FEW people would have foreseen Spain crashing out of the World Cup after just two games before a ball was kicked in Brazil this summer.
But, after back-to-back defeats to Holland and Chile, that is what has happened to the reigning World and European champions.
Vicente del Bosque's side weren't being talked about as one of the main candidates for success at the World Cup, but they certainly weren't being tipped to go out so soon.
The 5-1 defeat to the Dutch was followed up by a 2-0 loss to Chile on Wednesday night and, for the fifth time in the history of the World Cup, the holders have gone out at the group stage in the following competition.
There will be a lot said about their demise this summer and it certainly looks as if this golden era for the national team has now come to an end.
It has been a tremendous few years for them, winning two European Championship titles and the World Cup in South Africa four years ago.
But it has proven to be one tournament too many for this group of players and they will now have to rebuild ahead of the next Euros in 2016.
A new group of players will have to come through but we shouldn't let what has happened in Brazil sour the memories of what this current squad has achieved.
These things happen in football. Success is cyclical and this is the end of the era.
The Spanish have dominated in the last few years but their time has come to an end and a new group of players will now have to emerge.
They will round off their Group B fixtures against Australia next week and it could well be the last time we see some of those stars in Spain shirts.