Rio de Janeiro: Less than four weeks after it seemed all was well with his world again after lifting a first Champions League crown in 12 seasons with Real Madrid, the sporting roof fell in on Spanish veteran keeper Iker Casillas and his colleagues at the Maracana on Wednesday after a 2-0 loss to Chile dumped the champions out of the World Cup.
The loss left the Spanish as red-faced as their shirts as they suffered an even swifter exit than France suffered in 2002 and Italy in 2010. The loss to goals by Eduardo Vargas after 20 minutes and Charles Aranguiz two minutes before half-time meant Vicente Del Bosque's men saw a six-year winning streak encompassing two European and a first world crown come to an end. (Spanish players and their excuses for loss)
Casillas, who has endured two difficult seasons at the Bernabeu during which he lost his place and saw his national number one status come into question only to come back and help Real conquer Europe for a tenth time, was left to contemplate the end of an unprecedented era of domination of the international scene by one nation. (In pics: Spain's defeat against Chile)