29 June 2008

Spain Exorcise All Their Demons

Spain, in the course of less than one month, have exorcised the demons which have haunted them for over a decade.

Let’s run down the list and show how Spain dispatched the superstitious demons which have haunted them so.

Demon: Quarterfinals. The Spanish have not been past the quarterfinals in the Euroepaan Championship since 1984, and haven’t advanced past the quarterfinals in the World Cup since 1950. Going in to Euro 2008, the mark of success on every Spanish mouth was, “just get us past the quarterfinals!”

Demonbuster: Spain defeated Italy to advance to the semifinal round.

Demon: Yellow Shirts. According to retiring Spanish National Team coach, Luis Aragones, the color yellow was an extremely unlucky color for his lads. A story goes that he once made star striker, Fernando Torres, change out of a yellow t-shirt at a training session.

Demonbuster: Spain were wearing their yellow kits in the semi-final against the speedy young Russians. It took the lads in second kit yellow a good fifty minutes to get going, but three goals later, they had booked a spot in the finals.

Demon: June 22. Spain has historically fumbled on this date in history. On June 22, 1986, Spain lost to Belgium in a dramatic World Cup quarter-final shoot-out. Ten years later to the day, they were ousted from Euro 1996 by England. And finally on June 22, 2002, Spain was sent home from World Cup 2002 by the unlikeliest of foes, the hosts South Korea.

Demonbuster: Spain must’ve thought the stars were surely aligned against them when their gritty match against cross-Mediterranean rivals Italy went to penalties on June 22. But not this day. It was the Spanish who struck flawlessly from the mark and it was brave keeper, Iker Casillas, who parried away the Di Natale shot, which cleared the path for Cesc Fabregas to knock in the final blow.

Despite being a nation overflowing with football talent, Spain have not one a European championship since 1964.

Spain defeat Germany 1-0 to win the 2008 European Championship!

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