‘Tiki-Taka’ Spain : The European Champions


The Spanish Armada moves on! After winning Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010, Spain wins the Euro 2012. Winning is one thing, but winning 4-0 in a Euro Final is incredible. The Spanish team, riding on goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata, demolished an Italian side which looked impressive in this tournament. The manner of victory? What else other than the trademark controlled passing game. And thus, tiki-taka prevails!

Much criticized striker, Fernando  Torres won the Golden Boot having finished level on goals and assists with Germany’s Mario Gomez but having been on the pitch for only 189 minutes in total. The striker’s goal in Kiev meant he was the only player to have scored in two separate European Championship finals.

The Spanish win also saw breaking of many records. Iker Casillas became the first player to win 100 international games and Vicente del Bosque became the first coach to win the European Championship, the World Cup and the Champions League. For Italy, it is a first defeat in competitive internationals, in normal time, against Spain since 1920.

It was a fluid start from Spain and within 15 minutes they were 1-0 up. The move was initiated by Iniesta, who took possession of the ball 25 yards from goal and opened up the Italy defence with a perfect through-ball for Fabregas. Fabregas pulled a fine cross back for Silva, who timed his run excellently and from eight yards out directed his header inside the far post. Italians were no push overs, they kept on trying. However, Chiellini was taken off with an injury, replacement Federico Balzaretti. Remarkably Italy had the better of possession in the first half, but they could not find an equaliser. Four minutes before half time Spain extended their lead. Jordi Alba played the ball square to Xavi and accelerated through the centre of the pitch with a brilliant run to receive the return pass and slot the ball past Buffon.

Prandelli, at half time, took out Cassano and introduced Antonio Di Natale. Within a minute he headed over the bar from an Abate cross. Montolivo was then replaced by Motta, which meant Prandelli had used up all his substitutions with a hour. This decision backfired as Motta suffered a hamstring injury and had to be stretchered out, leaving Italy only 10 players. Spain exploited this advantage to the full. Torres soon came from the bench to score from a inch perfect pass from Xavi at 84th minute. Juan Mata, also coming off from the bench, added the fourth goal when he received a pass from Torres.

After there treble (Euro, 2008; World Cup, 2010; and Euro, 2012), this Spanish side is indeed looking unstoppable and one of the greatest sides ever.

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