The Spanish national team have arrived home following their 4-0 drubbing of Italy in the Euro 2012 final.
Fans were still celebrating the unprecedented third-straight international title win as the side’s plane touched down in Madrid.
The team was due to parade through the Spanish capital on Monday evening in front of hundreds of thousands of euphoric fans.
Sunday’s triumph is a much needed morale boost for a country that is sinking deeper into economic crisis. With 25 percent unemployment and 100 billion euros being prepared to bail out Spain’s banks, some in the queue outside a job centre in Madrid said the win provides only momentary relief.
“I think that our prime minister should do his work. The Euro Cup brought happiness to the country but it doesn’t fix the many big problems we have in Spain,” said jobless resident Cesar Medina.
“I’ve just re-joined the dole queue after three months in work. Thank goodness we still have football,” said Carlos Iglesias, an unemployed construction worker.
But while many Spanish fans will now be looking to the World Cup in 2014 to extend their team’s run of trophy wins, one jobless woman would rather not think about it.
“It’s cold comfort because of everything that’s going on. I’m really not happy. It’s not such a big occasion,” she said.
The irony is that despite the despair, the government’s austerity measures have still yet to be fully felt. With the country struggling to bring down its bloated deficit, commentators say Spain’s euphoria will be short lived.
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