There were four minutes left on the clock when Andrés Iniesta's locked eyes on the ball before disappearing under an avalanche of his delirious team-mates.

Those final four minutes ultimately ended in glory but they must have seemed as long a wait to the fans of Spain as the decades and decades that they had had to wait without World Cup success.

Spain had qualified for every tournament since 1978 and almost every time the public, the pundits and the professionals would profess that this would be Spain's time to win.

Given the immense amount of talent at their disposal and the type of astounding performances they could conjure – like the 5-1 demolition of Denmark in 1986  – this was not an unfair assessment.

But every time Spain would wilt under the pressure.

In fact, before that victory in South Africa, they had never even made it past the quarter-finals. Iniesta's strike put an end to all that pain and all that underachievement.

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