by KYW’s Mike Dougherty

Eyes throughout the world were glued to the TV on Sunday as Spain needed extra time to beat the Netherlands 1-0 in soccer’s biggest game (see related story).

worldcup md Fans in Phila. Watch Spain Capture World Cup Title

The celebration in Philadelphia was not to be outdone as thousands gathered in center city for a watch party.

Watching soccer, or “football,” as some say, is best enjoyed in the company of friends. And there was no shortage of friends both old and new at 15th and Locust as the crowd flooded the street and a nearby parking deck to watch the game on a 12-foot by nine-foot jumbo TV screen.

Enrique, from Valencia, Spain, says he’s been waiting his whole life for this moment:

“I’m here supporting Spain from the very beginning. I’m out here, the final was good, even though Spain didn’t play as good as normally they do, but it was awesome. Being in Philly, you can see everybody around — I don’t know, it’s amazing.”

He did wish he could have been back home for the celebration, but he said this block party was better than he ever expected it to be.

Max and Vic from Philadelphia were just happy to be there:

(Max:) “When you can enjoy soccer with your friends, share in it, it just brings people to gether and makes people happy. I can’t believe they were able to shut down a whole block in Philadelphia and pack it with people from all different countries to watch the game, it’s an amazing thing.”

(Vic:) “When someone scores a goal, it’s like everyone in the whole crowd knows each other and it’s just amazing.”

And the fact that they were rooting for Spain made their day that much more special.

(photo by KYW’s Mike Dougherty)

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