With fancied teams dropping like flies in this tournament I really thought Spain could go all the way and finally rid themselves of the bridesmaid tag.
It is probably the most overused statement in world football, but it's true - when it comes to the World Cup, Spain really are the perennial under-achievers.
They sailed through the group stages, which was no great surprise. But they did it with a swagger, nine goals and a 100% record promising more was to come.
It never did. They lost all momentum, sneaked past Ireland on penalties but couldn't repeat the trick against South Korea when they undoubtedly missed Raul's presence.
They were more than unlucky in that match and made sure everyone knew about it, but a team of their undoubted quality shouldn't be reliant on penalties, let alone extra time.
They have so much talent but why they always fail to fulfil their potential on the biggest stage will remain one of the game's great mysteries.