The original Plaza de Cibeles is located in Madrid. But there’s a slightly grungier replica located two blocks from my house.
The circle has become the de-facto spot for the Spanish community to gather after various World Cup wins (El Universal even has a nice little video of the action). I first noticed the herds of red-shirted hooligans after the Spain-Paraguay match-up last Saturday. Then, it happened again after the Spain-Germany game in the semifinals.
There’s obviously a big connection between Spain and Mexico—in terms of family ties and history—though it’s impossible to tell how many fans are either born-and-bred Spaniards or people with Spanish parents…or just people that decided to support Spain. The spot is so popular, the local Cerveceria told my friend last night “nos complica mucho ofrecer servicio durante el partido… .” Meaning basically: it would be really complicated for us to offer service during the game. Whatever.
I went to the Glorieta de Cibeles right after the game, and the Cerveceria was open. And the scene was civil, yet highly festive. Inspired by Germany’s psychic octopus (pulpo) —nicknamed “El Nuevo Nostradamus” by El Universal—the cheer of the day was “Pulpo Paul, Pulpo Paul, Pulpo Paul.”
Still now, nearly two hours later, I can hear bursting roars from the crowd and constant car-beeping. I assume this is jubilation plain-and-simple, and not a reaction to the copious riot police waiting around.
(Photos taken by me today.)