Euphoric soccer fans flooded College Street to celebrate Spain’s historic World Cup win Sunday afternoon.
A crowd of a few hundred watching the game at Plaza Flamingo restaurant at College and Bathurst Street poured out onto the roadway after Spain’s goal in extra time against the Netherlands, pushing the team to a 1-0 victory.
“There is no sleeping tonight,” one teenaged boy yelled.
At least a thousand revelers of all ages and nationalities celebrated into the night, as the sound of cheers, car horns and the now-infamous vuvuzelas filled the air.
“Spain had the best team. We won and I am proud of my players. And the best part tonight is fiesta!” Maria Consuelo, of Puerto Rico, said.
About a dozen fans climbed atop a TTC streetcar which was forced to stop amid the pandemonium.
Not only was it Spain’s first-ever World Cup victory, it was the nation’s first appearance in the tournament’s title match.
“I cheer for Spain, not because I am Spanish, but because they are the best team,” fan Pablo Lorenzo said. “I do not know how to explain this to someone who is not a follower of the cup, because this feeling comes only from the football.”
Not only was the day a success for fans, but also for street vendors who capitalized on the intense pride that revelers displayed.
Souvenirs were readily available for purchase.
Sandy Leather, owner of Promotional Wear – a printing company – made 400 souvenir T-shirts as mementos of Spain’s victory which she sold out of the back of her van.
When asked what she would have done if the Netherlands had won she just smiled and said: “it’s a risk I was willing to take.”
The owners of TTB Trading CO. LTD Food Market & Hardware, located beside the Plaza Flamingo, supplied water for hot and thirsty fans partying outside the store. One owner said that he was selling water so quickly that he could hardly keep up.