The Reign of Spain: European champions (of nearly everything)

This article was published last month in the Independent, and certainly is catches your attention as it describes many undiscovered attributes of Spanish life: Food, Fashion, Architecture, Society, Cultural Heritage, Travel Destination!

Sunday night’s triumph in Vienna was a moment of pride, unity and joy for this nation â?? and a mark of how far it’s come. Elizabeth Nash reports from Madrid

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Spain is enjoying a moment of glory. Last night’s triumphal homecoming of Euro 2008’s conquering heroes revealed everything that is good about Spaniards today, their spontaneity, their gregarious sociability, their unbridled â?? sometimes excessive â?? lust for partying.

The celebrations have shown something else: that Spain is enjoying a new confidence, a relaxed sense of national pride, a self-esteem it has rarely if ever experienced before, divested of old complexes. One of the commonest comments made by those celebrating Sunday’s victory was “I’m proud to be Spanish” and “I’ve never felt more Spanish”. And they said it without the defiance you used to hear, but naturally, with joy in their faces. They were not trying to convince you of their superiority. They were having fun.

And the reason for their new-found ease was that the old braggadocio that compensated for feeling small, dark, isolated from Europe, hopeless at languages, a failure at the game they loved, was replaced by the serene confidence they absorbed from their youthful footballers. No fake heroics, no swaggering, no assumed “Latin” passion, just the pride of a nation of small, dark blokes of humble origins who ran rings around the blond, cultured man-mountains of Europe’s mightiest footballing nation.

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