Spain walked all over Italy in the Euro 2012 final, like no one has ever before. The first team to win back to back Euros, the first team to win three major titles in a row. Their first ever win over Italy in a competitive match, the first team ever to score 4 goals in a Euro final. A grand performance, shrouded by the marks of history in the making.
Someone told Italy that they might be favorites to win the final against a better Spanish team. Despite all the progress the Italians made during the tournament in terms of their execution on the pitch, the Euro 2012 final showed that Spain are in a league of their own right now.
And so it Begins…
It wasn’t the best of tournaments for David Silva, but it didn’t cause Del Bosque to bench him and forget about him like it happened for him in the World Cup. Silva didn’t really head the ball in the first goal, it more just hit him off of Fabregas pass, but it was enough to start the 4-0 thrashing and take a lot of air out of the Italian sails.
Back to the Middle
With Mario Balotelli, body language is everything. He was frustrated and out of it from the first minute on the pitch, and his helplessness growing with each passing minute and with every goal Italy conceded. He wasn’t classy, as you wouldn’t expect him to be, after the final whistle, storming off in anger.
Ignore the Celebrating Background
Italy weren’t that bad as the scoreline might suggest. Iker Casillas was a busy man during the match, especially in the first half, when there was still some fire breathing in the Italian hearth. But they couldn’t stop Spain from reaching Buffon’s box, or find a way to catch the Spanish side unawares through a counter attack. All that was left in the end was to sulk, and suck in the magnitude of the disappointment.
Children Play, Adults…
If there was one man you wanted to see celebrate, it’s Fernando Torres. This tournament probably proved how it’s all in the head for the Spanish striker, who’s hoping that next season will be the one he finally returns to consistent scoring form. He was so-so in the tournament, but no one can complain about three goals, including one in the final.
What can Del Bosque ask for? A La Liga champion, a European champion with Real Madrid and now with the Spanish national team – World and European champion. Not usually regarded among the finest of head coaches in the game, but he’s got the credentials no one else has. Spain are in a special, special era. Who knows if this was the peak of it or just another notch in their belt. Three major titles, back to back to back, for the first time in history.