"They are heroes", "A dream start for the Oranje", "Incredible" "Netherlands crush Spain", and "Historic" screamed out from newspapers across the country after the Dutch handed Spain a record 5-1 rout in Salvador.

The win was sweet revenge after Spain had edged the Netherlands 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

"What incomparable revenge against Spain: 5-1," said popular daily, Telegraaf.

"In one of the most memorable matches ever in the history of the Dutch team at the World Cup, even one of the most memorable matches in the history of the World Cup itself, Netherlands crushed the defending champions," wrote Volkskrant.

The newspaper saluted the tactics of coach Louis van Gaal, describing the "magisterial plan" of using five defenders to thwart the Spanish, and praised as well Robin van Persie's spectacular diving header which brought his side level.

"He flew to score a world class goal."

The Trouw newspaper described the win as a "surreal victory" which allowed the Dutch to move into first place in Group B -- if they stay in that position they will likely avoid having to face Brazil in the last 16.

"The Dutch left the Spanish disorientated," boasted Trouw.

"Who could have imagined 5-1 against the world champions," wrote AD which illustrated the story with photographs of jubilant supporters in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.

TV commentator Jack van Gelder summed up the wave of euphoria across the country.

"It's historic, we can say this. In the future, people will ask "where were you when the Netherlands crushed the world champions? It will be a story you can tell to your grandchildren."