On the day that King Juan Carlos signed his abdication bill, Spain's regal reign over global football came to an end on Wednesday.
Unlike their head of state, the country's footballers were unable to leave at a time of their choosing, as Chile followed the Netherlands' example in riding roughshod over the FIFA World Cup holders.
Dumped out of a scintillating tournament that continues to thrill and surprise in equal measure, the inquest into two defeats and seven goals conceded will be hard to bear for a Spain team that made the summit of the world game their home for so long.
World Cup glory in South Africa four years ago followed the UEFA Euro 2008 triumph that announced this great side. The defence of their European title, crowned by a majestic 4-0 final victory over Italy, underscored their status as among the greatest international sides ever.
It seems a trick of the mind that Kiev's Olympic Stadium witnessed such peerless excellence less than two years ago, but the sands of football shifted as Spain stood still. Their price, an unceremonious humiliation in the sport's spiritual home as they were dumped out of Brazil 2014 at the iconic Maracana with a 2-0 defeat to Group B opponents Chile.
Spain fans and countless neutrals will still look back at the period spanning 2008-2012 with wonder and awe. It began when veteran coach Luis Aragones decided to make the most of a footballing revolution underway in Catalonia.
The relentless passing style of 'tiki-taka' became Barcelona’s trademark towards the end of the last decade but, by the time Pep Guardiola began honing the method to perfection, Aragones had shepherded Spain to Europe’s summit using Barca's template.
A midfield nucleus of Xavi and Andres Iniesta tormented teams, dumping them onto a passing "carousel", as Sir Alex Ferguson famously put it after Manchester United were dazzled in the 2009 UEFA Champions League final.
There were fleeting moments of success against tiki-taka, but these usually involved teams hanging on for grim death by 1,000 passes and it never quite arriving. Then, in the 2013 Champions League semi-final, Bayern Munich shocked the world.
Emboldened by the attacking talents of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, Bayern attacked with gusto, pace and power. Barca, not in prime form heading into the games, could not find their rhythm and fell to a 7-0 aggregate humiliation.
Brazil found joy against Spain at a national level using similar methods with a 3-0 FIFA Confederations Cup final victory last year, and the cracks remained at Barcelona, the capital of this suddenly crumbling football empire.
Tata Martino tried to move them on from the style of Guardiola and his popular successor, the late Tito Vilanova, but they were caught between two stools and unconvincing against the vibrance and dynamism of both Madrid teams.
Vicente del Bosque's error at international level was to keep faith with methods that brought success in 2010 and 2012; a religion no longer practiced with conviction.
The Netherlands did to Spain what Bayern did to Barca - Robben again a chief tormentor - in the opening 5-1 humbling at Brazil 2014, but Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Chile was a particularly bitter pill to swallow.
The South Americans still owe much to the style of their former boss Marcelo Bielsa, a noted mentor to Guardiola. It is a sign that styles based on short passing and high pressing still work wonderfully if modified, yet Del Bosque gripped onto his ideology as reality changed.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke gave his Barcelona counterparts nightmares last season but looked on from Spain’s bench as their torrid times continued. The game was up by the time he appeared for the second half against Chile.
In some respects, as Koke sat flanked by wonderful players, he was the symbol of Spain's fall.
The talent remains but if Spain are to return to the summit of international football, the blinkers of the tiki-taka generation must now be taken off.
|Coach: Del Bosque|
for Xabi Alonso 46'
for Diego Costa 64'
for Pedro 76'
|Hodgson adamant he is happy with England strikers|
|Rooney: Do not question Sterling´s attitude|
|Griezmann: Stern words led to second-half fightback|
|Coleman: We felt it was there for us|
|Deschamps defies doubters as France heed call to arms|
|Konko ´in talks´ to join AC Milan|
|Sigurdsson looking forward to dream England clash|
|Cacic: Croatia´s time will come|
|Italy v Spain will be different to Euro 2012 final - Camoranesi|
|France 2 Republic of Ireland 1: Griezmann double rescues hosts|
|Capello: Spain are pure magic|
|Wolfsburg complete Bruma signing|
|Koke: Spain need to bring back ´The Red Fury´|
|Pizzi: Chile can beat Messi and Argentina|
|Schalke swoop for Swiss star Embolo|
|Subotic signals intention to leave Dortmund|
|Howedes eager for France showdown|
|Russia confirm Slutsky resignation|
|Pirlo: Italy out for Spain revenge|
|Vokes consoles McAuley after Wales march on|
|Italy-Spain a battle of world´s best - Llorente|
|Messi one win away from becoming the greatest|
|Play-offs the goal as Baptista settles into life in Orlando|
|Colombia closer to winning titles - Pekerman|
|MLS Review: Kaka scores 100th-minute penalty in thriller, Lampard inspires NYC|
|Portugal ´don´t have a clue how they scored´ – Rakitic|
|Klinsmann: USA should be proud of Copa America display|
|United States 0 Colombia 1: Bacca secures third place at Copa America|
|Corluka: Portugal among worst teams at Euro 2016|
|Sanches happy to be involved as Portugal reach quarters|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Shaqiri rivals Pique for Shakira´s affection, Bale reveals secret weapon|
|Morata: I have nothing to prove to Zidane|
|Di Maria fit for Copa final|
|´You do not always win by playing prettily´ - Santos unconcerned by dour Portugal|
|The best team lost, says disconsolate Cacic|
|Fabianski: Poland must create more for Lewandowski|
|McAuley pride after crushing Wales loss|
|Ronaldo takes one for the team as Portugal emerge from drudgery in Lens|
|Croatia 0 Portugal 1 (aet): Quaresma earns quarter-final berth|
|Hodgson will not beg for FA approval after Euro 2016|
|Emotional Bale glad to share Paris joy with family|
|O´Neill left frustrated by officials following Euro 2016 exit|
|Coleman hails Bale brilliance in Wales win|
|Low relying on Kroos to lead Germany the way|
|Italy v Spain: Thiago denies shirt jinx ahead of Azzurri clash|
|O´Neill: McAuley has been magnificent|
|Szczesny thanks Swiss fans for drink|
|Hector: Slovakia have plenty of quality in attack|
|Morata: Italy defenders have told me to wear a helmet|
|Coleman content with scrappy Wales progression|
|Wales remain and Northern Ireland leave after Paris battle|
|We are free of pressure - Gera|
|´Do I look like I have doubts?´ - Defiant Nawalka defends Lewandowski|
|Wales 1 Northern Ireland 0: McAuley´s woe is Welsh joy|
|No chance Barcelona star Neymar will join Madrid, says his father|
|Witsel happier to face Hungary than Spain|
|Wilmots accepts pressure ahead of Hungary test|
|Slovakia can upset Germany again - Pekarik|
|Shaqiri unhappy with Poland celebrations after Euro 2016 exit|
|Grosicki struggled to watch Poland shootout win|
|Poland need Lewandowski to rediscover ruthless streak|
|Switzerland 1 Poland 1 (aet, 4-5 pens): Xhaka shocker costs Swiss after Shaqiri magic|
|Payet can handle hero status - Deschamps|
|Redmond joins Southampton on five-year deal|
|Sturridge: Sterling unfairly targeted over England performances|
|Wilmots: I want more from smiling De Bruyne|
|Croatia star Perisic unveils latest wacky hairstyle|
|Brazil´s Lucas Lima wants European move|
|Lloris tempers talk of Ireland revenge mission|
|Deschamps refuses to make France ´98 comparisons|
|O´Neill confident Ireland can shock France|
|Chiellini will give Morata a few kicks - Barzagli|
|England v Iceland: Rooney targets early goal|
|Italy´s Candreva ruled out of Spain match|
|Butland ready for pre-season after scan gives goalkeeper all-clear|
|Origi not underestimating Hungary|
|Plans drafted for Old Firm games to be played abroad|
|Boost for Germany as Boateng trains ahead of last 16|
|I never saw Ronaldo look in the mirror! - Ancelotti|
|Fabregas fears Brexit will damage Premier League|
|Roy not keen on Ireland allocation|
|Dyke backs Hodgson for new contract|
|Spain not as aggressive as 2012, claims Ancelotti|
|Ronaldo and Messi need each other – Ancelotti|
|Juve on the same level as Madrid and Barcelona - Dybala|
|Fabregas: Conte´s Italy will be tough|
|Argentina v Chile: New year, same Copa finalists|
|Ronaldo ´cannot be the whole of Portugal´ - Shilton|
|Messi: Neymar is an amazing person|
|Pekerman keen to finish Copa on high note|
|Rakitic: Ronaldo won´t sleep easily|
|Messi: Now is not a time to give nothing|
|Courtois expects to leave Chelsea in future|
|Less rest no problem for Portugal - Joao Mario|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Benteke rap and Nelly the elephant|
|Santos: Group-stage performances behind Portugal|
|Cacic: We cannot let Ronaldo show his strength|
|O´Neill hopes to blow Bale off course|
|Coleman impressed with Ramsey´s discipline|
|O´Neill fires derby passions ahead of Wales showdown|
|Coleman: Take emotion out of Northern Ireland clash|
|LFP sanctions six Nice players for flouting gambling rules|
|Hungary v Belgium: Lukaku targets last-four spot|
|Dyke hopes Brexit can help England youngsters|
|No favourites against Italy, says Koke|
|Krychowiak not thinking about PSG as Poland stand by Lewandowski|
|World Cup qualifying: Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria drawn in same group|
|Brexit may damage Premier League´s pursuit of young European players|
|Germany v Slovakia: Weiss confident of repeat Augsburg success|
|France v Republic of Ireland: Long not on Henry revenge mission|
|Chelsea midfielder Baker extends Vitesse loan|
|Chiellini concerned over Brexit ´domino effect´|
|Staying in Euro 2016 gets Coleman´s vote|
|Nainggolan has a room with a balcony so he can smoke - Wilmots|
|Petkovic attempts Poland mind games|
|Wilmots would rather play Spain than Hungary|
|Morata deserves more than being a Madrid bargaining chip - Chiellini|
|AZ want record fee for Janssen|
|What does Brexit mean for European football?|
|I´m not tired, I feel sharp - Kane hits back at critics|
|Delighted Kiyotake hopes to prove his value|
|Premier League confident Brexit will not diminish its success|
|Neuer wary of Hamsik´s long-range shots|
|Genesio: Lyon do not have to sell|
|Morata thanks Juventus fans after Real Madrid return|
|Lapadula undergoes AC Milan medical|
|Santos: Not everything revolves around Ronaldo|
|Icelandic chihuahua prepares to chase the England rhino|
|Jakupovic signs new Hull City contract|
|Lagerback: Brexit will not affect England team|
|ES Setif disqualified from CAF Champions League|
|Gerland sees Kimmich as Lahm´s long-term successor|
|Navas ´recovering nicely´ from heel injury|
|Messi excited by future Barcelona challenges|
|Conte´s Italy like Atletico and Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Zidane the man to take Madrid forward, says Baptista|
|United States v Colombia: Hosts out to end Copa America on a high|
|Aubameyang: It´s my dream to play in Spain|
|Wenger not interested in France job|
|Ronaldo: Euro 2016 surprises end now for Portugal|
|Coke hopeful Sampaoli can exceed Emery at Sevilla|
|Maradona: Portugal too dependent on Ronaldo|
|´What a disaster´ - Messi takes aim at AFA|
|Guidetti: Nolito will thrive at City|
|Wanyama thanks Southampton fans following Spurs switch|
|Kranjcar: Rangers can push Celtic all the way|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Icelandic heaven and Rooney not feeling the love|
|Wenger respects Vardy, talks up Kante|
|Rooney wants to end ´disappointing´ tournament record for England|
|Di Maria in serious doubt for Copa America final|