Spain Wins The World Cup!

July 12, 2010 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Soccer, Spain 558 views

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Spanish FamilyWe began World Cup final Sunday evening by heading to nearby Laredo, where we’d heard there might be a big screen set up on the beach. We were certain that we couldn’t take a 15.5 month old child to an enclosed space with Spanish fans because she’d die of fright from all the screams. We discovered that the beach screen was only a rumor, and the real big screen was in the old town hall square. We took one look at how packed the square was with people and turned around and headed back towards Colindres, but not before spotting a group of old ladies wearing red-yellow-red striped headbands singing A Por Ellos.

Once back in our home town, we chose our favorite soccer-viewing bar, El Vapor (The Steam), which is only about two hundred meters from our house. The twin brother of our friend with the restaurant in Laredo was already seated at a prime table, and he informed us that he was leaving before the game began and promised us his table. We would spend the game outside on the sidewalk looking into the bar through the glass to a projected screen. And it was a good thing we were outside, because, well, let’s just say that inside the bar, it lived up to its name.

Spain Fans Laredo (90 min before World Cup Final)

The old town hall square in Laredo, with 90 minutes left until kickoff.

The game was exciting from the very beginning. And I soon discovered that, due to the slope of the sidewalk away from the bar, I had to stand up to see the screen. No problem. I can stand up for 90 minutes. I admit to being nervous the entire game. So nervous, that the beer and snacks I had bought streamed steadily down my soar-from-screaming gullet.

Nora had a good time, as well. Her primary daycare caretaker, Nella, was also at the bar. She’s so wonderfully selfless that she spent most of the time when the game wasn’t on, the hour beforehand and halftime, playing with Nora. Nora also spent most of the match calming her nerves with snackfood, little mostly-air corn puff things the Spanish call gusanitos, or “little worms”.

In the second part of overtime, I took exhausted Nora from her mother to give the latter a break, and we watched the game projected, from the bar, onto the side of a nearby building. The outdoor projection had just then become visible with the sun going down at 10:30 PM. Soon, Marga came up and took Nora, accusing me of bouncing the poor exhausted thing around, possibly singing A Por Ellos. I was excited, what can I say? When the goal occurred soon after, in minute 116, the place went WILD!!! Screaming, shouting, horn blowing, jumping, hugging… And we were in a fairly low population venue. I can only imagine what it must have been like in Laredo…nevermind Madrid!

During the blur that was the last four minutes after Iniesta’s goal, during my dancing around with the Spanish flag as a cape (Which really keeps in a lot of heat! Good to remember in case I ever find myself homeless), some blond teenagers walked up and began talking to me in English. They were some boy scouts from Belgium that were camping nearby and were hitchhiking to Laredo for the big party. It was a strangely surreal encounter.

A good time was had by all, but after the game parental duties dictated that we not partake in the enormous nationwide fiesta, so we headed home and I put Nora to bed and Marga and I watched some of the post-game coverage by the ecstatic Spanish news team. It was a shame that Puyol and Xavi would ruin such a wonderfully uniting national moment by parading around the Catalonian flag instead of the Spanish one, but such is the separatist nature of Spain. At least captain and goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, got in a good on-live-television I-can’t-help-myself kiss with his gorgeous sports reporter girlfriend, Sara Carbonero.

Spain currently holds the European Cup, the World Cup, the Tour de France, the French Open, and Wimbledon. Some Spaniards like to claim the NBA Championship because of Pau Gasol as well, but that seems like a bit of a stretch. Spain dominates in Formula 1 and Moto GP as well. No one can deny that this is a good time for Spanish sport.

¡Enhorabuena, España!

Spanish Family

Spain fans. It really is too bad that Nora won’t remember this.

 
  • Pere

    First excuse my bad english.. I have seen your comments on the catalan flag.I’m catalan and I can say that much of Catalonia yesterday was thrilled with the victory of Spain, in my city and many more Catalonia during the whole evening there were fireworks .Catalan flag not rectified to the Spanish flag, complements, and the vast majority of Catalans we are also Spanish, we certainly have its own personality, but that is one of the riches of Spain. Catalan separatists are 20% of the population of Catalonia, the rest (80%) are as Spanish as a Cantabrian or an Andalusian. Please do not see the Catalan flag as a sign anti-Spanish, because it only shows one more cultures of Spain, and I think Puyol and Xavi have amply demonstrated her figth for the colors of Spain, were allowed only a small tribute to his homeland, which is Catalonia, in the Spanish triumph.I think the same about the Basque Country.Separatists the are a minority, but very noisy.Thanks.

    • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ Erik R.

      Thank you very much for your comment, Pere. You’re English is very good. I understand that the separatists are a minority. But I still think that unity around one flag (even one that still holds dictatorial connotations for many) seems like the right thing to do in this situation, particularly since the World Cup victory is so unifying. If every player had reached for their own province’s flag, how would it have looked? Not like a unified national team, for sure.

  • Pere

    Well, imagine that Spain, like many old countries of Europe, this forged in 3000 years of history about many peoples who have inhabited the Iberian Peninsula, one way or another, the colors different (but complementary) that make up Spain out to light, and is somewhat logical, the land of Catalonia, Asturias, Andalusia and Extremadura, for example, has its own connotations that every native likes to display, within the Spanish kaleidoscope.

  • Felice

    My good friend from ohio, usa
    studied and lived near alcala de henares, es.
    he loved it and well i met him here in usa, he
    is very smart, but more importantly a wonderful person, as
    i surmise you might be too. congratulations
    for living in spain and to la furia española.
    hope you celebrate santi-iago in a special way this year, 2010.