Spain 4-0 Italy. I am sure I am not alone in saying that I did not see that scoreline coming!
There was not much indication from previous statistics that we would see so many goals or such a comfortable winning margin in the final of Euro 2012 but Spain have really overcome the trends in this tournament in more ways then one.
Before yesterdays final, Spain had never beaten Italy in normal time of a competitive tournament match and the last European Championship final to go over 2.5 goals was in 1980 which indicated a very tight and tense match but, in the end, the opposite materialized.
The most interesting statistic going into this tournament was that no team had ever retained the European Championship or won 3 major tournaments in a row. Well, Spain have blown that out of the water and in spectacular style too.
Probably most amazing of all is that Spain have to be the first team to win a major tournament without actually breaking sweat. They looked like they were in second gear all tournament and only really turned it on for the final which is a bit scary when you think about it. Some of the football they played against Italy was magical and really does make you wonder how far England are behind achieving something like this.
The Spain team you saw last night was the product of 20 years coaching from grass roots level. The sad fact is that England have to go all the way down to grass roots to achieve anything on a similar level and that will take a very, very long time to achieve.
If you think Italy and Mario Balotelli must be feeling a bit deflated this morning then also spare a thought for bookmaker Victor Chandler who offered money back on all losing bets if Spain won the trophy. As I mentioned in this article before the tournament started, “lay them at your peril”.
Another interesting fact is that Spain received a lot of criticism for not playing with any strikers during the tournament. So it is quite ironic that Fernando Torres finished the tournament with the Golden Boot. Football really is a funny old game sometimes!
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You really have to see it to believe it!