On Sunday, like most inhabitants of Spain and of Europe at large, I watched the Euro Cup final. Naturally, I was rooting for Spain. I tend to get anxious when watching important sporting events on television, so I was both excited and relieved to see two beautiful goals in just the first half. This meant that during the second half, I could relax and enjoy the show as Spain dominated defensively, and just to be thorough, snuck in two more goals once Italy was a man down in the final portion of the game. It was an impressive display of Spain’s characteristic finesse, and immediately after the game, sportscasters were already dubbing the Spanish team possibly the best national soccer team ever.
While I take a greater interest in soccer than your average American, I am still a casual fan, only watching full games when they’re important enough to be on TV. Here in America, that means pretty much just the World Cup and the Euro Cup and occasionally the Olympics. So even though I like soccer and I watch it when it’s on, I cannot begin to appreciate the significance of this win to an actual Spanish fan. For the last few months, if Spain has been in the news, it has been mentioned in the same sentence as the word “bailout.” Thanks to this team, when Spain has been mentioned on the news, it has been in the context of an unprecedented championship victory.
Considering that Spain is a country of enthusiastic fans at any time, I know that these difficult financial times make this win sweeter than a Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA title combined. Congrats, España, and I’m hoping for more Spanish championships in the future!