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In one newspaper cartoon, Mr. del Bosque is surrounded by Mr. Casillas and other stars such as Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, who are all dressed up in suits for a new line of work.

“The solution to our problems: the government of prime minister del Bosque and his ministers,” read the vignette in El Mundo.

As the country recovered from a national hangover of elation, pride and booze, Spaniards soaked up sweet memories of a night no one will forget. For a few hours, the realities of 25 percent unemployment, a grinding recession and a banking bailout from the European Union to the tune of up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) were put aside.

“No team has ever done what they have done, and it helps you to stop thinking about the crisis for 90 minutes during the game and the next day for the party,” said Carlo del Pino, 25, a university student.

Mr. del Pino said he hopes to teach physical education and coach one day, but prospects are grim for graduates now with cutbacks in education funding, teacher pay cuts and layoffs of temporary teachers.

“I don’t know where I will be working when I graduate, whether it’s in Spain, Portugal or some other country,” he said. “But all the Spanish kids who are here cheering the team may want to do sports because of the victory, so that could help me.”

Retired air force officer Ramon Ramirez, 76, looked a bit out of place, dressed smartly in long sleeve formal shirt and pressed jeans amid a sea of folks decked out in red and yellow as he waited for the team to pass.

“For Spain, the headlines around the world have finally changed to good instead of the bad we’ve seen for months. Let’s hope it continues,” he said.

Maria Jose Herraiz, a 54-year-old homemaker, was so nervous she had to listen to the game on the radio instead of watching it on TV.

“When I heard people scream, ‘Goal!’ I would run to the TV,” she said.

She called the victory marvelous, a potent shot of mood-boosting adrenalin for people sorely in need of it, but she said reality would come back soon.

“It will be a sort of flower that blooms for just one day, because economic problems do not go away just because Spain wins,” Ms. Herraiz said.

Her two adult children — ages 26 and 28 — are both still living at home. They are struggling on rock-bottom salaries as low as 300 euros ($377) a month for half-day work despite being a computer scientist and a physicist.

Still, for one night, they came home just before dawn after a rousing celebration, their faces painted in red and yellow.

Ciaran Giles contributed to this report.