Spain’s happy hangover

*Buuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* What? Eh? Gaaah! Ow! Morning? What happened?.....Ouch....(Bump! Screech! Bang!) - Eh!” - Repeat for the next 12 hours.

This is pretty much how most of Spain is going to spend Thursday. If it is, indeed Thursday.

And that includes LLL, but mainly due to the fact the blog was only able to get up to eight minutes sleep at a time before some kind interfering horn action or wailing and screaming from the street interrupted LLL's somnambulant ways.

But it is going to be a day from one of the less unpleasant hell dimensions worth suffering.

Spain frackin’ did it! Bless every one of their 23 pairs of red cotton socks. And Vicente Del Bosque’s too. In fact, bless his magnificent moustache, whilst the blog is at it. May it be tickled by Paz Vega and Penelope Cruz for the rest of his days.

La Roja are in the World Cup final for the first time in their history, and Merciful Zeus they have a spiffing chance of winning it.

However, that’s all to be debated on Saturday and Sunday. For the immediate moment the feeling across the country is tingly relief, nervous exhaustion and a little bit of daylight-provoked pain.

Wednesday’s semi-final clash was the most complete performance by Vicente Del Bosque’s men so far in the tournament, with Germany mere spectators for much of the encounter.

But that didn’t mean that it wasn’t a torturous, nervy experience for the 93 minutes of the game with Spain missing their normal quota of chances and cries of “******** shoot you *********  ********s!” echoing from bars all over the country accompanying La Roja’s display.

Luckily, everyone lived happily ever after, and danced in the streets until sunrise after Captain Caveman himself, Carles Puyol, smashed a wonderful header home to inspire AS’s own homage to Cataluyna with their front page banner of “Visca España!”

“It was a goal that confirms that this team dominates in every department” writes the paper’s editor, Alfredo Relaño, who praises a victory that was achieved "with great football, with gusto and with solidarity.”

In the inside pages Tomás Roncero hints that Mrs Roncero may have to make room for someone else in their Spain-loving lives with the wonderfully crackpot columnist writing “I love Casillas” in English. “But I’m called Tomás, not Sara, however I’m obliged to send him this love letter.”

Every other male in Spain - aside from former King of Cataluyna, Joan Laporta, who must be seething at the way his former charges are helping their ‘other country’ in South Africa - now has the biggest of man-loves for Puyol and Gerard Piqué, who were both magnificent for the whole game.

Marca declare that La Selección are the “best in the world” and LLL has neither the inclination nor the energy to take issue with that statement, despite the World Cup trophy not yet being in their grasp.

Inside, the paper praises Del Bosque’s brave but inspirational decision to let Pedro loose on the German defence and drop Fernando Torres in the process - a tough decision says the Spain coach.

“Leaving Torres out was hard, as he’s a great player, a really important kid for the group,” admitted Del Bosque. “But let’s face it, he’s been playing like my Aunt May and we buried her 15 years ago.”

Marca has also published photographs taken of supporters watching the game in all the home villages and towns of the squad and each shows scenes of jubilation and joy, aside from some surely looking sedate so-and-so’s in Hospitalet de Llobregat, the base camp of renowned jolly japester, Víctor Valdés.

Thursday is going to be about cleaning up, from Seville to Santander, in a physical and mental way. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be spent be cherishing the notion that La Roja have done it. No matter what happens on Sunday night, the word-less Spanish national anthem is going to be played at a World Cup final for the first time ever.

And perhaps, that’s when the fun really starts in Spain.

More World Cup stuff: Features * Lists * Interviews Features * News * Interviews * HomeInteract: Twitter * Facebook * Forum