Will Champions League row affect Spain's Euro 2012 chances?
Spain national team coach Vicente del Bosque always seemed to be grinning when the TV cameras panned to him sitting in the Camp Nou executive box on Tuesday night.
However, I wonder what grim thoughts were really being formed behind that famous pronounced forehead and bushy moustache as he witnessed the Champions League semi-final second leg between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Did his remaining hair turn just a little greyer over the course of those 90 minutes, which ended with Barcelona progressing 3-1 on aggregate to the Champions League final at Wembley on 28 May, or was it my imagination?
He, of all people, probably appreciated that the fall-out from the four games in two-and-a-half-weeks between Spain's two football giants - and especially the last two - will persist long after this season's La Liga and Champions League has been decided.
One of the symptoms could be a very detrimental effect on Spain's Euro 2012 campaign.
At the moment, Spain are one of only three teams, Germany and the Netherlands being the others, who have a 100% record in the qualifiers; Del Bosque could probably pick a team without including anyone from Real and Barca and Spain would still get to the finals.
But what happens next summer?
The debate, of course, will continue indefinitely about whether Real were 'robbed' by the referees over the two legs of the Champions League or whether Barcelona were the deserved winners.
Ironically Real's win in the Copa Del Rey and the 1-1 draw in the Santiago Bernabeu, which as good as clinched the Spanish title for Barca, have been virtually forgotten in the wake of the two bitter and bad-tempered matches which followed them.
"Justice or the black hand?" asked the country's leading mainstream newspaper El Pais on Wednesday morning.
Just as with affiliations with the two clubs, this is a debate that has divided the country, as I witnessed personally on Tuesday night when I left the bar where I watched the match and walked home in the small town where I live just north of Madrid.
Passing a number of other watering holes, the issues were being hotly disputed elsewhere and several discussions looked like they were reaching boiling point and about to turn ugly. I'm sure quite a few local police forces across Spain had a busy night.
Personally, some of my sympathies lie with the two match referees Germany's Wolfgang Stark and Belgium's Frank De Bleeckere, who had an almost impossible task when a good number of players from both sides deliberately tried to fool them over the course of the two legs.
This also made me wonder why Uefa still insists on imposing foreign referees on ties involving clubs from the same country?
Even an experienced and respected official like Slovakia's Lubos Michel made hard work of controlling the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Wouldn't an English referee, who would have understood the nuances of a domestic tie much better, have been more appropriate on that occasion and wouldn't a pair of Spanish referees have been a wiser choice over the course of the last week?
Nevertheless, however hard the Real players may complain, these games are now history and it is Barcelona who progressed.
Uefa are not going to order a replay, however shrill and persistent are Real's cries of indignation.
Vicente Del Bosque became the Spanish national team coach in 2008. Picture: AP
Returning to Del Bosque, he has now been unwittingly handed the task at national level of being thrust into the role of peacemaker between two warring groups of players, who have fallen out in spectacular and acrimonious fashion in the last couple of weeks.
The joyous and united group of 23 players who lifted the World Cup in Johannesburg - which included four Real Madrid players, seven from Barcelona, and David Villa who was soon to move from Valencia to Barca - and then paraded it deliriously around Madrid in an open-topped bus, does not seem to be a band of brothers any more.
"I haven't liked certain comments and the way that some things have happened on the field. Many people have noticed it, there's no getting around it," commented Del Bosque diplomatically on Tuesday night.
The mutual dislike and distrust that now exists between the contingents from Barca and Real Madrid in his squad is there for all to see.
Several Real players, including their erstwhile World Cup team-mates Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso, went public with accusations about Busquets and Pedro after their over-theatrical collapsing to the ground during the first leg.
"Things between us (the Barcelona and Real Madrid players) have deteriorated," admitted Xabi Alonso, stating the obvious, on Wednesday night.
For their part, the Barca playmakers Xavi and Andres Iniesta also stoked the fire of acrimony that is now roaring between the two sets of players after the second leg.
"This club was superior, we rose to the occasion. Everyone can read into this what they want," said Iniesta.
"What we've seen is football justice. The best team got through to the final," added Xavi.
Let's be quite clear about this, on this occasion, the breakdown between the players themselves, especially when you take into consideration the foreign element on both sides, has very little, almost nothing, to do with those two very valid political stereotypes of Castilla versus Catalonia.
It's just plain old enmity.
Del Bosque now has very little time to sort things out and whatever he does will have to be a bit better than the old playground remedy of shaking hands and saying you are sorry for being rude.
Last week, it was announced that Spain will play Venezuela on 1 June in Maracaibo and then face the United States in Foxborough, just outside Boston, three days later.
It has not been the Spanish federation's habit to let their top players linger on the sidelines even for friendlies, as evidenced by the squad that was selected for last August's much-criticised game in Mexico.
Neither of their two imminent hosts, who will have paid good money for the privilege of playing the world champions, will also want to see the entire contingent of Barcelona players absent, although common sense suggests that it might be wise to leave them out considering the fact that they will have been at Wembley just a few days before.
Spain also have a game lined up against Italy in Milan on 11 August but any mediation work that Del Bosque could bring to bear at that point might be quickly undone in the following weeks as the Spanish Supercup, the traditional season curtain-raiser, will see Barcelona play Real Madrid home and away in less than a week.
At least, Spain's next serious fixture is four months away, when they restart their Euro 2012 campaign with a relatively soft match against Liechtenstein.
By then, any simmering grudges could have receded, like De Bosque's hairline, but I'm not so sure they will have.