BORING? Just the contrary, actually, for Spain were unquestionably, undeniably outstanding. Si senor, 4-0 that was the final score. And in beating Italy in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev Spain have passed their way into the history books.
In retaining their European crown, Spain on Sunday became the first side to complete back-to-back wins in the competition's 52-year history. Vicente del Bosque's side also became the first to win three consecutive major tournaments after their triumphs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
Besides that when Fernando Torres stroked in his country's third goal, he became the first player to score in two European Championship finals.
Much has been said about Spain's "tika-taka" style and individual talent - and rightly so, for to quote the team's chief tormentor Andres Iniesta: "This is the style (tiki taka) that has brought us success ... Don't forget, a few years back, this style changed the history of Spain's football forever."
Also as important is Spain's football unity. When you talk about Spanish football you will always be reminded of the great divide: that Barcelona-Real Madrid divide. There has always been great rivalry between Barca and Real players, but never quite so intense since Jose Mourinho took over at the Bernabeu in 2010. Many were worried that La Roja's campaign this year could have been derailed by this rivalry. Step in San Iker or Spanish and Real captain Iker Casillas, who famously admitted that had the Euros been in 2011 the tension between Barca and Real players might have proven problematic.
Casillas is not just Spain's No 1, their goalkeeper, but also their leader. So he worked on uniting his teammates. One of the reasons those tensions are less incendiary now is that Casillas contacted his Barca counterparts Xavi and Carles Puyol, seeking a solution. Mourinho was not happy; del Bosque was forever grateful.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
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