Spaniards throw giant fiesta for Euro 2012 heroes

Spain's triumphant Euro 2012 heroes parted a red-and-yellow sea of fans in central Madrid on Monday in a giant, deafening national fiesta that swept aside all thoughts of economic crisis.

An open-top double-decker bus ferried the team like a small boat picking its way through a vast ocean of hundreds of thousands of adoring Spaniards waving flags, cheering and dancing to thumping rock music.

Helicopters hovering above filmed a crowd that seemed to carpet the entire heart of the capital to rejoice in Spain's historic 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

At the climax of the party, the players basked in glory in the central Plaza de Cibeles square, where Queen's "We are the Champions" blared from loudspeakers.

In the centre of the square, a huge Spain flag was draped around the neck of an emblematic stone fountain of the goddess of nature riding a chariot hauled by lions.

The team joined a rock group to sing and dance on a huge stage in the square, with towering video screens behind.

Rappers blared out the song "No hay dos sin tres (You can't have two without three)" in praise of Spain's unprecedented third straight title and the team danced along, wearing red T-shirds reading "Champions of Europe."

"For me it is a great pride to be able to captain this team of great players and great people," Spain goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas told fans from the stage.

"Thank you for being here!"

Left winger Andres Iniesta, who was crowned the player of the tournament, said he was humbled to be part of a legendary squad.

"But more than anything I feel very proud to see your expressions of joy in these difficult times for us -- it is a matter of pride to see you happy," he said.

During the victory parade, Spaniards packed the streets from the buildings right to the edge of the bus, which was escorted by mounted police as it gingerly made its way to the city centre.

Leaning over the edge of the bus, forward Cesc Fabregas brandished the silver trophy, adding to an unprecedented collection that includes the 2008 Euro and the 2010 World Cup.

Residents hung from apartment balconies to get a glimpse of their heroes, waving wildly as the team passed and throwing buckets of water to cool fellow party-goers on the street below.

Giant red balloons bobbed above supporters' heads.

One fan, 42-year-old Jaime Barea, brought a group of 14 children, his own and his friends' offspring.

"It will give them an unforgettable memory," he said.

"When I was small I did not have this chance. Spain went for 40 years without winning."

Fernando Torres, winner of the Golden Boot for his three goals and one assist in the tournament, perched nonchalantly at one point with one leg hanging over the edge of the bus.

Barcelona forward Cesc Fabregas laughed and waved to fans. Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos danced in his seat.

Smiling coach Vicente del Bosque, in a white business shirt, leaned over, waved gingerly and even swayed to the music.

Chants of "Champions, Champions!" rang through the Spanish capital.

King Juan Carlos, 74, still hobbling after injuring his hip during an African elephant-hunting safari, joined with the royal family in hailing the victors at the Palacio de la Zarzuela in Madrid.

"Spaniards are proud of you, really proud, and not only because each of you are good players but because as a team you are terrific," he said before the players joined the national fiesta.

Casillas gave the king a Spain shirt with the number 1, signed by the entire team.

"The country is more united and people can forget their problems for a while," said 27-year-old Jessica Pino in a team shirt, draped in the Spanish flag and with a Viking hat in the national colours.

The party erupted from the end of the first half of the match on Sunday night, when Spain was already 2-0 up, and huge numbers of fans invaded the Plaza de Cibeles.

Goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata on Sunday sparked a crescendo of joy across Spain.

Some 15,481,000 people, or 83.4 percent of the television audience, saw Spain's win -- the greatest audience recorded in Spain for a football match, industry figures showed.

The victory also sparked a new sports-related record for tweets per second, Twitter said.

The match resulted in 16.5 million tweets from fans around the world and total global traffic on the platform peaked at 15,358 tweets per second during the fourth goal, a new sports-related record on Twitter, the company said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

  • It’s time to move on– Speaker
    It’s time to move on– Speaker

    The nation can now move on as President Aquino has satisfactorily explained his side on the Mamasapano incident for which he even begged for understanding, lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday. “It’s time to move on,” Belmonte said in reaction to Aquino’s pronouncements made before new police graduates at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) last Thursday. The President has spoken far too much about what he knows and about his limited involvement in the …

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options