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Crisis? What crisis? Spain rejoices in Euro win

They’re dancing in the fountains of Madrid tonight.

Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

IN AN EXPLOSION of red-and-yellow joy, Spanish fans burst into chants of “Champions, Champions!” tonight to greet a thumping Euro 2012 win that swept away the clouds of economic crisis.

Young and old revelled in the team’s unprecedented third, straight international title, setting off firecrackers, blaring car horns and flying the national flag in their hands, through car windows and off the back of motorbikes.

Recession-hit Spain’s red-and-yellow colours were everywhere: painted on faces, decorating wigs, on banners draped over fans’ shoulders, wrapped around hips and hanging from balconies and outside bars.

Many just waved two-euro flags sold on street corners.

Tens of thousands of people were glued to giant screens in an official fanzone outside Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium.

Campeones!

Others swilled beers, cheering and gasping in bars across the nation as the thriller in Kiev unfolded on television.

“Today the whole country is united as one and everyone is in the Euro. And the crisis? No-one is thinking about the crisis,” said 23-year-old business student Miguel Revert outside a central Madrid sports bar.

Cries of “Campeones, Campeones (Champions, Champions)” began echoing through Madrid’s streets from half-time, when Spain were already 2-0 up in a game many agreed was their best of the tournament.

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In Madrid’s fan zone, crowds joined in an uproar of delight as Spain scored their first goal and the celebrations grew as the scoreboard kept notching up the victory tally.

“We’re going to win this game,” they cried as each goal swept the defending champions nearer to the title.

But the game was still not won, and many held their breath as Iker Casillas punched away a dangerous Italy strike at goal.

“Champions, Champions,” they began to chant again when Jordi Alba put Spain 2-0 up.

But it was not until the second half that Spain put the game to bed with Fernando Torres curling the goal into the corner and Juan Mata made it four.

“That’s it, we have the Cup!” agreed the fans.

Goddess of nature

In the city centre’s famed Cibeles stone fountain, depicting the goddess of nature on a chariot being hauled by lions, workers finished erecting a massive stage to welcome the team with a victory party on Monday.

On their return home, the heroes will be greeted by King Juan Carlos before being hailed by adoring fans in an open-top bus that will travel through the capital’s streets.

- © AFP, 2012

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