Spain has been on the world media this year more than ever before.
At the beginning of this year Spain appeared in the headlines facing the consequences of the financial crisis and the supposed Greek domino effect. Later on, an unemployment rate over 20% made the situation even worse. Following with the Spanish Presidency-in-turn of the EU, many of the European policies made by the President of the Spanish Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, created a large number of headlines in the global media.
However, the situation and the public image of Spain became better when on July 9 we won the World Cup. That day I was attending the 20th Anniversary INCOSE International Symposium 2010 in Chicago. Being at the hotel of the Symposium, I had the chance to watch the game with System Engineers coming from all over the world to attend the conference. At the beginning I started following the match with a couple of Dutch, however, the tension of the game made me seek for the Spanish support and luckily, there were Spaniards from Madrid and Canary Island attending the Symposium and also holding their breath the same bar.
When in the minute 116 Andrés Iniesta made Spain Champion, everything started to change for Spanish people. I enjoyed the symposium and also made very good friends with the other Spaniards with whom I shared those moments of tension.
Everyone in Spain celebrated this sweet moment of the sport Spanish history. I celebrated it during the evening in Cafe Iberico in the center of Chicago. There hundred of expats lionising this special and unforgettable day.
Spain was in the headlines of newspapers and TV over the world. We still had a critical economical situation in the country, however, that was the time to gain motivation and feel unique. That definitely would help the economy in the short term. Actually according to ABN Amro Bank study a World Cup provided a GDP gain of 0.7 percentage points.
However, wining the World Cup was not the only remarkable sport event during this year: Rafael Nadal could make it again for Spain in Wimbledon, and the Spanish rider Alberto Contador got the third Tour de France.
Last news was that Michelle Obama spent a vacations with her daughter in Andalusia, in South Spain. She stay in the city of Marbella, in Malaga and visited also the Alhambra in Granada.
Also U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha had lunch with Spain’s king and queen on Sunday at the royal family’s holiday retreat on the resort island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean.
Being a Spaniard living in Boston is such a pleasure read the news like this about your own country. I hope with these sport achievements will increase the motivation and lead people of Spain and we can overcome the crisis.