Spaniards blasted off fireworks and jumped for joy after their team won EURO 2012, giving the country a burst of national pride and temporary relief from the crushing economic woes that have engulfed the nation.
Tens of thousands gathered in central Madrid to watch Spain beat Italy 4-0.
Even better for Spain, the country's team became the first ever to win a European championship, then a FIFA World Cup and then another European championship.
"We needed this win to counteract the suffering caused by the crisis, which seems endless," said a smiling Antonio Ferrillo in downtown Madrid.
Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the 17-nation eurozone, is immersed in a deepening recession and recently asked for a bailout to prop up its hurting banks.
Cars drove by with passengers yelling 'Espana!, Espana!' and 'I am Spanish! I am Spanish!' as they waved the country's red and yellow flag.
The victory gave Spaniards undisputed proof the team is the best in the world, setting off celebrations in all corners of the country.
"This is the best thing in the world that could happen," Vanesa Galilea, a 32-year-old civil servant, said as she danced with friends and thousands more in Madrid's central Cibeles square.
"This generation of footballers is incredible.
"Tonight everyone can forget about the crisis, but it won't disappear, unfortunately.
"Economically this won't change anything, but at least we will be happy for a while. Half of Spain won't show up at work tomorrow, that's for sure!"
Crowds hugged each other, cried and danced with glee after they watched Spain win on a huge screen erected outside the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the home of Real Madrid.
"This is very important for Spain and if it brings the risk premium down tomorrow, all the better,"' said Adrian Barajas, a 35-year-old bank clerk, referring to the skyrocketing risk premium level for Spanish government debt that has raised fears the nation may soon need a full-blown public finances bailout like those accepted by Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
Thiago Alcantara inspired Spain Under-21s to European championship glory, with the reported Manchester United target hitting a hat-trick as Italy was defeated 4-2 in Jerusalem.