CRAIG LEVEIN could hardly believe what he was seeing.
But he struggled even more to believe what he was hearing.
Spain boring? The Scotland manager was enraged at such a slur on the side who were about to retain the European Championship and use the titles as bookends with the World Cup in between.
Levein has come in for his own hefty dose of criticism over the period he has been in charge of Scotland, not least when he opted to play without a striker in a Euro qualifier in the Czech Republic.
But he was even more incensed when it was counterpart, Vicente del Bosque, who was on the receiving end of the flak during their run to Sunday's final in Kiev, which they used as a platform to show the world how the game should be played.
"This style of football and the way they play has dominated the modern era of football," is his assessment of what he considers to be the best national team ever to play the game.
"I was disgusted by some of these clowns saying they were boring.
"It's absolutely ridiculous for people to criticise the way Spain play football. It's the most entertaining and uplifting style you could ever see.
"When I hear these clowns talking like that, they shouldn't even be allowed to speak about Spain if that's the way they feel about the way they play football."
Little wonder, then that Levein was in raptures as he watched Iniesta, Xavi, et al make it a hat-trick of tournament wins.
As he reflected on what Euro 2012 taught him and every other coach, he concluded: "The best team won, and the surprise team in the tournament were obviously Italy. They out-performed what everyone expected them to do.
"Holland and Germany probably under-performed.
"I watched just about all the games and it was really enjoyable. There were many different trends. We saw a few teams going back to two strikers, and a few going with three central defenders and wing-backs.
"Then there was a sort of 3-4-3, or 3-6-1, so there was plenty to be gleaned looking forward to our World Cup qualifying campaign."
The major talking point was undoubtedly the decision by Del Bosque to leave the likes of Fernando Torres and Fernando Llorente on the bench and flood the midfield with players intent and capable of getting forward.
Levein appreciated the game plan and its execution, but had sympathy for the men challenged with nullifying the effect.
Scotland had to face up to this when they met Spain in the qualifying competition for these finals, and Levein recalled: "I've had my sleepless nights worrying about playing against them.
"We've not got them in our World Cup group, so that is a huge bonus."
The former centre-back continued: "The Spanish players are very elusive. They don't play up against opponents. They play in pockets, which always means that, as a defender, you get dragged from your position into areas where you don't want to go to.
"That allows the gaps to appear along the back line for these threaded passes. And Spain are, without doubt, the best exponents of that I've ever seen."
Surprisingly, though, Levein reckons Del Bosque elected to play this way not to make his side such a potent force going forward, but to ensure they kept the door shut at the back.
Only one goal conceded with 12 scored confirmed this worked to perfection, and he said: "Spain have played this way to make themselves harder to beat.
"If you look at their goals- against record, it's phenomenal. And it's no coincidence that, since they started playing without a striker, they manage to get all 10 outfield players behind the ball.
"The system itself is absolutely set up for the way they play. So, I despair when I hear ex-players on TV talking about how negative it is, and what a disgrace it is they are playing without a striker.
"It's just the evolution of the game. Spain have found a way of playing that nobody can stop."
He went on: "In the past, teams have been able to score against Spain. But two things happened in this tournament which were quite significant.
"One, Carles Puyol didn't play. Secondly, the player of the tournament has been Sergio Ramos. He was unbelievable.
"His position alongside Piquet at centre-back has really provided the pace and energy at the back which, with Puyol playing, they didn't have.
"It's not just Ramos. Jordi Alba at left-back has been a huge improvement on Captivilla, the previous left-back.
"That, allied with getting everyone back behind the ball, has made them extremely difficult to beat."
The general consensus is that the only player in Euro 2012 who might have been able to win a place in the Spanish team was Italy's Andrea Pirlo.
However, as much as Levein enjoyed watching the 33 year-old pull the strings of the Azzurri, he did not even consider the veteran to be Italy's best player.
He said: "They defended magnificently, and were quite brave with their formation, playing Balotelli and Cassano.
"As the competition developed, they found a 4-diamond-2 which suited the players they have.
"Balotelli has been spoken about, but I thought Cassano was magnificent in that roving striker role.
"Pirlo was brilliant, but he was playing in a position which gave him a bit of freedom.
"Cassano was playing in the boiler room, where he was being marked tightly by defenders and midfield players. He had to work his tail off just to get two yards of space.
"There was a bravery and a directness about the Italians that was evident with Pirlo to Cassano or Pirlo to Balotelli with one longer, but extremely-accurate, pass.
"They had the striker come short and then spin over the top, which was the best thing in their arsenal."
Another note which has found its way into Levein's play book, along with plenty of comments on Croatia, the only side at Euro 2012 Scotland face in their World Cup qualifiers.
Levein was not surprised to see them qualify for the knockout rounds and said: "Their strike force, Mandzukic and Jelavic, were a handful and really good in the two games we watched.
"They will be a threat, absolutely no doubt.
"The right-hand side, when Rakitic and Srna come forward, is obviously another area we really need to concentrate on and keep quiet.
"The whole idea is you try to spot areas where you think they are weak. And there are a couple where, with the players we've got, it will suit us."
Levein is already looking forward to getting his men together next month to finalise preparations for the start of our qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014.
And he is heartened by the fact that, when the Euro finals are next staged, in France 2016, the number of participants will rise from 16 to 24.
"For all managers of national teams, it's a great thing because it gives you a better opportunity to play in a major finals," he said.
"But I'm contracted until the end of the World Cup 2014, and I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing at the end of that.
"So I'm not worrying about France in four years as I am focusing on 2014. There's no point me getting too far ahead of myself."