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King Felipe celebrates his love of sports in audience with European basketball champions

King Felipe celebrated his love for sports when he welcomed Spain’s men’s local basketball team following their win in the European Championships. 

On Monday, 29 May, His Majesty opened the doors of Zarzuela Palace to the entire team, which included not only the players and the coach but also all the high-end officials. 

The King posed for big family photographs with the trophy and a jersey with his name on it – a gift from the winning team. 

But there was another, much more informal portrait: a selfie that was taken by some of the players in the centre of the room, rather than the stands that the Royal Palace uses for big audience portraits to ensure that everyone is visible. 

The King appears smiling at the centre of the semicircle in the selfie, which appears to have been taken on a black iPhone by team captain and combo guard Sergio Llull Meliá. 

King Felipe was also photographed listening attentively to the few words pronounced by team President Florentino Pérez, who offered a brief congratulatory speech. 

The Real Madrid Basketball team won its 11th EuroLeague title on Sunday, 21 May, after a nail-biter game that ended with a 79-78 victory for the Spanish team facing the Olympiacos team from Greece. 

Real Madrid (not to be confused with the homonym football team) is not the only Spanish team in the league, with Barcelona and Valencia also having secured a spot; the capital’s team, however, can boast the record for most titles won.

King Felipe has long demonstrated a passion for sports of all kinds: from football (soccer, for our American readers) to badminton, and now basketball, His Majesty seems to always have a close eye on the sporting performances of Spanish teams and players, often tweeting to congratulate about their successes. 

Back in 1996, when Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games, then-Prince Felipe even competed in sailing and acted as flag bearer for his country during the opening ceremony.