Spain vs Costa Rica: 5 talking points
Spain continued the upward spiral leading up to the showpiece event in Russia next year as they beat a hapless Costa Rica side by five goals. Jordi Alba, Alvaro Morata, Andres Iniesta and a brace from David Silva saw the former world champions cruise to yet another big victory, at La Rosaleda in Malaga.
La Roja's scintillating attacking moves left the visitors chasing the red herrings, as they were torn asunder by a well-oiled Spanish unit.
Julen Lopetegui guided his side to a top spot finish in the qualifiers ahead of Italy and is now moulding them into the side that dominated Europe not so long ago. Costa Rica, meanwhile, have a rough road to the Russian gates.
Let's delve through some of the major talking points from the lopsided friendly.
#1 Spain are getting back to their best
The 2-0 defeat at the hands of Italy and the subsequent elimination from the Euro 2016 in the pre-quarters officially signalled the end of the Spain's golden age that swept everything aside on their way. Having meekly relinquished their World Cup title another two years before the Euro disappointment, La Roja seemed to have hit the glass ceiling after eight years of supremacy. The force with which they were once reckoned with, witnessed a precipitous decline.
Now fast forward your calendar by another 16 months, and Spain are showing the signs of their former selves. The influx of several new and talented youngsters has breathed new life into the team and that wasn't more evident when they thumped Italy 3-0 in the qualifiers last month.
The rich vein of form was conspicuous against La Tricolor too, battering the pulp out of the visiting minnows. Deployed in the high-pressing 4-1-4-1 formation, Spain threw the kitchen sink at Costa Rica with a mammoth tally of 17 shots, 10 of which were on target and 5 of which found the back of the net, never giving Oscar Ramirez's side any moment to catch a breath.
Spain's rapid resurgence doesn't spell anything nice for the top shouts in the race for the World Cup glory next year. Even though Julen Lopetegui's side aren't the downright favourites for the title in Russia, but you can bet your dollars to doughnuts.