MADRID - People hoping for an early
night's sleep in Spain were disappointed as the country exploded
into a cacophony of noise after their side reached the World Cup
final for the first time on Wednesday.
Fans spilled out on to the streets to celebrate after Carles
Puyol's piledriver of a header gave the European champions a 1-0
victory over Germany to make Sunday's final against
Neither team have won the World Cup before.
Cars drove through the streets of Madrid with horns blaring,
Spain flags fluttering from the windows, and people hanging out
of the windows screaming in delight.
Others, stripped off to the waist in the cloying heat,
risked life and limb playing matador with their flags as cars
drove by, in a massive outpouring of emotion.
"They played like a team and deserved to win from the first
minute. They were the better team. I can't pick out one player.
They all played well," Ignacio from Valladolid told Reuters,
after watching the game in a packed bar in the Spanish capital.
"The pressure was on Germany to play well after all the
press they have received, more than us, and they didn't. We are
going to beat Holland, for sure."
The vuvuzela trumpet has caught on in Spain as well, and
could be heard honking on the streets, as fans walked around
draped in red and gold singing "Yo soy Espanol" (I am Spanish)
and "Viva Espana".
Some supporters were heard wondering aloud what would it be
like if Spain actually won on Sunday after years of
under-achievement in the game.
A fan zone alongside Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium has been
the centre of focus for most of Spain and thousands there
watched events unfold on a giant screen.
"Fantastic! This is our World Cup and we are going to win
it," one fan told Reuters television after the final whistle.
Many Spanish fans started singing about Paul the Octopus
from Germany who has become an international celebrity for
predicting the results of matches, and has maintained a 100
percent record with all of Germany's games.
Spain will play the Dutch in the final in Johannesburg on
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