Hundreds of Spain fans gathered at Barajas Airport this morning to greet their fallen world champions.
The crowd of fans, young and old, waited at the arrivals entrance, where the Spain squad were due to come through, but after waiting for longer than was normal, word circulated that they were coming through another door.
Many fans then ran through the airport to try and still catch them – one of whom a wheelchair bound man who forced himself up an escalator – but they missed them, as the La Roja squad slipped out through a back door as quickly as possible.
In a sad scene, the young fans were left devastated, with one mother summing it up for them: ‘We came to show them that we’re with them in victory and in defeat, but they weren’t able to show the same gesture.’
In mitigation, it’s worth noting that the Spain plane had been hit by a lightning bolt on landing, so the players were possibly a bit shocked and distressed, and not in the mood for putting on a false show of happiness for the fans.