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.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options