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SPAIN - HOLLAND

The world champion's worst nightmare

Robben and Van Persie destroyed Spain on the counter attack. It was their worst defeat since a 2-6 against Scotland in 1963.

Juanma Trueba

Ladies and gentleman, we've lost the magic touch. We still have the star that is sewn above the badge, but we have lost the real star, the one that helps to win titles. The manner of the loss is cruel, because there is photo and video evidence. If you are of that disposition, you can torture yourself watching Casillas's error in the Dutch fourth goal. His mistake was a symbol of the demolition. The player who had protected us for the past six years, through talent and luck, left us high and dry. The most worrying thing is that we don't know if this will merely be a bad night, or a bad summer.

We didn't lose because of Iker, that must be made clear. We lost because we had to. Sorry, it's that simple. The wound is deep, but it must be remembered that Spain won the last World Cup after losing their first game. If the loss makes us worries, this fact should offer us some comfort.

Luck, must once again be spoken about. With the game under control, Silva had the chance to make it 2-0 in minute number 42. It would have been game, set and match. He tried to be too clever, and the goalkeeper anticipated it. Iniesta's pass deserved a goal, but the goal wasn't coming. At least not in Holland's goal.

From this, Holland equalised. Blind played the ball over the top of Pique and Ramos, who were all at sea, and Van Persie acrobatically buried a stunning header. Iker, who was halfway out, couldn't, or didn't do anything. One doesn't know what to think now.

The scoreline was unjust. Spain had run the show. Xavi, Silva, the little ones, were controlling things. It's true that the side stepped back following Alonso's penalty, but not even this spurred Holland on.

Nothing at the break foretold the disaster that was to come. Quite the contrary. Diego Costa's starting berth enables us to combine neat passing play with long balls into the space left by the Dutch defence. It was shown in the play that won the penalty. The forward looked for it and it was an inevitable conclusion. The defender could do nothing. To carry on as they were was a good idea. Patience.

The rain came pouring down. It always rains during executions. The next was the killer blow. Blind was effective down the left again, playing the ball over the top for Robben, who after a magnificent display of control, confirmed the weakness of Piqué and Ramos as a pair.

There was still time, we thought. Then came Sneijder's free kick. Van Persie clattered into Casillas in the six-yard box. Apart from the infraction, it can be argued if Casillas comes out looking good, or not. But he did come out as the victim.

The fourth was all his, entirely, although the history books say Van Persie was the scorer. Iker gave it to him on a plate. It was an error for all of his six previously golden years. A huge mistake. One that brings into question his starting berth with both Spain and Real Madrid. It was that big.

The fifth didn't hurt. Almost. Robben left Sergio Ramos for dead . Holland had their revenge. Spain suffered their heaviest defeat in 40 years. We don't stop seeing stars, but none of them are of champions. Tomorrow is another day. I hope.

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