Sydney and Sapporo are 8,614 kilometres apart, but they’re now linked forever in the history of Spanish football note Marca. Mikel Oyarzabal’s goal in Japan this morning was La Roja’s first goal in the Olympic Games since Gabri scored in Australia 21 years ago.
Four Olympic Games have passed since then, with the Spanish football team competing in two of them. Back in Australia in 2000, Gabri scored Spain’s second goal against Cameroon, putting them 2-0 up at half time. The African side fought back after the break, however, levelling the score just shy of the hour mark and then going on to win on penalties to take the gold.
This was before the Olympic Games became basically an U23 tournament for football, with all senior players involved. Spain have achieved nothing of note in the sport at the Olympic Games since, but stand a good chance this year under Luis de la Fuente. Oyarzabal, at least, has got Spain dreaming, and broken a 21-year-old curse in the process.