Alonso: We've silenced critics
Former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso is certain Spain changed a few minds with the manner of their stunning Euro 2012 triumph over Italy.
The build-up had been dominated by allegations that reigning world and European champions La Roja had turned into a boring team.
Even Arsene Wenger waded into the debate, claiming Spain had not been faithful to their footballing philosophy.
Coach Vicente del Bosque insisted the negative comments played no part in motivating his team to produce arguably their best performance since Euro 2008.
But Alonso confirmed the opinions were heard inside the Spain dressing room. And, following a record 4-0 win, he thinks a revision is required.
"We heard the criticism and we saw what was written," said the 30-year-old.
"That happens. Now they will have a different opinion."
With a World Cup sandwiched between two European Championships, Spain have become the first side to lift three major tournaments in a row, including the World Cup.
For that reason alone there can be no challenge to any claim of greatness.
Yet there is still much to achieve.
The feeling persists that Spain have the capability of improving still further and rivalling the Brazil team of 1970 as what is generally regarded as the best international side of all time.
In Brazil, two years from now, Spain could create more history by becoming the first European team to win the World Cup in South America.
However, for Alonso, such thoughts are for another day.
He just wants a bit of time to bask in what has already been done.
"We don't feel we have an obligation to keep winning trophies but we also knew what was expected of us," said the Real Madrid midfielder.
"Maybe four years ago we enjoyed it more because it was the first time.
"Now it will take time for it to sink in.
"It is not the time to think about the future. We can do that in the months ahead.
"But it does not feel like the end of anything."
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