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Spainish football team gets a heroes' welcome home

07-13-2010 09:50 BJT Special Report:World Cup 2010 |

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Spain's football team has returned home to a jubilant nation and a huge fiesta after winning the country's first World Cup title.

The team received a heroes' welcome in Madrid and met King Juan Carlos at the Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace in Madrid is usually only used for major state affairs. But, on Monday it was for the return of the nation's sporting heroes and to debut the Jules Rimet trophy.

Spain's King Juan Carlos and members of the royal family greeted the coach and players on their arrival.

Team captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas let the King hold the trophy, and presented him with a Spain football team shirt.

The King made a heartfelt speech at the welcome home ceremony. He said the team has made the wildest dreams of all Spaniards come true.

Juan Carlos, Spanish King, said, "Today is a day of enormous excitement and immense pride. Excitement at a triumph well deserved, and at an exceptional team that has made the hearts of all Spaniards swell with pride. This has given joy to all Spaniards and made all our wildest dreams come true. Thank you champions, in the name of all of Spain, and of all Spaniards. You have made Spain known all over the world."

The World Cup team was later received by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. They also took part in an open-top bus parade through the capital, and shared the World Cup joy with hundreds of thousands of fans.

The welcome comes after a noisy celebration on the team's flight home.

Players sang and danced in the aisles of their plane, blew vuvuzelas and tucked into a celebration cake provided by airline staff.


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