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Stunned Spaniards gasp at World Cup exit

Iker Casillas

Madrid: Grim-looking Spaniards clutching beers in Madrid bars grasped for explanations Thursday as their heroes crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages, beaten 2-0 by Chile.

“What do I think? Sadness. And I think they didn’t play at all. I think they were tired,” said Joaquin Lamas, 34, a salesman, who had painted his face in the Spain colours and donned a red Spain shirt ready for a victory party. “It is a surprise. I was not expecting it.

I thought we would get to the final. I was hoping to celebrate today,” he said as half a dozen customers nursed drinks and glared glumly at a television in the city centre’s Taberna del Gijon bar.

“From the fifth minute I knew Spain was not going to do anything,” he complained. “Bad, bad, very bad. I am too sad to say anything good,” he said.

Spain’s sporting press reflected the mood.

“World failure” headlined the online edition of conservative daily El Mundo, as the defeat of the Roja relegated the story of King Felipe VI’s ascension to the throne to second place.

“Failed!” echoed Spain’s biggest-selling sports daily Marca after Chile’s Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz administered the killer blows to Spain’s World Cup dreams.

“A sad farewell to the champions of the world,” the paper said.

“Spain once again gave a very poor image, dominated by a Chilean team that barely had to make an effort,” Marca said.

“In the first half Vargas and Aranguiz showed the deficiencies of a team that is crying out for generational change,” it added. “Vicente del Bosque’s team could not give more in football nor physical fitness.”

Rival sports paper AS headlined: “Goodbye to the World Cup”.

“Spain did not react and becomes the first team to be eliminated,” it said.

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