So, no guesses on the reason for the Scottish invasion? *sniffles* I'd hope at least someone on this side of the Atlantic would have chimed in... after all, similar events were taking place in a dozen or so cities around the continent!
I'll give you a few more clues and let's see if you can't figure it out before the end of the post...
Number one, although lots of them were turning crispy red on the beach or downing bears on one of Alicante's many terraces,
many more were to be seen hanging around this place:
Ok, yeah... that's in Spanish and it translates as "World Champions - Welcome to the Club Selección", Selección as in Spain's national football team (soccer for those on the other side of the pond). So why were Scots hanging around a place dedicated to Spain's current darlings? Well, among the many tents set up on this Esplanade on the harbour, most people (including lots of Spaniards) came to line up and go in here:
Yes dear, that man is wearing a sheep on his head! lol!
So, what's inside that's such a big deal? Well lots of interesting historical knick-knacks from past World Cups, like these shoes and ball (imagine kicking that around!) from the first intercontinental football competition during the 1920 summer Olympics in Antwerp. Spain took home the silver, gold went to hosts Belgium:
More interesting was the Jules Rimet Trophy, the first World Cup Trophy which was retired and given to Brazil after they won the title for the third time in 1970:
That's actually a replica as the original was stolen in 1983.
Of course, this being a Spanish event, special place was given to the winners of the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship (Spain's 2nd victory in this tournament, the first was when they hosted it in 1964).
With the Henry Delaunay Trophy on display:
Since 2008 Spain's national team has been on fire, leading up to the World Cup victory in South Africa last year, to the point that fans have been harking back to Spain's "Golden Era" (in the 16th century, Americas and all that) and are calling the 21st century the "Golden Century" for Spain's national team! :D
Here are the World Cup champions:
And here's what everybody has really come to see (and get their photo taken with)!
Including Pol ;o)
There's no way we were going to miss out!
But of course, all these Scots didn't fly down to Alicante just to admire the golden trophy... no matter how serious football fans they are!
Nope, they came for this:
Final qualifying match for the 2012 European Championship... held in ALICANTE!!! VERY exciting for fans of the national team!!! Which I think you can tell I AM! :o)
A desperate match for Scotland who need to win in order to be 2nd in the group and have a chance to qualify for the tournament. Spain just wants the glory of having won for the first time all their matches in a qualifying round (apparently very few countries have managed that). Sorry Scotland, but although the last time the "Selección" was in Alicante was a decade ago, they've never lost in our city! :D
So guess where I was on the night of Tuesday Oct 11th? More on that in the next post! (I'm hungry and it's getting late, lol!)