WE DID IT.
Spain is the first national team to ever win three international tournaments in a row. IN.A.ROW.
La Roja won the 2008 Euro Championship after a 1-nil victory against Germany with a goal by Fernando Torres. They also won the 2010 World Cup after a lone goal by Andres Iniesta in the 116′ of extra time against the Netherlands.
And today, well, Spain pulled a three-peat after scoring four goals against their Group C counterparts, Italy. In an intense match-up between Spain and Italy, all eyes were on La Roja as they set out to lift their third international trophy, as the best soccer dynasty ever.
Fourteen minutes in David Silva scored a beautiful header from a pass from Cesc Fabregas, putting the Spaniards up early. Italy faced some setbacks as Giorgio Chielinni was subbed out in the 21′ for Federico Balzaretti.
The Italians had a strong backline who fought hard with Spain’s three forwards Cesc Fabregas, David Silva and Andres Iniesta. But it wasn’t strong enough for Jordi Alba who found the back of the net in the 41′. When the ref blew the whistle, Spain were already up 2-nil.
The second half turned out to be devastating for Italy, who fell behind Spain’s passing and pace. Antonio Di Natale came on for Cassano, bringing the much needed fire for Italy. But another hard hit would come for the Italians after a hamstring injury caused sub Thiago Motta to be pulled off the pitch, leaving opportunities for Spain against an Italian team with 10 men.
Vicente Del Bosque, who now holds Euro, World Cup, Champions League and La Liga championships, decided to bring on a true striker as Fernando Torres took Cesc Fabregas’ place. Nine minutes later, El Nino scored Spain’s third goal. But it didn’t stop there folks! Juan Mata made his first appearance in the tournament in the 87′ only to score the final goal a minute after entering the pitch. The assist Torres provided made him the Golden Boot winner ahead of Germany’s Mario Gomez.
Italy had an amazing tournament but in the end, they couldn’t cope with La Roja’s incisive attacking play and beautiful passing, who also set the record of being the first team to win a Euro final by a four-goal margin.
Needless to say, Spain is one of the best national teams in the world. Not just by their accomplishments but by how they make them. People might say they are “boring” or “dull,” well they are far from that. They have set a standard to how beautiful football should be played by being innovators of meticulous passing.
No doubt this is the just the beginning of what promises to be a very accomplished Spanish national team.
Photo courtesy of UEFA