Spain Revels In Sports Wins

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Last week, Spain's national team won the Eurocup soccer championship. On Sunday, Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer for the Wimbledon men's title. Javier Ruiz, chief editor for the CNN Spanish affiliate, Cuatro says Spanish sports fans are delirious.


Sports fans in Spain are strutting this weekend for a good reason. After Rafael Nadal's domination over Roger Federer at Wimbledon yesterday and Spain's victory in the Euro Cup Soccer Finals over Germany last week, triumph seems to be raining down on Spain.

Javier Ruiz, the chief editor for the CNN Spanish affiliate, Quattro, and he joins us now.

Javier, how wild was that cheer yesterday when Nadal finally put Federer down?

NORRIS: It was pretty loud here in Spain. And it's still a very loud day of celebration today.

NORRIS: Tell me about the sports traditions in Spain. Where do people gather to watch the matches? Are they in bars or taverns, or do they all gather in the living room at a relative's house?

NORRIS: This is very outside country. I mean, this is a place where you can watch TV at the street, huge screens for the Spanish team. And that's basically what's going on now. In fact, the TV station that was broadcasting the Euro Cup Finals had a huge monster screen in the middle of the city.

Three million people gathered there to watch the Spanish team. So, basically, the street is now like, you know, the new church for followers of sports here in Spain.

NORRIS: So they - it's almost like a big picnic? They bring food...

NORRIS: Oh, it is. It's been a huge, a huge picnic. I don't remember anything like this, I don't know, ever.

NORRISKJLJ: You said this is the new church?

NORRIS: Yeah. It's like a new temple. You go to the street to celebrate. We pray for Spain. That was what's actually was going on. So, yeah, it is like a new religion, sports and the Spanish soccer team.

NORRIS: If I walked through the middle of town in Barcelona or Lisbon today, would I see people wearing the - proudly wearing the colors? [POST-BROADCAST NOTE: Lisbon is in Portugal.]

NORRIS: Yeah. Democracy in Spain is pretty young. It's been 30, 35 years or so since Franco died here. So the flag has an association to an old regime, to the dictatorship. That is changing now. All of a sudden, the Spanish flag has become a symbol of unity and that is what you can see in the Basque Country in Catalonia, in Madrid. Everywhere, the flag is a symbol, it's the symbol of unity in Spain now.

NORRIS: Javier Ruiz, it was good to talk to you. Thanks so much.

NORRIS: Good talking to you.

NORRIS: Javier Ruiz is the chief editor for the CNN's Spanish affiliate called Quattro.


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Correction Aug. 4, 2008

In the audio for this story, the question beginning, "If I walked through the middle of town in Barcelona or Lisbon today..." mistakenly implied that Lisbon is in Spain. It is in Portugal.



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