Spain handed award
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Spain's hugely successful football team have won the prestigious Prince of Asturias sports award in their homeland, it was announced today.

Spain followed up their success at the European Championships in 2008 by winning the country's first ever FIFA World Cup crown this summer, beating Netherlands 1-0 after extra time in July's final in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A statement on the Fundacion Principe de Asturias website read: "The triumph of the Spanish national team in the World Cup, after having won the European Championship, has become one of the most important achievements for Spanish sport at an international level.

"Their exemplary way of understanding football, based on sportsmanship, fair play and teamwork, has brought millions of people together around a team that has made history."

Vicente del Bosque's side are currently in South America where they are playing Argentina in a friendly in Buenos Aires later today.

The Prince of Asturias awards, which date back to 1981 and which aside from sport include seven other fields, such as arts, technical and scientific research, and international cooperation, will be presented to the various winners later this year at a ceremony in Oviedo.

Last year's sports award went to Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. Previous winners of the award include Rafael Nadal, Lance Armstrong, Michael Schumacher, Hicham El Guerrouj and Carl Lewis.

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