It came as no surprise that Spain were crowned as the winners of UEFA Euro 2012 on Sunday, after easily beating Italy (4-0) in a one-sided final.
Right from the word go, the Spanish took control of the match and carved out a number of good chances. While the media have often been critical of the Iberians for being too calculating during the course of these championships, the final proved to be entirely different: the Spanish knocked the ball around quickly before launching incisive attacks, thanks to a far more direct style of play than we are used to seeing.
Despite their best efforts, the Italians were unable to hold out for long, and Thiago Motta’s departure from the match through injury after coach Cesare Prandelli had made all three substitutions caused further problems for the Italians. In the end, Spain’s victory was straightforward, and with this latest success, they have made another piece of history in world football, as illustrated by the following statistics:
-On Sunday, Spain became the first team to win the European Championship on two consecutive occasions.
-They also became the first team to win three consecutive finals in major tournaments (Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup, and Euro 2012).
-It was the first time that a team has won by such a large margin in the final of a major tournament.
-The Spanish striker Fernando Torres became the first player to score in two consecutive European Championship finals. Midfielder Xavi also became the first to make an assist in two separate finals.
-Spain have now equaled Germany’s record for the most competition wins with three victories (1964, 2008, and 2012).
-Fernando Torres won the Golden Boot award after scoring three goals during the competition. In total, six players scored three goals, but the Spaniard was declared the winner after his assist for Mata in the final and the short amount of time he had played on the pitch during the competition.