England rejoice over Spain's victory
Spaniards and English fans in London gathered in Trafalgar Square to celebrate a vicarious win over the old enemy on Sunday.1 July 2008
MADRID / LONDON - "A 1-0 annihilation!" was how one English fan described Spain's commanding performance against Germany in Sunday's European Championship final in Vienna.
After years of suffering at the hands of the Germans, and many having opted to support Spain as a substitute team after England's failure to qualify and a television campaign urging people to throw their support behind Luis Aragonés' men, English soccer fans rejoiced in the Spanish victory almost as if it was their own.
As London's Spaniards gathered in Trafalgar Square to cheer their country's first victory in a major international final in 44 years, many English fans joined in to celebrate a vicarious win over the old enemy.
But the English support for Spain was more than just a fleeting fancy.
Several Spanish players and coaches have made successful moves to England's Premier League in recent years, including Sunday's goal-scoring hero Fernando Torres. The former Atlético de Madrid striker not only scored 24 league goals in his first season with Liverpool, but he has also endeared himself to fans with his apparent sense of attachment to the historic club, pledging his allegiance to the Reds until the mission of winning the league title which has been missing for almost two decades is accomplished.
Also among Spain's victorious ranks at the Ernst Happel stadium were Torres' Liverpool comrade Xabi Alonso, and Arsenal's young Catalan star Cesc Fàbregas.
But at bottom there surely lies a desperate hope that Spain's ending of its decades-old trophy drought can inspire England to return to the winner's podium in the 2010 World Cup, exactly 44 years since its only day of glory.
[El Pais / Expatica]
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