Spain have such an embarrassment of riches that the likes of Jesé Rodriguéz, Isco, Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Morata are in the U-21s. Where does the production line end?
Neutrals in Spain should be very glad indeed that Diego Simeone whips his 'team of men' into a frenzy because that means La Liga remains a three-horse race...
The reaction to Spain's somewhat problematical draw in the World Cup group stages only took up a minute or two of the county's collective hivemind. Whilst there was a general feeling of "oh golly gosh, that won't be easy," attentions quickly turned to the cushion comfy group that the perfidious French found themselves in.
Whilst Spain face a repeat of the previous World Cup final in the team's opening match and take on the very tasty Chile, France must battle through nothing more troubling than Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland. This outcome went down rather badly as can be imagined, with Alfredo Relaño writing in AS that "France got to the World Cup through the back door after a play-off," to be rewarded with a group largely perceived to be a walk in the park, even for the French. For a country that blames every misfortune on a conspiracy of some sort, fingers were pointed furiously, although in no specific direction.
Whilst all encounters in the World Cup are going to be tough ones and all that, Spain can feel incredibly hard-done by having to face Netherlands early doors. "I don't agree with how the draw was done," complained Iker Casillas, whose focus really should be on whether or not he is even on the pitch against the Dutch next summer.
Although Vicente del Bosque's side have shown themselves to be reasonably adept at tournament football of late, Spain tend to start slowly and build up a head of steam to the final. The Dutch, on the other hand, often get off to a flier before imploding on and off the pitch, with the 2010 final being an honourable exception. This does not bode well for the World Champions who would probably face Brazil in the last-16 stages should the side finish second.
In many ways, none of this should matter considering Spain have already had its fair share of success over the past five years and should be able to play the tournament in metaphorical flip-flops. The pressure next summer should be on sides such as Brazil and Germany to deliver. However, with great power comes great responsibility, so the pundit-frenzy has begun on whether the Spanish can retain the title and become the greatest side in international football that shall ever exist in the history and future of the universe.
On the pitch, Spain may be in a bit of a lull of late, but the squad is still strong enough to conceivably have Pedro, Cesc Fabregas, Jesús Navas, Juan Mata, Javi Martínez, Isco and Casillas on the bench. "Spain may have rested the engine for a while, they remain a competitive, talented and respected team," wrote J.M Artells in Mundo Deportivo. Too true, as although there are always going to be doubts over the stability of the back four containing Gerard Piqué and Sergio Ramos, the midfield options of the team are immense, as are the choices up front. "They are a step above everyone else," admitted Brazil and Real Madrid defender, Marcelo.
With Diego Costa, Alvaro Negredo and the improving Fernando Llorente plying their trades in three different leagues, Spain will have enormous attacking variety at their disposal and will not be like countries - the one next door to the west, for example - that are wholly reliant on a single player for success.
Spain's biggest forte though lies with the enormous composure and mental strength that is in the DNA of the squad. This is a team that has won tournaments the hard way. Opening defeats have been overcome, as have penalty shoot-outs and most famously of all, a period of extra time in the World Cup final. Whilst focus and intensity may be lacking during friendlies, the country's footballing finest has balls of steel when it comes to pressure, and is lead by one of the most unflappable human beings on the planet.
Years of economic hardship have perhaps weakened the self-confidence and resolve that was never normally an issue for proud Spaniards, leading to doubts over next summer. However, Spain are more than good enough to overcome a challenging group and have the composure in spades to make it all the way through to the final.
But should the worst happen and Spain stumble in Brazil, this team will have nothing to be ashamed of. It is the rest of the supposed big hitters of the world football that need to step up in 2014. Spain has already done its part.
Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter.
If Australia get out of that group we deserve to win the bloody thing. No for me we have a shot if we take maximum from Chile who we hope have a cases of the Columbia's with so much pre tournament pressure on the them being an outside chance at the title. Spain and the duthc will grind out a draw. We then only need to take a point from the other 2 games to stand a good chance of going through if results favour us. for me though i would have loved Group D. all 3 of our nemesis teams. Italy due to the dodgiest of penalties given in the 92 minute in 2006 to knock us out. Uruguay for the repeated play off games, and of course England who havent beaten us in god knows how long being the old mother coutry for many ozzies. That group would have made me part with my hard earned cash and fly out to brazil to watch the games.- antipodean red