World Cup in London: Netherlands & Spain

Monday, July 12, 2010

Or: Voetbal! Football with London's Dutch fans & Futbol! Football with London's Spanish fans

To watch the World Cup Final last night, I had planned to be with Dutch fans singing Hup Holland Hup! But with queues outside Dutch bar De Hems from 10am, it didn't look like I'd be getting in there.

Holland football fans, London

In fact, nearly all of Soho was awash with red and orange yesterday - jolly fans all singing and dancing, wearing fun costumes and having a very good time.

Holland football fans, London

In the end, me and two friends settled in Devonshire Arms, a bar where on one side there were mainly Dutch fans and on the other side mainly Spanish fans. The best of both worlds!

Dutch & Spanish football fans, London

We placed ourselves firmly in the middle - I was rooting for both sides: Netherlands winning would have made me super-happy, Spain winning would have made me £135. Win-win all round.

The game was really not the most exciting, but the fans made up for it: chanting Ho-lland and Es-pan-a, sometimes breaking out into song.

Spain football fans, London

As the game dragged on, their enthusiasm did not wane, but everyone was on tenterhooks until near the very end when Spain scored. Joy to the left of me, dejection to the right.

Spanish football fans, London


Once the match ended, the Spanish fans poured out onto the streets. A group of women went running past cheering and waving flags. Piccadilly Circus was awash was red and yellow, people climbing all the way up the Eros to celebrate, sing and dance. One man even dropped his trousers giving us all quite an eyeful.

Spanish football fans, London


And with the sights and sounds of Spain celebrates, I slipped away.

So that's the World Cup. From brilliant Brazilians to gallant Ghanians to surprised Slovenians and unhappy Uruguayans, it's been quite a show.

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