BRAZIL BEAT: Spain’s team plane hit by lightning

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Spain's Cesc Fabregas leaves the field after the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and Spain at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014.  Spain won the match 3-0.  (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Spain’s Cesc Fabregas leaves the field after the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and Spain at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014. Spain won the match 3-0. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — After being unceremoniously booted from World Cup competition, Spain’s national team had a tough ride home when the plane most players were traveling in was hit by lightning just before it landed in Madrid.

A spokeswoman for airline Iberia SA said the lightning strike Tuesday caused no damage and that the jet landed normally without any injuries to those aboard. She spoke on condition of anonymity because of company policy preventing her from being identified.

The weather around Madrid was stormy when the lightning strike happened. Experts say commercial jets tend to be hit by lightning about once a year.

After losing in Brazil to the Netherlands and Chile, Spain finished its World Cup appearance with a 3-0 win against Australia on Monday.

Twenty of the team’s 23-member squad came home on the plane hit by lightning, accompanied by team staff and journalists.

Spanish media said the players left the airport in vans without speaking to the media and didn’t go close to about 200 fans who showed up to welcome them.

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