If this summer's European Championship seemed to tell us anything it was that Spanish teams and Spanish players love possession. Having the ball and being in control of the game is when they feel most comfortable.
Even if it wasn't always dazzling up until the demolition of Italy in the final, it was ruthless in its own way, as it suffocated the opposition with the result that the World Champions only conceded one goal on their route to victory and have now kept 10 consecutive clean sheets in knockout games at major competitions.
Step forward the first weekend in La Liga, when possession was, well, pretty much useless. The team that had the largest share of the ball failed to win in seven of the 10 games played this weekend, with Barcelona unsurprisingly the only ones to make best use of their dominant 73% of the ball in a 5-1 romp over Real Sociedad.
Even Rayo Vallecano, the only other side to record a victory with the majority of possession in the first round of fixtures, only did so thanks to a 94th minute free-kick when the fourth official had indicated for only three minutes to be added. And Valladolid made a winning start on their return to the Primera having shared exactly 50% with Real Zaragoza.
This pattern was most profound on a sweltering Sunday evening when Athletic Bilbao hosted Real Betis, Real Madrid entertained Valencia and Atletico Madrid travelled to Levante. With temperatures soaring towards 40 degrees Celsius it was even more surprising that the team forced to chase the ball for so long didn't eventually crumble.
Athletic v Betis was an early candidate for games of the season, with the classic mixture of some incredible goals, awful defending and the visitors squandering a 3-0 lead and yet still coming back to win by scoring fives times away from home (having only averaged one goal a game on the road last season).
As the scoreline suggests, some parts of the game were so crazy they are almost beyond practical analysis, but two major points stood out. Firstly, Betis' fantastic counter-attacking exposed the woeful lack of pace and understanding in an Athletic back line trying to press high up the field.
And secondly, how a team as fluid as Athletic last year could in this game struggle to make clear chances from open play, to the extent that two of their goals coming from corners headed in by Mikel San Jose.
In contrast to Betis, Valencia and Levante salvaged their points from a combination of being well-organised, ruthless and having a spot of luck. Both scored from their only shot on target, which came from set-pieces, and whilst Levante started where they left off last season by demonstrating their ability to defend solidly as a unit, Valencia were more thankful for a supreme individual display from goalkeeper Diego Alves.
With David Villa's scoring return, Nelson Oliveira already showing with a lovely scooped finish why Depor were so keen to get him on loan, Tomer Hemed's double (scored in different halves and in different days) and a 16-year-old named Fabrice Olinga, who became the league's youngest ever scorer and showed there was a silver lining to even Malaga's troubled summer, it was an eventful opening weekend in Spain.
It was also one that showed that as well as having the masters of the ball, La Liga is just as adept at throwing up a variety of strategies and styles in order to obtain a result.