Jordi Alba's magnificent display at Euro 2012 did a lot for him and his reputation in world football. For his countrymen, it also opened up a gateway for the many wonder kids that will eventually come to find their regular place in the Spanish national team setup.
Alba's goal-scoring performance in the Euro 2012 final against Italy was an appropriate occasion to mark his transfer to Barcelona.
There was something noticeably Barcelona-like in the way Alba tore through the midfield, latching onto a Xavi pass and finding the back of the net like a veteran striker.
Was this the moment that the young left-back transformed from the exciting Valencia full-back and into potentially one of the world's best attackers? Absolutely. There's no doubt that many will now catch on to how well Alba plays the game and what his contributions will be for his new side.
Importantly, however, the quality and excitement in Alba's game will greatly improve at the Nou Camp. An invaluable learning curve.
Alba's participation in the Euros for Spain was significant for other younger players looking to make their mark for the national team.
Yes, Real Madrid and Barcelona hold almost all the cards when it comes to the first-team selection process, but Alba—at the time a Valencia player—proved that it is not an exclusive club.
With the age of a number of key figures a concern over the long-term, Spain are in a healthy position to call upon many of their younger stars to fill similar roles.