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Rediff.com  » Sports » Spain's football success helps erase economic woes

Spain's football success helps erase economic woes

July 10, 2010 15:18 IST

Spain's unprecedented success at the World Cup finals is helping people forget the country's economic woes, captain Iker Casillas said on Friday.

Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe and the Socialist government in Madrid has introduced tough austerity measures, including wage cuts for public-sector workers, in a bid to prevent a Greek-style debt crisis.

A wave of joy swept across the Iberian nation after Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Germany in the semi-finals and Casillas and his team mates will bid for a first Spanish World Cup triumph against Netherlands in the final on Sunday.

"Many people are having a bad time because of the (financial) crisis and this is a tremendous joy that makes us forget everything around us," goalkeeper Casillas said in an interview with Radio Marca.

"I am a privileged person but I have family and friends and I know what people are going through," he added.

Wednesday's match in Durban was screened on 14 million Spanish television sets and captured over 80 percent of the television audience, a media consultancy said.

Some in Spain have likened the distraction of the World Cup to the "bread and circuses" provided to the population of ancient Rome to prevent unrest.

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