World and European champions Spain romped to a 24th straight qualifying win yesterday - but no one in the country was able to see it.
Pedro Rodriguez scored a hat trick as the world's best team thrashed Belarus 4-0 away in one of a host of big wins for Europe's leading nations in World Cup qualifying.
Yet, celebrations will have been muted in the debt-ridden country after no broadcaster paid to televise the national team's match - for the first time in 29 years.
Spain's wasn't the most convincing win of the third round of regional qualifiers, with Germany handing Ireland their heaviest loss since 1971 in a 6-1 rout in Dublin.
Wayne Rooney celebrated being handed the temporary England captaincy by scoring twice in a routine 5-0 win over San Marino, taking his goal tally in internationals to 31 - fifth on the country's all-time list.
But Italy were again unconvincing in beating Armenia 3-1 and the Netherlands will be disappointed not to have scored more in a comfortable 3-0 win over Andorra, who are 201st in the rankings.
However, Euro 2012 semi-finalists Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, couldn't make the most of their dominance against Russia and lost 1-0 in a match between the top two teams in Group F.
The Portuguese are three points behind Russia, who are unbeaten under new coach Fabio Capello and have three straight wins in qualifying.
Also, Belgium enhanced their burgeoning reputation as a growing force in European football with a 3-0 win in Serbia, who lost a home World Cup qualifier for the first time in more than 10 years.
Sweden and Czech Republic needed second-half revivals to avoid embarrassing draws against minnows, beating Faeroe Islands 2-1 and Malta 3-1, respectively.
The victory for the Swedes left them second in Group C, three points behind Germany ahead of their meeting in Berlin on Tuesday when the hosts will start as heavy favourites following an emphatic win over Ireland.
The third-straight qualifying victory was launched by Marco Reus' goals in the 32nd and 40th minutes before Mesut Oezil's penalty and further goals by Miroslav Klose and Toni Kroos (two) turned it into a rout.
Klose's strike was his 65th for Germany, leaving him three behind record-holder Gerd Mueller on the all-time list.
Spain warmed up for their critical Group I match against France, who surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to Japan in a friendly yesterday.
Pedro set up Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba for the opener before scoring the remaining three goals himself in Minsk. Spain is now ahead of France on goal difference. Both countries have six points and only one team qualifies automatically from each group.