Euro 2012: Viva España!
After their second Euro Championship and third title in a row, La Roja (Spain's soccer team) could be nicknamed the “Invincible Ones”. Who is going to stop them? Spain claimed its third ever European Championship on Sunday after defeating Italy 4 – 0 in the final.. and breaking a few records in the process.
The Eurocup -- the once-in-four years football competition among European men's teams was co-hosted this year by Poland and Ukraine.
The Final – And the Winding Road
Both Italy and Spain didn’t have it easy on their road to the prestigious finals. Spain barely managed to top the group -- over Italy, in fact. The same teams played out a 1-1 draw in the first match of the Cup, and many expected a similar result. They got it all wrong.
At the finals, it didn’t take long for the Spanish to strike first blood. David Silva’s header flew into the back of the net in the 14th minute, leaving Italian goalkeeper Buffon helpless. Buffon is widely known as the best goalkeeper to date, but he couldn’t summon up his magic on Sunday night.
It was bad enough for Italy when Jordi Alba finished his incredible run with a remarkable goal squeezed past Buffon. With the Spanish defense not letting anything through, Italy was struggling and looked out of form on the field. But it soon got worse, with two goals being scored by substitutes in the last 10 minutes of the game. Spain lifted the trophy after a 4-0 win -- one of the most lopsided games in recent history.
By lifting the championship, Spain tied Germany in being the European country with the most European titles at three. Their last victory came, in fact, in 1964, when their team was almost, almost as legendary as today’s. But who knows how many more they’re going to collect?
Spain also becomes the first country to defend their European title. No other country has ever won back-to-back Euro Cups in all of history. And that’s not all. The men in red are the first to win three international championships in a row as well -- Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and now Euro 2012!
A Cup to Remember
This was undoubtedly the most hotly anticipated Euro Cup yet, and it lived up to its billing as one that featured top players from around the world. We will always remember a few special moments.. Christiano Ronaldo’s brilliant performances are still fresh in the minds of soccer lovers, as he scored three brilliant goals to propel Portugal to the semifinals. No less important is the rampage of upsets that took place as Netherlands, England, and France were knocked out before the semifinals.
And for the third time in the past 4 years, the image that’s chiseled into all of our minds – La Roja holding the trophy, as celebration erupts in faraway Spain.