Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The fact that no team has ever won the World Cup after losing its opening match would be a bit unsettling for most other teams at this year's World Cup.
But Spain has traditionally not been like most other teams.
Spain has developed a reputation over the years for being the most dominant team in the group stage, then falling flat on its face once the knockout round arrives.
In the past two World Cups, Spain has won all six of its group-stage matches by a combined score of 17-5, and all they have to show for it is a quarterfinal loss to South Korea in 2002 and a defeat at the hands of France in the round of 16 in 2006.
Players like Luis Enrique, Fernando Hierro and Raul were the backbone of a number of quality Spanish teams that failed to meet expectations in the World Cup as well as the European championships.
When the 2006 World Cup squad took the pitch was when a number of new faces began to emerge, as players like Fernando Torres, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos, among others, became regulars on the senior team and ushered in a new era of Spanish soccer.
And based on what we saw at Euro 2008, when Spain captured its first major title since 1964, this current crop of players is nothing like its predecessors.
Up until its 1-0 loss to Switzerland to open the 2010 World Cup, Spain had tasted defeat just once in its last 48 matches, marking the team as one of the favorites alongside Brazil before the tournament started.
Manager Vicente del Bosque has maybe the most impressive collection of talent from top to bottom of any boss in South Africa, so don't expect this team to panic.
Spain will be heavily favored to beat its next opponent, Honduras, on June 21, before what could be an attractive matchup against Chile in the final match of the group stage.
One thing that will scare Spain is the fact that if they were to finish second in the group, it could mean a second-round meeting with mighty Brazil, something that they would like to avoid.
Del Bosque's side will now need help if they want to finish on top of the group, but since this team is a different breed from previous ones, wouldn't it make sense for them to finish second and then go on a run through the rest of the tournament?
For years, the team has wasted its best performances in the group stage, only to come up small under pressure.
So now that they have gotten that loss out of the way early, a deep run is surely in the cards, right?