Brilliant Spain can save football's soul - but they've yet to convince me
I committed sacrilege yesterday.
Criticising this great collection of Spanish players, it would seem, is tantamount to treason in a World Cup year.
Well, when I say criticised I should probably put it in context. I was as mesmerised as the next person by Spain's balletic style as they pulverised a very weak Honduras side but I got decidedly irked by the hyperbole being lavished at their feet by ITV commentator Peter Drury.
Drury is an excellent, eloquent caller of the game but in his rush to praise La Roja's second goal he showed that love is blind. Breathtaking technique from David Villa, he eulogised, picking up the tendency for British observers to go overboard when it comes to praising Spanish football. In fact, subsequent replays showed the 'dipping drive' that had left Drury so bewitched took a meaty deflection off a Honduran back before nestling in the back of the net.
So I took to microblogging site Twitter - which is brilliant for instant reaction from other knowledgeable World Cup addicts - to have a pop about the Spanish love-in and see what others thought. The reaction was pretty uniform - what was I on about? And what kind of black heart was I not to appreciate the majesty of Spain's flowing football for the ages?
It was impressive stuff, not least because Spain are caressing this ridiculous Jubalani like it's a proper football rather than the absolute travesty that it is. But lets consider the evidence before we get carried away.
Honduras, with a population of just 6 million, are one of the weakest teams in the competition. They rank 34th in the world - two places below Algeria and a mere 12 above Scotland, World Cup ghosts since 1998. 14 of their squad play their professional football in the Honduran league and merely to get to South Africa at the expense of the likes of Colombia was a fine achievement.
Honduras, in short, are precisely the sort of easy meat that Spain should be making short work of. That they did so should not be a cause for garlands and champagne just yet. Their manager Vincente Del Bosque gets that, which is why he was less than impressed by the slender margin of their victory.
If this sounds like some sort of Spanish vendetta you couldn't be more wrong. If anything it is the opposite because I increasingly believe that only a Spanish victory in Soccer City can turn this World Cup from a memorable one into a truly great one.
Don't get me wrong, this is an epoch-defining tournament. The location is charged with historical significance while the off-the-field events in the French and English camps have been jaw-dropping.
Even the football has got better after a numbing start to the tournament. But there is enjoying the swashbuckling entertainment of Denmark against Cameroon and then there is marvelling at a truly great collection of individuals that can transcend the ages.
Spain 2010 can be our generation's Brazil 1970. This is a team seeped in majestic ability from one to eleven, where even defenders like Gerard Pique possess feet so cultured they can study for a degree in classics. A side so fine that even Cesc Fabregas, coveted desperately by the brilliant Barcelona, can't unseat the magisterial presence of Xavi and the supremely effective Xabi Alonso.
If they click and manage to negotiate their way past the huge South American hurdles that lie in wait en route to Soccer City, this is not just Spain's World Cup - it belongs to anyone who loves football.
But that is a massive 'if'. The same 'if' that Fabio Capello is dealing with as he tries to wrestle a competent performance out of a collection of supposedly great Englishmen.
Spain can save football from Jose Mourinho-style pragmatism by lighting up the world stage as they did the European one two years ago. Like any devotee of the World Cup, I really hope they do.
But until they prove their mettle against one of the big beasts in the later stages, I won't be getting too excited about all that window dressing just yet.