Spain’s come-from-behind Davis Cup win over hosts Argentina at the weekend added yet another trophy to the impressive collection racked up by Spain in 2008.
“Spain is sports,” top-selling daily newspaper El Pais wrote Monday, one day after Spain won the most prestigious team title in men’s tennis for the third time.
The paper added the country’s sports success was its “best window” to the world
Fernando Verdasco clinched the Davis Cup for Spain with a thrilling 6-3 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-1 victory over Argentina’s Jose Acasuso in Mar Del Plata on Sunday in the best-of-five series.
The win came despite the last-minute withdrawal of world number one Rafael Nadal through injury and it followed Spain’s Euro 2008 victory in June and cyclist Carlos Sastre’s win in the Tour de France.
“The Plan B was made of gold,” wrote daily newspaper El Mundo.
“Spain does not depend only on its stars. It also has today an impressive second line of attack,” wrote El Pais.
Spain won the European football championship on June 29 with a 1-0 victory over Germany despite being without David Villa, the top scorer at the finals, due to injury.
In 2006, Spain became the world basketball champion in Japan without its biggest star, Los Angeles Lakers centre Pau Gasol who was also injured.
Contador meanwhile became the first rider in 25 years to win all three of cycling’s major races with his victories this year in the Giro D’Italia and the Tour of Spain. He won the Tour de France last year.
“It’s an unforgettable moment and they have made history. Fernando was brilliant – absolutely amazing from the fourth set,” Nadal told Spanish public television TVE after Spain’s Davis Cup win.
The 22-year-old contributed to Spain’s stellar year in sports by winning eight titles this season, including his fourth French Open crown and first Wimbledon trophy, and becoming the first Spanish tennis player to win an Olympic gold medal.
Earlier this year he became the new world number one tennis player, ending Switzerland’s Roger Federer’s run of 237 weeks atop the ATP rankings.
“I want to congratulate the Davis Cup team for this latest achievement for Spanish sport, in what has been without doubt the country’s greatest year in sporting terms,” said Secretary of State for Sport, Jaime Lissavetzky.