On Saturday morning, every Spanish fan woke up in a red shirt. But it wasn't a proud symbol of La Furia Roja. The shirt was a painful reminder of past night's bloodbath in Brazil.
A Spain supporter reacts as she watches the team's 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match against Netherlands on a giant screen at a fan park in Madrid (REUTERS Photo)
Asking a Roja fan to explain the loss to Oranje is as cruel as asking a dying man to describe his last breath. It is more humiliating than asking a drowning man if he would care for a glass of water.
Devastated, destroyed, decimated, disgraced; humbled, humiliated… commentators and experts can keep looking for words to describe the 1-5 loss to the Dutch. Some can even try holocaust. But all the lexicons in all the world wouldn't help.
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This was the mighty Spain, the feared Furia Roja (Red Fury), the lord and master of everything it had surveyed in the past four years, the graceful dancers to the easy rhythm of Tiki-Taka.
This was the invincible Spain. A fortress built on the pillars of Xavis, foundation of Pique and Ramos and boulders of Iniesta and Torres.
This wasn't just football. Friday's match wasn't just a grudge match. It was a public dismemberment of every Spanish legend.
Iker Casillas had not allowed five goals in all the international games played in four years. On Friday, he fumbled and crawled and let 45-minutes of madness destroy his record.
Iniesta missed easy passes, Sergio Ramos cleared the ball out of despair and dejection, Ramos was outsprinted and beaten many times, Torres missed an open goal. On any other day, they would have been laughed at as impersonators entertaining the crowd before a vital game. But Friday exposed them as mere mortals.
Nobody could have imagined what lay ahead even after Robin Van Persie flew like a Mamba to level score 1-1 at half-time. Spain, like always, dominated possession and the equalizer looked like an individual act of excellence, an aberration.
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But the Oranje players seemed to be in no mood to go Dutch and appeared keen both for revenge (they were beaten by Spain in the 2010 final) and to make their rivals pay for their party.
Such was their ferocity in the end that everytime the ball sped towards the Spanish half, the heart sank. Spain looked as helpless as a boxer being pummeled at will by the rival. Every punch provoked a louder prayer for their safety. Had this been boxing, the referee would have certainly stopped the fight.
Spain had lost their first game in 2010 before going on to win the Cup. Unless the players in Spanish shirts were imposters, only fools would find solace in history.