Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Huge celebration for Spain´s World Cup Championship in Barcelona

Spain erupted with its biggest fiesta in memory Monday when its football team returned to a jubilant nation after winning the World Cup, giving elated Spaniards a break from months of economic gloom and political squabbling as nationalist regions fought for greater autonomy from the central government.
Hundreds of thousands of people -- if not more -- jammed in Barcelona's Plaça Catalunya to cheers from Spaniards decked out in a sea of red and yellow, the colors of the Spanish and Catalonia flag.

While the spotlight was on in Spain, the win led to a rare sight in the Catalonia region's capital of Barcelona: Spanish flags waving side-by-side with Catalonia's own red and yellow flag.
"It has been very strange, but now it is being tolerated," said Saray Lozano, a 31-year-old taxi driver from Barcelona. "If it weren't for football, you might get rocks thrown at you" for displaying Spain's national symbol.
About 75,000 people celebrated the win in Barcelona.

Joan Foguet, a Barcelona-based journalist for the leading Spanish newspaper El Pais, said Catalonia has a "schizophrenic" relationship with the national team -- and attributed the burst of enthusiasm to the fact that the team played well.

"There are seven players from one club – Barcelona – in the latter stages of their quarter-final," writes John McDougall. "I am guessing this is still not the record number of players from a single club one country has fielded at the World Cup finals – or is it?"
Indeed Spain had seven Barcelona players on the field against Paraguay – Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, David Villa and Pedro – for around nine minutes, from the introduction of Pedro from the substitutes' bench on 75 minutes, to the replacement of Puyol with Carlos Marchena on 84.
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