Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Champions Cement Their Place in the Record Books

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Champions Cement Their Place in the Record Books

Article excerpt

SENSATIONAL Spain marched straight into the history books with a magnificent Euro 2012 final victory over Italy in Kiev.

First-half goals from David Silva and Jordi Alba and late efforts from substitutes Fernando Torres and Juan Mata confirmed La Roja as the first team to record three successive major tournament victories, including a World Cup, with the biggest ever win in a European Championship final.

And they did it with the most awesome display of passing power, which made a mockery of all those who had questioned them beforehand.

Spain's display was a fitting end to the best European Championships in almost three decades.

Four players in particular, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta and Xavi, deserve a special mention after starting all three finals, in Vienna, Johannesburg and now Ukraine.

But, as 'Ole' rang around this magnificent stadium, it was a night to glory in tiki-taka - and the players who put it into practice.

Throughout the tournament, the argument for Spain being a dour outfit had been building.

After 15 minutes of the most majestic football imaginable, the greatest noise was the sound of all those words being rammed jubilantly down throats.

Coach Vicente del Bosque refused to bow to the demand for a regular centre-forward to be included in his starting line-up and was rewarde a start the quality of which was o par with anything this group of p has ever produced. ed with on a players Ramos had a couple of early ef so too Xavi. Andres Iniesta also h shot blocked before Spain cut th opponents' defence to shreds. fforts, had a eir The move was astounding in it simplicity. s Alvaro Arbeloa started it, Xavi w also involved before Iniesta split Italy defence with a pass Cesc Fa was able to cut back from the by And who should be there to he was the abregas ye-line.

ad home? None other than little Dav Silva, who had got free at the nea and flicked the ball into the far. vid ar post By half-time, Spain had anothe Again five passes were involved er d. This time it went back to front. Iker Casillas, Fabregas and then Alba, who fed Xavi and kept motoring. …

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