They might have hoped it would be third time lucky for Madrid, but it was three strikes and you're out this weekend when the Spanish bid to host the Olympic Games in 2020 was rejected, having failed in its two previous efforts.
And so it was that on Sunday morning, Madrid woke up to the hangover of an economy that continues in crisis, youth unemployment at record levels of 56%, and little to look forward to.
The news dominated the headlines on TV and in the papers. "The great disappointment," shouted the front page of El Mundo newspaper, while ABC said "goodbye to the Olympic dream".
On Saturday night, thousands of Spaniards had filled the streets around the Puerta de Alcalá in the heart of Madrid, high on the hopes of victory, with big screens expected to beam in good news from Buenos Aires. But the party atmosphere was dampened as the rain started to fall, and Madrid was unceremoniously booted out in the first round, silencing the crowd, and sending them home, or to drown their sorrows.
One family had spent four hours awaiting the news, and couldn't believe Madrid had not even got to the final vote. "We didn't expect this! We were ready to celebrate," said Rafael Navarro, who had come with his wife and two daughters. "How could they reject us like that?" Others suggested that next time Madrid would get lucky, but as the crowd dissipated the mood seemed to indicate no one thought that would happen.
The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, tried to be sporting, saying, "There are times in life, and not only in sport, when you win, and times you lose."
There were some, though, who revelled in Madrid's defeat, and on Twitter, many Catalans in Barcelona, which so successfully hosted the Games of 1992, started the hashtag #madrid2MILnunca (#Madrid2000andNever), mocking the idea that Madrid would ever get to host the Games. Another user tweeted: "It's for days like this that Twitter was invented" as they took pleasure in Madrid's suffering. This was perhaps unsurprising, as it comes just days before the Catalan Day of Independence, when a human chain is expected to cross Catalonia, in the latest effort to push for independence from Madrid.
And Sergio Ramos, star of the Real Madrid team, won't have won many friends in the capital last night, tweeting a picture of himself eating sushi, which was perhaps a little raw given that it was Japan that had won the rights to host the games.