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Juan Jiménez | 01/07/2012
Three-times champions, legends, and an example to generations to come. This is Spain, that irrefutable force, who tonight in Kiev lifted their third European Championship. With it, they captured a treble that is entirely their own, a set of back-to-back European titles and a World Cup. And they did it by beating three-time world champions Italy 4-0, with some wonderful goals. It is a result without precedent in history. But then, this is a team without precedents.
This is a team made up of a group of players who made themselves winners in 2008. Then, instead of resting on their laurels, they set about perfecting their game plan. What we saw tonight against Italy in the final of Euro 2012 was their latest work. The masterpiece of a united group of players who have been simply indestructible, even in difficult times like the Madrid-Barça confrontations last year after the fiery Supercopa de España matches. The enormous maturity of the players, with Casillas and Xavi as leaders, and the experience of Vicente del Bosque (who has now equalled Helmut Schoen as the only coach to win a European Championship and a World Cup), is the glue which keeps it together. Spain were dominant against Italy, who remain with one single Euro triumph, in 1968. They'll have to keep waiting.
This time it didn't take Torres to rescue victory with his flick over Lahm as in Vienna. Nor even did we see the anguished battle settled by Iniesta's goal of two years ago, in the World Cup final. This time, Spain was in pursuit of perfection, with four goals to do justice to the master plan they have developed. They were scored by Silva, Jordi Alba, Torres and Mata; players that arrived here on the back of their great performances at City, Valencia and Chelsea. It was a demonstration of the democratic spirit which Luis Aragonés invented, present in Vienna, and which now surrounds Vicente del Bosque's side. Spain are a ripe side in the best possible way, with a fearsome variety of strings to their bow. Strong, united, inspired, intelligent, tactical, safe. And, above all, winners. Their ability to manage games, to make winning a custom, is now in the history books. This latest victory had the perfect script.
Experienced in the business of finals, Spain did without the pomp and avoided the particular atmosphere that envelops these occasions. They couldn't have played a better opening 15 minutes, as they gave a summary of their domination of the last four years. And they crowned it with an unforgettable goal, perfect in execution: Iniesta saw Cesc free. The false '9' paused brilliantly as he waited for Silva who scored a fantastic header coming in at angle. It was too much for the great Buffon.
Spain dropped down a peg for the following quarter of an hour and once again Iker came to the rescue. He was ready, he was prepared, he was perfect. He was no longer a mere goalkeeper, but a guardian for the whole country. Spain put their faith in Iker, and Iker responded. He plucked two dangerous crosses out of the sky and then was unmoved by Cassano's shot, which escaped the bodies of several Spain defenders but could not beat Iker.
Spain soon tired of suffering, and put their foot on the accelerator again. Jordi Alba, who has played this tournament as if he has been riding a motorbike, ripped down the left hand side and ran on to a perfect pass by Xavi to score the second goal, surely the best of his career so far. Xavi, a modern legend who tonight picked up the 23rd trophy of his career, was the architect of the goal. He saw Alba's run, calculated his speed and timed the pass to perfection. 2-0.
The goal was also a tribute to Del Bosque, who trusted in Cesc again because he knew that keeping possession was the key to winning the game. Del Bosque, by being loyal to his ideas and winning this tournament, has achieved the ultimate triumph.
Prandelli, frustrated with Cassano and Italy's general lack of attacking venom, threw on Di Natale after the break. In just ten minutes, the Udinese forward headed a chance over the bar and then came one-on-one with Casillas, who was once again a gigantic presence in goal and denied Di Natale.
Referee Pedro Proença then failed to give a clear penalty to Spain after Bonucci blocked a shot with his hand in the box. It was already looking bleak for Italy but things took a turn for the worse when substitute Motta became injured and Prandelli had already used his three substitutions (Balzaretti and Di Natale had already come on for Chiellini and Cassano). Italy collapsed from fatigue and Spain ordered the fat lady to start singing. Xabi Alonso, Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets were controlling the game and then Del Bosque threw on Fernando Torres, who sowed the game up.
Torres scored the third to add to his goal in the final in Vienna and then set up the fourth goal for Mata, which was a work of art. Everything had gone as planned. Spain won 4-0 but were kind to Italy, who were made to look tiny by these giants of modern football. Spain won with style and class and lifted the European Championship trophy once again. Spain - three time champions. Spain - legends of modern football.
IMAGEN: España: Tricampeona y leyenda
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3 Real College Student of ATL - 04-07-2012 - 02:23:26h
2 Sabrina Cortes - 02-07-2012 - 06:33:08h
Felicidades Espania, you have made history today and have demonstrated to the world a football style that will set the ground in stone. You deserve this victory and it is an honour to have Spanish Blood. I couldnt be more happy and proud of this moment..... Gracias Sabrina
1 spain - 02-07-2012 - 01:48:50h
Spain the best in the world!!!!!!
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