MADRID, June 14 - Spain mourned the national soccer team's stunning loss to Netherlands in their World Cup opener on Friday with words such as "humiliation" and "nightmare" splashed across the front pages of newspapers on Saturday.
Spain, one of the favourites to win the World Cup and defend their 2010 title, succumbed to a rampant Netherlands team in their heaviest World Cup defeat in over 60 years with a 5-1 demolition.
"Worse than the worst possible nightmare for a team that had never conceded more than one goal in a European or World championship since 2008," Spain's leading newspaper El Pais said. "A complete cataclysm."
Madrid, which normally greets victories with blasting car horns and singing along the streets, had gone silent.
"Ladies and gentleman, we've lost the magic touch" sports newspaper AS said.
Spain's defeat in Salvador was also only their fourth competitive loss under coach Vicente del Bosque since he took over in 2008 and has triggered speculation of the team's possible premature return to home.
"Spain started the defense of its title without any defense at all and ended up humiliated by Netherlands," sports newspaper Marca said.
Some newspapers took consolation from the fact that Spain also lost their opening game at the 2010 World Cup to Switzerland but eventually went through as group winners.
Spain play Chile in their next Group B match on Wednesday.