Spanish celebrations: 'They've done more for us than all our politicians'

Fiesta. Fiesta in the packed, smoky pubs. Fiesta with family in the homes. Fiesta on the sweltering streets.

Fiesta was the operative word throughout Spain last night as thousands celebrated victory over the Netherlands – the first World Cup win in 90 years. Car horns blared. Trumpets sounded. Crowds back-slapped, jumped and screamed as Andres Iniesta delivered the winning goal.

"World champions!" shouted 16-year-old José Angel Salto García, wrapped from head to toe in red-and-gold Spanish flags, as he darted from a pub into the street, stopping traffic.

"All of Spain is going to get drunk!" screamed his face-painted friend, Lidia Marco Pereira, amid a round of hugs.

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards poured on to the streets to watch the historic win against the Netherlands on giant screens in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities, and the party continues today with a welcome-home celebration in Madrid.

"This is history!" shouted 22-year-old Luis Criado, an unemployed ceramic maker, kissing the Spanish insignia on his shirt. He had travelled for four hours by bus from Jaen to watch the match on the Madrid streets. His friend kneeled to the ground, as though in prayer. "This is the greatest," he said.

The crowds agonised with each missed opportunity for goal. They alternatively cursed and cheered the referee. They guzzled beer and wine, and chain smoked as the goalless game churned on. "It was exciting, but agonising waiting 120 minutes to score a goal," said 24-year-old José Luis Sanz Mardomingo, who wore his bathing suit in preparation for a victory dip in a fountain near his home outside Madrid.

But Spain's victory was more than sporting milestone. It was also a much-needed morale boost to a country where 20 per cent of the population is unemployed and a housing bubble has burst.

Electrician Raul Bernal and his friends blew horns and waved Spanish flags waiting for the World Cup Final to be shown on giant screen in Madrid's Paseo de Recoletos. They have all spent several months on the dole this year, but yesterday, they were in a party mood.

"We've forgotten about the crisis these days, everyone has their mind on sports," he said as passing cars honked victory toots and the thermometer hit 34C. "All that matters now is the game."

Even those lukewarm about football were caught up in the "Red Spirit".

"It's free happiness, you don't have to pay anyone for it," said Isabel De Mingo, a 30-year-old civil servant whose salary was cut by 5 per cent because of the austerity plan. "My mother never liked football, but she wouldn't even go to her home town for the weekend because she wanted to watch the game in Madrid where there's a party atmosphere."

The final match was also a rare moment of national unity despite strong movements for Basque and Catalonian regional autonomy. "I've never seen so many Spanish flags waving in Catalonia," said Rosa Gil, a 47-year-old radio presenter from Barcelona. "In tough moments, it's all for one, the Red Spirit."

She suggested that Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero learn a lesson from Spain's manager Vicente del Bosque. "He's done more for Spain than all the politicians put together," she said. "Del Bosque for prime minister!"

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Technician

£30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

Energy Sales Co-ordinator

£20000 - £25000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Energy Sales Consultant

£25000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

Web / Digital Analyst - Google Analytics, Omniture

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil