European Championship and World Cup holders Spain were humiliated in the Confederations Cup final by hosts Brazil, who registered a vibrant 3-0 victory to claim the trophy for a third successive time.
A Fred brace and Neymar's piledriver dashed some doubts about the Seleção's chances at next year's World Cup, where they will bid to win the country's sixth trophy.
Spain were sluggish and lethargic, as their 120-minute semi-final in the humidity of Fortaleza took its toll, with Gerard Piqué rightly red-carded in the second 45 for a cynical foul on Neymar.
Before Piqué's dismissal, Sergio Ramos missed a penalty at 3-0 as La Roja wasted their last chance of a comeback in the Maracanã.
Iker Casillas, outcast by José Mourinho at Real Madrid last season, was culpable for both of Fred's goals, as he failed to smother a loose ball for the second-minute opener and made a flimsy attempt to stop the striker's second.
Neymar's strike - sandwiched between Fred's double - came courtesy of Oscar's patience and weight of pass, although Casillas was hardly an indomitable presence.
David Luíz superbly denied a certain goal with the score at 1-0 from a meek Pedro finish, but Spain's bluntness in attack was primarily owed to Vicente del Bosque persevering with Fernando Torres, whose goals cannot mask what is a pathetic excuse of a striker.
David Villa was more active when belatedly introduced in the second half, as Júlio César made two fine saves, but the result was already a fait accompli.
Talk of a Spanish demise would be a rash knee-jerk considering the sheer insignificance of the tournament, their energy-sapping performance three days beforehand in Fortaleza, and that a Spain XI not at the tournament would beat most international first XIs.
Juan Mata played his 71st match of the season for club and country, and his ineffectual display may cause Chelsea and Mourinho concern as fatigue eventually affects the playmaker.
"They had more energy than us and they channelled that into every move they made," conceded Del Bosque.
However Xabi Alonso's omission from the 23 backfired as Spain's immovable trio of Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta toiled against the bullish Brazilians.