It may just be a tad premature to boldly state that Spain's unequivocal era of dominance of World Football is all but over. However, when the recent rises of German and Italian football are taken into account, then that may well be the case. And finally, Spain will have it's fair share of critics.
Spain entered the Confederations Cup tournament as undoubted favourites, and as previously predicted, they reached the final in a comfortable fashion. However, when matched up against a younger, more youthful Selecao set-up, La Roja were seemingly outplayed.
The Spanish lacked attacking intensity and defensive stability. Brazil's pressing game denied the usually creative forces in Xavi and Iniesta both space and time to weave their magic. The defenders were ill-disciplined. Pique and Arbeloa failed to handle hot prospect Neymar, as they both picked up bookings in the process, and there was an evident lack in a Puyol-like player, someone who had the ability to lead the defence. Attackers Fernando Torres, Pedro and Juan Mata lacked inspiration. Torres failed to register a shot on goal and remained largely anonymous throughout the match, whilst Pedro failed to convert any of the great chances he had on goal and Mata looked all over the place, a stark contrast to the abilities he showed during his match winning displays for Chelsea.
La Roja thoroughly deserved such a humiliation at the hands of Brazil, fittingly in front of a passionate Maracana crowd.
From the outset, the future of Spanish football looks dire, however, with the commencement of the World Cup a year away, Spain still have a chance.