Robin van Persie's spectacular header against Spain has re-affirmed his global reputation as an elite striker, leaving Vicente del Bosque's side shellshocked.
It also reminded Barcelona of what could have been, for they had aspirations of their own to add a striker of his calibre to their side.
They are currently investigating the possibility of signing Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli, having accepted their chances of signing Robin van Persie are gone.
There was a time earlier in 2014 when the view was that the Dutchman was unhappy at United under David Moyes, but Barcelona accept that Louis van Gaal's appointment ends any possibility.
Van Persie has a fantastic working relationship with the Netherlands boss, evidenced by his fast start to the 2014 World Cup, with three goals in two games.
Mundo Deportivo report: "Van Persie would have been a more feasible option before the signing of Van Gaal as coach of United.
"His time with Moyes put him on the market, but with Holland and Van Gaal he is showing his best performances.
"For Barca, Van Persie would be like the deal that Madrid once made with Ruud van Nistelrooy, who came to the Bernabeu for a small fee after being a losing star at Old Trafford and came to win."
Soon to be former United defender Rio Ferdinand admitted recently that Van Persie was marginalised under David Moyes in favour of Wayne Rooney, and public attempts by the Dutchman to calm rumours over his future were only ever seen as papering over the cracks.
Fortunately for United fans, they will never know how Van Persie would have reacted by being tempted by Barcelona.