent Del Bosque's men.
A crumb of comfort though for smarting Spaniards tonight; their country also lost their first game in the 2010 tournament in South Africa, before going on to win the whole thing.
It is fair to say, Twitter went into overdrive at full-time. Here's a selection of choice comments on the Spanish defeat and what it means for the future of the World Cup champions:
#spainvsnetherlands its the signal for Spain to really think over Tiki TAKA GAME .— Varinder Singh (@Vari009) June 13, 2014
"@Akuamoah_: Spain might end up like France in 2002" Tiki Taka Is Officially Dead, 2008-2014!— Die Mannschaft (@JeffKOBIII) June 13, 2014
@FutbolSergi " end of a circle for Spain, they need to revamp their team like what FCBARCA is doing.— San_m@rt!n£z (@Seunnicholas) June 13, 2014