Spain may have been given a rather short straw in Netherlands and Chile in their World Cup draw, but that shouldn't give them cause for concern. The pressure is on the rest...
Those of us who support lowly clubs can find it difficult to imagine the fuss made over two defeats suffered by a goliath. Will this weekend's Copa offer some respite?
Being another version of Barcelona is something many huge clubs with whopping resources are constantly working towards. It is that attractive and vaguely smug-inducing notion of home-grown players - poached from around the planet at a very young age, let's not forget - along with a strong regional identity. The bit about buying high and selling extremely low as in Barcelona's recent transfer activity is an aspect that is usually overlooked.
All this takes a lot of time, money and patience. Those are three attributes that Celta Vigo do not possess. The Galician battlers are one of many clubs in La Liga embroiled in a constant battle for survival. This sees the side aiming a little bit lower and trying to be Barcelona-lite in their strategy for the new campaign.
In theory, it is a cunning plan. Celta ditched the notoriously grouchy but effective Abel Resino, the coach who kept the team up on the last day of the season having only taken over in February. This happened just a few days after talk of a contract extension. "It was a mutual agreement as we were not on the same page in a lot of areas," revealed Celta president Carlos Mouriño.
Instead, Celta Vigo thought a little outside the box and chose a figure that had fallen off the radar a little in La Liga. Luis Enrique was set to follow the same path of Pep Guardiola and become Barcelona boss having run the 'B' team. However, a few political issues between the Camp Nou board with the former Madrid and Barça striker saw Enrique heading off for an adventure coaching Roma in 2011. It was a spell that lasted just a season.
One year later and the 43-year-old is now in charge of Celta Vigo and promising a team that "in three to four years will be 90% youth system and 10% outside". It is an honourable idea for a team with strong regional roots in Galicia but Enrique has called on the ghosts of La Masia past and present in what appears to be an attempt to rebuild the Barcelona 'B' team in Spain's blustery north-west.
Defender Andreu Fontàs joined for €1 million. Attacker Nolito, who left the Camp Nou in 2011 and has since been at Benfica and Granada, was a pricer €2.6m. Rafinha was next to sign on, with the midfielder joining a club on loan where he has close connections. The younger brother of Thiago Alcantara is the son of Mazinho, who spent four seasons at Celta in the late nineties. "When I was a kid I came to Bailaidos many times and have always been a fan," claimed Rafinha at his presentation in front of 4000 fans.
One issue is that there could be a Barcelona clique within the dressing room. However, this has been denied by Nolito, who claims that, "I spent three years with Luis Enrique, but this doesn't mean anything because the boss is not aligned with anyone. He will always pick those who train hard and deserve to play."
The experiment could well be a win-win situation for both manager and club. Luis Enrique can help rebuild his reputation as a future top club coach and relaunch a career that stalled badly in Serie A. With the obvious talent now in the squad, Celta might be able to move on from the loss of Iago Aspas and avoid a campaign like the past one which was traumatic to say the least. "We were dying of heart attacks," admitted winger Augusto Fernández, recalling the ups and downs of the final weeks.
In a country so regionalised, an injection of Catalan-inspired football talent into the considerably colder blood of Galicia will be fascinating to watch. In the tough economic climate of La Liga, Celta's bosses know that failure to stay in La Primera can be fatal as clubs fellow northerners Deportivo and Racing are discovering. It is easy to see why the bold strategy of being a bit like Barcelona has been followed. Even if it is only a little bit successful, it should be enough to forge a comfortable campaign.
Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter