The European Cup was once again won by Spain last Sunday night.
Winning the Euro Cup 2012, Spain is now the only European team to win three international tournaments in a row. The team won the Euro Cup in 2008 and the 2010 World Cup in South With great players such as Casillas, Iniesta, Fabregas, Silva and Torres, Spain arrived at the Euro Cup Final defeating Portugal in the semifinal match, the outcome of which was decided by penalty kicks Africa.
’s strategic approach in the Final against Italy is what really decided the outcome of the match. The Spanish team played a perfect game, running without ever stopping and possessing the ball for the most part of the game. But even if they played a better game than the Italians, the Spanish were also extremely lucky. Italy had less time than Spain to recover from the previous game, and many of the Italian players were injured during the Final – including Cassano, Chiellini and Thiago Motta, the latter of whom had to abandon the field a few minutes after the start of the match because of a muscular problem. During the second half of the game Italy was left with ten players, as Coach Prandelli
ran out of replacements, and by then Spain was already leading two to zero. Italy
had few chances to change the game at that point, but that didn’t keep Spain from tastelessly scoring two more goals, humiliating the Italians and showing off an already evident superiority over our team.
No matter the outcome of this final match, Italy was undisputed protagonist of this championship. Remembering the past inglorious performances at 2010 World Cup nobody would have expected that the Italian team could grow so much within a few years and arrive so easily to the Final of Euro 2012. Italy performed very well in the European Cup, facing great teams such as Spain, Croatia
in the quarters, winning over England
, and defeating Germany
in the semifinal. The performance of Italy in the semifinal against Germany is particularly noteworthy. Italy confirmed once again its primacy over the transalpine neighbors on the soccer field.
The Final versus Spain was painful for all the Italian fans but at the same time the Italian team did its best, notwithstanding the many injuries and the growing pains of a newborn team. Prandelli did a great job and he should be very proud of his players. “I should have changed all the players in the final versus Spain because of the injuries and tiredness of many of them, but I did not do that for gratitude, they deserved to play in their final” Prandelli said in the last European Cup Press Conference.
This Championship was also an important showcase for Mario Balotelli, the Italian black player that became the hero of the Italian supporters, along with Andrea Pirlo and Gigi Buffon who demonstrated once again what they are capable of.
Yesterday the team was received by President Napolitano
at the Quirinale Palace
in Rome. President Napolitano commended the team for the great results, and he stated that he wished, but did not expect, that the team would make it so far in the competition.
Speaking to Coach Prandelli and to the players, the President said
: “The team has achieved extraordinary results. There is still a lot of work to do, but we overcame many difficult moments in our past. When I say that I do not know if I refer to soccer or to the Italian situation in general…the two situations are very similar. The amazing performance of the Azzurri has given hope to the Italians. Thank you for this beautiful gift.” Prandelli responded to the President that “We need to recognize the value of a team no matter the result of a single game. The team and I were extremely proud to represent Italy.”