My Spanish friend and soccer journalist Carlos Artilles had tears in his eyes yesterday afternoon when Spain in the last minutes of the 2010 FIFA World Cup put the ball in the back of Holland’s net. ---The 200-plus mostly Hispanics erupted in north Salt Lake club The Rail as if in one voice after two and half hours of frustration.
My eldest daughter Elli was supporting Holland because it has an Argentine princess – Elli was born in Argentina. I, on the other hand, wanted Spain to win, after a deeply frustrating World Cup, with all the teams I supported – England, the United States and Argentina – making disappointed departures after mostly lackluster performances.
After a first half dominated as much by Holland’s aggressive fouling and English ref Howard Webb’s prolific use of the yellow card as by Spain’s struggle to find a rhythm, the second half saw both sides getting chances in the goal mouth only for the momentum to fizzle out every time.
The great and the good of the Hispanic leadership came out to sweat in The Rail, among them Rico’s Jorge Fierro and two Zions Bank employed senators, Ross Romero and Luz Robles.
But the afternoon belonged to Spain in front of Holland’s ‘narajana mechanica’ – the orange machine – who despite squandering so many chances, finally saw the perfect right foot-smashed goal in the dying minutes of extra time mark Spain as the champions of the world.
It must have been hard for Carlos Artilles, celebrating in The Rail while his nation and family went beserk in Europe.
Spain is going through such difficult economic turmoil at the moment. If ever there was a reason in Spain to party until you puke last night was it.