I’m No Patriot, But Spain’s World Cup Triumph Fills Me With Joy

Following Spain’s victory over Holland in the World Cup Final, Ekhi Lopetegi – bassist with Barcelona-based bliss-poppers Delorean – looks back on an unforgettable night

I’m not patriotic. As a band, originally we’re from the Basque country. So nationality, for me, is not a black-and-white issue. After Spain won the World Cup, the Spanish president Jose Luis Zapatero said it was important, because football gives unity to nations. I don’t give a damn about that.

What matters to me is the quality of the football, the passion of the players, the extremes of emotion the game brings out at its best. When the final whistle blew, the captain Iker Casillas – up until that point the most self-possessed player in the tournament – burst into tears. That was incredible to see, the pure joy of it.

And of course, when Andres Iniesta scored, he lifted his shirt to reveal a message in memory of Espanyol’s captain, Dani Jarque, who died last year. That just made it even more emotional.

We’ve been on tour in America, so it wasn’t always easy to catch all of Spain’s games. But we’ve followed the tournament closely, and become quite obsessed with it. We even bought a vuvuzela for the tourbus!

We were lucky enough to watch the final in a bar in Brooklyn called Zebulon. There must have been 150 people in there, hardly any of them Spanish. But you know what? By extra time, every one of them was rooting for Spain.

I think that’s testament to the beauty of Spain’s passing style. They play the same way as Barcelona. It can be boring when one team, has so much possession, but there’s something thrilling about it too.

There were more direct, arguably more exciting teams in the tournament, such as Germany. But Spain ultimately deserved to win, and I feel so fortunate to have watched the game and shared in the players’ happiness.