Spanish football had a summer nightmare as La Roja meekly surrendered their world crown in Brazil, crashing out in the first round with only a dead rubber win over Australia to point to. But lest we forget, La Liga clubs made a clean sweep of UEFA trophies last season, as Real Madrid won the Champions League & Super Cup and Sevilla the Europa League.
While the national team finally returned to winning ways with a 5-1 victory over Macedonia in their first Euro 2016 qualifier, the Primera has also resumed proceedings with the annual Barça-Real ding-dong back into full swing.
Barcelona have resumed normal service, topping the Primera after six outings with five wins and a draw. Real Madrid have started more slowly, surprisingly losing their opening two games of the season, away at Real Sociedad and at home to Atletico Madrid.
Their city rivals are of course the reigning champions and Champions League runners-up, and it is very much to be hoped they can maintain that success to make the race for the Spanish title at least a little more interesting than a tussle between the usual two suspects.
Valencia is the most likely candidate to make it a four-horse poker pkv race and the club coached by Portuguese Nuno Espirito Santo have made an encouraging start and find themselves second to Barça so far, just ahead of Atletico and Europa League winners Sevilla.
The rest of the Spanish top flight once more looks depressingly weedy however, with the likes of Almeria, Eibar and Getafe unlikely to set many pulses racing.
Barça v Real may be an overblown, vulgar carnival at least twice a season, but the pulling power of the star-heavy lineups remains undeniable.
Their first clash, at the Bernabeu on the 25th of October, has been on people’s lips since the start of the campaign, particularly as it will feature the long-awaited debut of Luis Suarez for the blaugrana.
If the domestic league turns out to be as predictable as ever, then at least in Europe the …