Return of Spanish World Cup heroes to Madrid delayed
The return of Spain's World Cup heroes to Madrid was delayed on Monday, DPA reported.
Vicente del Bosque and his players were due to arrive in the Spanish capital at noon, but their flight from Johannesburg left three hours late, meaning they would not touch down at Barajas airport until around 3 pm.
On Sunday, Spain won their first World Cup by beating the Netherlands 1-0 in Johannesburg, with a late goal from national hero Andres Iniesta.
As soon as they arrive in Madrid, Iniesta and company will be taken to the Zarzuela royal palace for an official audience with King Juan Carlos, who was unable to attend the final because he is recovering from a lung operation.
Then the players will go to meet Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who missed the final because of "a busy agenda."
Afterwards, there will be a victory parade through the streets of the capital, with around 3 million fans expected to turn out to cheer their heroes.
The parade will start in Moncloa, seat of the government, then continue through Plaza de Espana, Gran Via, Cibeles, Neptuno, Atocha, Puerta de Toledo and Glorieta de San Vicente, and will finish with a celebration in the Puente del Rey, on the banks of the Manzanares river.
There have been complaints from fans in Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla that the World Cup will only be shown to the fans in Madrid, not in their cities.
These complaints have a particular resonance coming from Barcelona because six of the players in Del Bosque's squad are Catalan and eight of them are Barcelona players.