It goes beyond sport, our country deserves this, says Del Bosque

Spain's triumphant players will return to Barajas Airport in Madrid today at 1pm with thousands expected to greet them. After a month in South Africa, Vicente del Bosque's team had won the hearts of the whole nation even before they lifted the World Cup for the first time in the country's history.

An open-top parade will later take the players through the streets of Madrid beginning at 7pm at the capital's political centre Moncloa and finishing at Atletico Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium along the banks of the city's bone dry river La Manzanares.

"The dressing room is delighted, ecstatic," said Del Bosque last night. "It was difficult to speak on the phone it was so loud in there. But Spain, the country, deserves this triumph, this World Cup. This goes beyond sport. We have to celebrate. All the people have been behind us in Spain, and we're delighted to reward them with this victory."

Most supporters will not have slept for 48 hours when the players show off the World Cup. Parties went through the night after television images showed player after player unable to hold back tears.

Goalscorer Andres Iniesta dedicated the victory to his great friend Dani Jarque, the Espanyol defender who died of a heart attack at the start of last season, aged 26. He then broke down in tears and could not continue the interview. After scoring, the Barcelona player lifted his shirt to reveal a message to the former Spain Under-21 star.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas was also in tears when interviewed by Sara Carbonero – a television journalist who is also the Real Madrid player's girlfriend. After the tears came the kiss as he planted a smacker on the interviewer's lips in front of a live TV audience.

The mood had not been as cheerful earlier in the night. Spanish fans came out in their hundreds of thousands to cheer La Roja but spent most of the game screaming for English referee Howard Webb to show the red card as Holland did their best to kick Spain out of the World Cup final.

In the build-up to the game, the Spanish had worried over the election of Premier League official Webb and his tendency to let the game flow. "Let's hope he stops Mark van Bommel from kicking more rivals per minute than any other player in the tournament," said former Spanish referee Rafa Guerrero before the game.

And there were heartbeats missed throughout hysterical Spanish commentary boxes when Webb was spotted deep in conversation with Van Bommel during the warm-up. Only when he then took Xabi Alonso aside were the nerves eased – fair treatment for both sets of players.

But as soon as the game started, fair play was forgotten as far as Spanish fans were concerned. Van Bommel and Nigel de Jong soon earned yellow cards for challenges that would have been straight reds in Spain's domestic league. And with the card-count standing at 11 fouls for the Netherlands and five for Spain just before half-time, supporters from Seville to San Sebastian were enraged.

Once again Webb was blamed for not reducing the Dutch to 10 men when Wesley Sneijder appeared to go in studs-up on Sergio Busquets. "Don't just talk to him, book him," said Jose Antonio Camacho, commentating for Spanish television. The former Spain international and national manager was furious that Webb had lectured instead of booked Sneijder after his late kick on the Barcelona midfielder.

Webb's display was causing almost as much stress as Arjen Robben, who was giving the 200,000 watching fans crammed into Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana palpitations every time he broke down the Dutch right. "The dirty Oranje are stopping us by kicking us", was the headline on newspaper Marca's website above the image of De Jong's kung-fu kick into the chest of Alonso. But those headlines were replaced on full-time by the simple message: "Campeones Campeones."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried