After back-to-back Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 triumphs, Spain have established themselves as kings of the international game. Under Vicente del Bosque, Spain have put years of underachievment behind them and banished their big tournament nerves. The slick brand of football played by this outrageously gifted Spanish crop of players is a joy to watch, and they look set to be a dominant force for years to come.
The only mystery is why it took them so long. Their only other major tournament win came at the 1964 European Championship. For a country blessed with some of the finest footballers in the world and boasting perhaps the greatest domestic league, it beggared belief that the national team continually fluffed its lines on the big stage.
Spain's triumph in 1964 came on home soil as they defeated the USSR in the final in front of 90,000 people at the Bernabeu. Home advantage has not always been lucky though as possibly their greatest disappointment also came in Spain, at the 1982 World Cup. A star-studded Spanish side failed to deal with the weight of expectation on their shoulders and after scraping through the first group stage, went out in the second.
Since then Spain made it no further than the quarter finals in a major international tournament until Euro 2008. They even went out in the group stage of the World Cup in 1998 having been named as one of the pre-tournament favourites.
With such a history of disappointment the outpouring of emotion that greeted Spain's victory over Germany in the final was understandable. Fans throughout the country flocked into squares and public places to celebrate the end of 44 years of hurt courtesy of Luis Aragones and his team.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Spain continued in the same vein, eventually defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in extra-time of the final thanks to an Andres Iniesta strike. Two years later, against an Italy team rejuvenated from their group stage exit in South Africa, it was a similar story - Iniesta once more the midfield magician, working alongside the likes of Xavi and Xabi Alonso in the team's core, dismantling their opponents with a fluid style as breathlessly entertaining to watch as it is is impossible to play against, this time registering a 4-0 win.
With a whole host of young starlets ready to take on their mantle and drive Spain to more success, the future looks rosy for La Roja.