Red shirts and riots as Spain get party started

By FourFourTwo's guest columnist, Tim Stannard of La Liga Loca

When La Liga Loca was woken on Sunday by the sound of car horns and honking hooters (not those kind), it thought for one horrified moment that it had overslept by a good 12 hours. After all, it had been a peculiar Saturday night, which involved a cameo from incompetent Zaragoza president, Eduardo Bandrés who was refreshing himself in a Madrid bar en route to Vienna to join all the other freeloading bigwigs of the Spanish game. And both halves of the cowardly as custard La Liga Loca passed on the chance to call him incompetent, but instead meekly wished the pint-sized president ‘good luck’ next season. It was two o’clock in the afternoon in the Spanish capital and the streets were already filled with cars driving around with more horn than a sex-starved Ronaldo.

Ronaldo: Looking sharp!

One notable spot was a fire engine cruising the back alleys with a five foot long flag sticking sideways out of the window - the perfect height to decapitate any unfortunate passing cyclist. Cuatro had begun their preview show some two months before the final began, so by the time the game kicked off the six sugar-soaked commentators and pundits the over-staffed channel had stuffed into their media box were caught up in a frenzy of excitement. “Titles don’t matter! Spain are better than Germany!” screamed the less than impartial announcer. “It’s Peter Pan against Captain Hook!” wailed AS editor Alfredo Relaño - somewhat unfairly - as the Germans began their opening 15 minute torment of Sergio Ramos. With the Spanish side invoking the spirit of Arizmendi in their inability to finish the game off, after Fernando Torres’ plucky opener, the suspicion was that the dastardly Germans would sneak a cheeky equaliser during the dying embers of the game. But it was not to be and footballing justice was done on the night. The final whistle brought thousands out of the bars and into the streets and fountains of La Liga Loca’s soon to be trashed neighbourhood. Even the trigger happy, shotgun slung riot police joined in the fun of the fiesta with a spot of projectile swapping with some supporters during the early hours of Monday morning. The two Catalan papers dedicated their front covers to the Spanish victory with Sport boasting that “we are the best!” as their headline. Inside, Josep Maria Casanovas writes that “Spain’s play was unbeatable, unstoppable and all powerful.” Unfortunately his very Catalan colleague, Lluís Mascáro wins party pooper of the year by refusing to touch on the victory for Spain. “My only team is Barça and my only colours are blaugrana,” sniffs the miserable old goat. Marca’s coverage of the final reaches a whopping 63 pages, with all other sports news dedicate to a “anything but the finalr” section. And that impressive performance kicks AS’ footballing booty into outer space - a paper that could only manage a paltry 35. “Spain have been the best team and were again yesterday,” opined Bernd Schuster, overcoming the disappointment of seeing his beloved Mannschaft being given the roughest of rides by La Furia Roja. Roberto Gómez continues his sycophantic sucking up of the Real Madrid big boss - a man he used to insult on a regular basis - with his dizzy declaration from Vienna that “the other king of the balcony was Ramón Calderón.”“The popularity of the Real Madrid president was comparable to that of a megastar,” gushes Marca’s main man. Marca also published photos of the sensational celebrations from all over Spain, except in the Basque country by the looks of it, with a shot of one lonely moped driver tootling around Pamplona with a flag and six people in an otherwise empty bar in Bilbao enjoying the show. And that indifference appears to be mirrored by Basque news site Berria.info which dedicates a full 47 words to the game in an in-depth match report.Errr, you've got something on your face, mate 

AS come dangerously close to handing an apology to Luis Aragonés for all the grief dished out to the Spanish coach for failing to select Raúl for the tournament. And it’s Tomás Roncero who takes one for the team and eats some humble tortilla, although the crazed columnist fails to use the ‘R’ word directly in Monday’s column. “I recognise my error of not understanding that your reasons were in the interest of a side that behaved like a united and indestructible family,” writes Roncero in a message to the departing Spanish coach. And it’s the AS-man who best sums up the feelings of 46 million or so Spaniards who celebrated - and are still celebrating - Sunday’s victory. “We can all go on holiday with our chests sticking out,” writes Roncero on a party that has only just begun.

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