La Liga strength aids Spain success
2010 World Cup: Johannesburg
The Premier League claims to be the best in the world. It may be the richest, but after its clubs went backwards in the Champions League last season and England's failure here, there must be doubts over whether it can truly be seen as home to the world's best players.
And if Fernando Torres is successful in his appeal to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque then the Liverpool striker could return to the side in place of Pedro and make it five. He is the only one in the 11 not to play in Spain.
Spain beat Germany in the World Cup semi-final
Fifa's technical study group also sent a sobering reminder of the gap between hype and reality earlier this week by naming five players from Spain's La Liga in its shortlist of 10 for the Golden Ball. Three play in the Bundesliga, one in Italy and one in France.
What is also interesting about that list is that only Lionel Messi made it from the so-called big five of Didier Drogba, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney who were supposed to light up this tournament. Evidence, experts say, of the triumph of the team over the individual at this World Cup.
Nowhere is that better demonstrated than with Spain - who after a slow start finally hit their stride against Germany in the semi-final. They arguably boast the most talented collection of individuals of any team at this World Cup and yet egos appear to have been checked at the door of their Potchefstroom training camp.
What a contrast to England's luxurious but uptight camp at Rustenburg. Fabio Capello and the Football Association left nothing to chance with it's preparations for this World Cup. And had it not done so it would have been criticised, for sure.
Yet watching Spain's players strolling around the North West University Sports Village, an hour or so outside Johannesburg, was to see a group of players entirely at ease with itself and showed that there is another way to handle the pressure of big tournaments.
David Villa, the tournament's leading goalscorer along with Wesley Sneijder, posed casually for pictures with a Japanese film crew, Carles Puyol sat chatting with another reporter while Sergio Ramos signed autographs for fans who had come down to wish Spain well.
Just gaining entry to the Bafokeng Sports Campus required at least four security checks and a vehicle search. England's players were then driven up to a large tent where they did interviews with the media before being driven straight back to their five-star rooms under the constant watch of guards.
Unlike previous Spanish teams which were undermined by regional differences, this one seems to be more unified. But then the majority of the side do play for only one club - Barcelona.
The majority of the Spanish side play for Barcelona
Seven of the 11 who started against Germany on Wednesday play for the Catalan club. And it is ironic that Spain's elegant charge for World Cup glory is being led by players who make their living with a team central to the political and cultural fabric of the region of Catalonia, which has historically had a tense relationship with Madrid.
They have also played together for a long time having risen through the Spanish youth system.
Jose Luis Astiazaran, the president of La Liga, suggested that part of Spain's success was down to the prevalence of home-grown players in the league. He said 77% of La Liga's players could play for the national team. In contrast, England's Premier League consists of just 40% of English players.
Spain's own golden generation is the result of years of youth development and a commitment to high footballing principles. For a country so rich in footballing tradition Sunday finally offers the chance to claim their place in history.