Spain routs Italy 4-0 in Euro 2012 final | Soccer
With a 4-0 rout of Italy, Spain won its second consecutive European championship and third major soccer title in a row, along with the 2010 World Cup.
The New York Times
Latest from the Sounders FC blog
KIEV, Ukraine — All the criticism about the team being dull and too cautious seems empty now, silly. This was classic Spain, inspired and precise and piercing with its passes, impenetrable on defense, unsurpassed in this golden period of international soccer.
With a 4-0 rout of Italy on Sunday, top-ranked Spain won its second consecutive European championship and third major title in a row, along with the 2010 World Cup.
The goals in the Euro 2012 final were scored by David Silva in the 14th minute, Jordi Alba in the 41st minute, Fernando Torres in the 84th minute and Juan Mata in the 88th. For a 10th consecutive match, La Roja did not surrender a goal in the knockout round of a major tournament.
Spain again opened without a traditional striker, playing six midfielders.
No previous team has won three major championships in succession. Thus the debate will grow intense about whether Spain, with its unselfish and attractive style, can rightfully be considered the greatest national team ever.
In polls, the 1970 World Cup champion from Brazil, featuring Pele, has often been considered the best team. Other observers favor the Magnificent Magyars of Hungary in the early 1950s, or the Total Football played by the Netherlands in the 1970s or the French team of Zinedine Zidane that won a World Cup in 1998 and a European title in 2000.
Of Spain's success, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, a former star forward for Germany, said, "It speaks of outstanding class and the marriage of hunger and desire. To win the title, at the end of the day, you need to be a total giver for your team. You need to be able to suffer through the difficult moments and to put your ego totally on the side."