Before they left for Ukraine, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told his national team that now, more than ever, their country needed them to bring back the Euro 2012 trophy. They didn’t let him down.
A day after Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the final, tens of thousands of Spaniards poured into the streets of Madrid to welcome home their heroes.
Many supporters said the unprecedented third-straight international title win would help rebuild a sense of national pride, which has been damaged by a deepening economic crisis.
Earlier the team were received by King Juan Carlos at La Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid.
“Spaniards are proud of you; not only because of your victory, but also because you are great – as individuals – as well as a team,” said the King. “We must also specially thank manager Vicente Del Bosque, who’s done a magnificent job and sustained the team’s performance.”
As the victory parade turned into a full-on fiesta at Madrid’s Cibeles Square, many fans are now looking to the World Cup in 2014 to extend their team’s run of trophy wins.