Amid all the surprising criticism that they have attracted during Euro 2012, finalists Spain can at least reflect happily on the universal admiration shown for Andres Iniesta.
In a team of compulsive passers, Iniesta is the one player who can be relied upon to provide the dribble or the sudden forward dash that can tear opposition defences asunder.
A shimmying, shimmering presence in the group phase, the Barcelona midfielder has been slightly less influential during the knockout rounds, but he remains Spain's most consistent attacking midfielder.
In the quarter-final against France, it was his carefully delayed pass to left-back Jordi Alba in the 19th minute that allowed the marauding left-back to deliver the cross from which Xabi Alonso put Spain ahead.
"He's had a difficult season with injuries, but he seems to be getting better and better with each match," says Cesc Fabregas, Iniesta's team-mate at both club and international level.
"He's creative, he gives us something different, and he helps us drive the ball forwards. He takes responsibility during matches and the team looks to him because of that."