VIENNA: A day after the Spanish summer night’s dream came true with their team’s 1-0 win over Germany in the European Championship final in Vienna, cranes, lorries and street cleaners were busy returning the city to normal.
Some 40,000 German fans and 15,000 Spanish supporters had descended on the Austrian capital on Sunday to cheer their sides and watch the Euro 2008 final on one of the big screens in the huge fanzone or in restaurants and bars.
“There were definitely more Germans but the Spanish were a lot noisier,” said Andrea Jelinek from the Vienna police.
Partying had stretched well into the early hours with samba bands roaming the streets followed by fans dancing and drinking.
For the past three weeks supporters from Croatia, Poland, Germany, Russia, Spain and co-hosts Austria had transformed the picturesque squares and quaint little roads in the historic city centre of the Austrian capital into a party zone, displaying their vibrant national colours and chanting their songs.
Whether it was Spanish supporters in Flamenco dresses and Torero outfits, Germans donning huge tin-foil trophies on their heads or Croatians covered from top to toe in red and white checks, police said the fans had almost all been peaceful.
“They were happy, they were friendly, they were noisy, but most of all they partied together,” said Jelinek. “It was truly the soccer celebration we hoped it would be.”
Vienna featured the tournament’s biggest fanzone, stretched out along a tree-lined boulevard curving around its city centre, blocking off one of the capital’s main traffic arteries.
Yesterday morning, work had already begun to take down the huge screens and scaffolding in front of some of the city’s historic landmarks, while street cleaners were busy sweeping up the remaining party debris amid some tired looking Spain and Germany supporters wandering the streets.
Most Viennese seemed to be relieved that the quaint and sleepy city centre would return to normal.
“It was sort of nice to see all these young people from everywhere,” said Gertrude Elsner, 73, strolling past a little souvenir shop where soccer memorabilia had already been marked with special sale prices and assistants busied themselves taking down the Spanish and German flag decorations.
“But some of them made a lot of noise, and they also left beer cans everywhere.” – Reuters
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