The popularity of the Spanish national football team was highlighted once again Wednesday night as the penalty shoot-out between them and Portugal attracted the country's biggest ever TV audience.
Spain' s dramatic penalty win in the penalty shoot-out against Portugal in the first semi-final of the European Championship has taken the Spanish to their third final in the last three international tournaments, reported Xinhua.
The Spanish won the 2008 European Championships and followed that up by lifting the 2010 World Cup, now the side coached by Vicente del Bosque has become the first European side to reach three consecutive finals.
Wednesday' s triumph on penalties against Portugal was watched by a total of 18,141,000 Spaniards with 83 percent of the country's TV audience tuning in to watch the drama from the penalty spot.
19,086,000 people were watching the final penalty of the shoot-out as Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas scored Spain's fifth penalty to qualify the Spanish for the final.
It is the highest ever TV audience for a single TV program in Spain and shows just how much the football team has caught the imagination of Spaniards.