On Sunday,when the final whistle blew,thousands of Mexicans took to the streets and converged on Plaza de Cibeles in the trendy Roma Norte district of Mexico City. They blew their vuvuzelas (stadium horns),banged drums,and marched around the squares fountain,singing and chanting.
The Cibeles monument and fountain in Mexico City is an exact replica of the monument by the same name,found in the Spanish capital of Madrid. This is the sacred place where Spain’s fans traditionally gather to celebrate major soccer victories. Some believe the Cibeles in Mexico was erected so that Mexicans could celebrate victories alongside of Spain.
Though once a colonial master,Mexico’s ties to Spain still run deep through culture,language,legacy and more recently,massive investment. Over 3,000 Spanish companies have invested over $34 billion in the Mexican economy over the last 2 years alone,making Spain the #2 investor in Mexico worldwide,after the U.S.
Much of Spain’s investment has been aimed at an 80-mile,white-sand swath of pristine coastline on Mexico’s Caribbean coast,known as the Riviera Maya. Huge Spanish companies like OHL (largest hotel developer in the world),Bancaja and Banco de Valencia (largest banks in Spain) have dumped more than $4 billion dollars into this explosive,emerging real estate market,recently dubbed the New Spain by the London Financial times.
Whatever the many reasons,Mexicans feel a very close personal tie as they celebrate victory with the country of Cervantes,in turn,Spain is betting big on the economic success of Mexico. The two countries share common roots and maybe inevitably,common futures.
Perhaps,a Mexican fan celebrating at Cibeles put the relationship between the fellow countries best,“When it comes to football,we are more Spanish”.