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Today Spain is still one large hangover after the victory celebrations.
After 44 years, the country with the world's best soccer league finally won a major tournament: the European Nation's Cup.
But the best thing about it, and what Spaniards are happiest about was the way it was won, their national team's style of play.
Today's Spain plays a type of collective "all for one and one for all" football that is based on keeping possession of the ball, of moving it in intricate patterns until the opposing team is off balance and then striking. This requires enormous ball handling skills and vision of the game.
This is the natural form of Spanish play as Spanish footballers, in general, are shorter, slower and of lighter build than most of the other major soccer powers. However they have only started to play like this in recent years.
An old Spanish communist, a veteran of the civil war, who had returned to Spain from exile in Mexico during the 1980s, told me an interesting story once.
He said that in the days of the Spanish Republic, Spain played elegant, classy soccer but since most of the players and coaches were of working class origin (soccer is a working class game) and were naturally people of the left, when Franco won, they were all dead, in prison, or in exile.
Consequently at the end of the civil war there were almost no good trainers or skillful players around to teach the basic skills. Remember that there were none of the videos, which today allow little Swedish children to try their luck practicing Brazilian esoterica like the folha seca. In the 40s and 50s of the last century, if you couldn't actually see it in person, you simply couldn't learn it.
In answer to this the Franco regime invented the myth of the "furía española" a hotblooded fury that would carry all before it. Playing wildly, without skill became a symbol of hairy chested, fascist, machismo... and losing became a national pass time.
Because to be shorter, slower and lighter of build than most of the other major soccer powers, and skill-less to boot ... and then, also to be "furious" is a sure recipe for disaster... and so it was.
So you can see that to finally recover Spain's old playing style has even a certain political significance. This explains Spanish Prime Minister, Zapatero's statement that winning the European National Football Championship, was the "end of the transition".
Thus, in this era of "Iron Men" and "Hulks" and "X-Men", nitzchean "super men" with super powers, an era of Nike, of Beckhams and Ronaldos, in days like these, a group of stubby, "boys next door", who when they get the ball, you never see it again until it is in your goal net: these smaller, lighter and slower young men have just skillfully won one of world sport's greatest prizes and may win a good deal more of them. DS