Spain it is a complicated country. His past on many occasions does not let him move forward freely. Few states look at their history as much as this one and in few places the confrontations of other generations continue with such force among the current ones. Spain It is different said a campaign aimed at foreign tourism, which promoted the diversity of landscapes and Spanish exoticism. Within our borders, the motto was used in a parodic way. It was expected. This country is as it is, although it does not hesitate to unite in the face of misfortunes, we have recently seen it with the coronavirus pandemic, and with sports, especially soccer. The opium of the people.
And if there is a date that united the whole country thanks to the king sport, it was July 11, 2010. In fact, for a whole month the Spanish people were united, the differences we face on a day-to-day basis were put aside and, above all, the flag was proudly displayed. And this, speaking of Spain, is not easy. A sector of the Spanish population continues to look at the national flag with suspicion, but on those days of June and July everything remained in the background.
Spain has never been so convinced that its team could win a World Cup. At last it was seen as a real possibility to embroider on the shirt the star that others wore with pride. The team led by Vicente del Bosque debuted on June 16 against Switzerland and behind them they had a whole country. In that month one walked through any street in the national territory and saw a Spanish flag hanging on a balcony. Right and left carried it with pride, forgetting about any political tinge. La rojigualda united more than ever. The squares of the big cities and towns became small stadiums in each party of ours.
Spain during the 2010 World Cup. (.)
Things did not start well for South Africa, but it did not matter. Defeat against Switzerland united more to a town that suffered against Honduras and Chile to be in eighth. Then the playoffs came and the tension grew. Pride too. The Bernabéu esplanade, predecessor of Plaza de Colón, vibrated with Villa’s goal against Portugal. What our neighbors made us suffer with Cristiano as leader. Then came Paraguay. Again the rooms, a barrier that was overcome two years before against Italy in the Euro Cup, but a World Cup are bigger words. Possibly, that night was when the national team was closest to packing. The duel against the Guarani was heart-stopping, in many stretches they beat us and if it was not for Iker who stopped Cardozo with a 0-0 penalty and for Villa, who after bumping into both sticks, ended up putting the ball in the rival arch, the dream would have been broken on July 3. But this was our World Cup.
In the semifinals, one day in San Fermín, Germany arrived and the bathroom was huge. The short result, yes, but football deployed stratospheric. The best of the moment. The Spanish enjoyed realizing that for the first time in their lives it was not a dream but a reality. We were going to play the World Cup final and Holland was going to be the rival. Puyol’s header caused an earthquake in the bull’s skin, But the best was yet to come. After six finals came the real one. The one that was going to look at the world and the one that we wanted to win at all costs. We had never seen each other before.
Spain wins the 2010 World Cup. (.).
In Spain in those days the flags ran out. Yes, in Spain the flags ran out. People went out into the street with their faces painted. The national team jersey was impossible to get at any store. Spainmania had broken loose. And with the entire country partying, Howard Webb blew the start of the end of our lives. Hard, not very shiny and very even. No one had told us that winning a World Cup was easy. But after sweating almost as much as the players under the national heat that hit the peninsula on that summer night, the 116th minute came, Torres put it short, Cesc rescued her, He gave it to Iniesta and the boy from La Mancha hit a ball that 47 million souls pushed to the Dutch goal.
Spanish fans celebrate the 2010 World Cup. (.)
Yes, we were world champions and Spain was happy. Finally, a whole town felt that something belonged to everyone. The selection. A country with few things to celebrate in that 2010. With the economic crisis hurting and unemployment on the rise, the selection was the pride of a people wanting to smile. And we did it for six years, when we were the best. When we stuck out our chest around the world. To us, between 2008 and 2014, when we hit it in Brazil, that they didn’t tell us about anything other than soccer. We had no rival there. We generated admiration and envy in equal parts. At that time it was when we said that « I am Spanish, what do you want me to beat you for? » Ten years later we look back on those years with nostalgia, pride and with the intention of returning. We have never been so happy and every time we remember it our eyes light up. It will be for this reason that when this damn virus hit us hard months ago, on television that feat was restored. As if somehow they wanted to take us back to the past, where the Spanish people were so happy.