Spain's provisional World Cup squad has reminded everyone why La Roja are the competition's reigning champions.
As reported by Marcus Christenson of the Guardian and tweeted by Bleacher Report UK, the 30-man lineup is crammed full of star names from across La Liga, the Premier League, Serie A and the Bundesliga:
Players such as Fernando Torres and Juan Mata may be among the seven trimmed when Vicente del Bosque submits his final selection of 23. Torres' lack of form since moving to Chelsea in 2011 has been well-documented, but he often emerges as a key player during international tournaments for the national side.
Mata, who ended the season in great form for Manchester United, may struggle on the back of the club's overall failures.
Twitter has burst into life since hearing news of the squad reveal. Henry Winter of the Telegraph summed up the thoughts of many with his tweet:
Not Match of the Day also indicated how the battle would go if England faced Del Bosque's stars:
If Spain's midfield comes up against England's midfield at the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/SK9l6JwpCg— Not Match of the Day (@NOT_MOTD) May 13, 2014
Spain's depth continues to frighten when you consider the players who weren't included in Del Bosque's provisional lineup. Kieran Canning of the French Press Association highlighted the strength in depth that will go unused:
Among those who would have harboured World Cup hopes at start of season but completely miss out: Arbeloa, Illarra, Isco, Soldado— Kieran Canning (@KieranCanning) May 13, 2014
Roberto Soldado, who has endured a poor debut season at Tottenham, was spared no blushes by Football Tweet:
Dermot Corrigan, Spanish correspondent for ESPN FC, offered his thoughts on who may be dropped:
Given Del Bosque's previous thinking best guess of 7 who could miss out for Spain [Juanfran, Moreno, Mata, Negredo, Villa & Torres]— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 13, 2014
Mata v Cazorla really tight - reckon Mata's poor showing in Confed Cup / Cazorla's greater reliability could swing it.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 13, 2014
The emerging talent of Spain's squad is summed up by Dani Carvajal, who has ousted Real Madrid teammate Alvaro Arbeloa from his position in the squad. Phil Kitromilides, presenter for Los Blancos' television station, believes his call-up is fully deserved:
Dani Carvajal has been the best right back in Spain this year. No question he deserves his inclusion in Spain World Cup squad #GrandeDani— Phil Kitromilides (@PhilKitro) May 13, 2014
Infostrada Sports confirmed the severity of Arbeloa's downfall with a simple statistic:
Of the 11 Spanish players to have won Euro 2008-WC 2010-Euro 2012, only Alvaro Arbeloa is not included in Spain's prelim squad for 2014.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) May 13, 2014
Squawka also turned to numbers when looking at the squad, once again highlighting the quality of those left at home, while celebrating the talents of those who were included:
Ander Herrera has won more tackles in La Liga this season (74) than any player in Spain's World Cup Squad. Left out. pic.twitter.com/jX5wevn6g8— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 13, 2014
Cesc Fabregas & Koke have 13 assists each in La Liga this season - only Angel di Maria (15) has managed more in Europe's top 5 leagues.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 13, 2014
Del Bosque clearly faced a number of problems when naming the provisional side, dilemmas that are sure to arise when he announces his final 23, per Corrigan:
Del Bosque is not announcing Spain's final 23 until May 25 [day after Madrid v Atletico in Champs League final]— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 13, 2014
Stars such as Torres, Mata and Alvaro Negredo may be waiting nervously by their phones. Diego Costa's switch of allegiance is likely to see one of Spain's more experienced strikers pushed out of the squad. Del Bosque has a plethora of options to choose from in each position and is unlikely to please everyone when downsizing in time for the tournament.
Whomever he takes, Spain sit alongside Brazil as forerunners for the biggest prize in football.