Sunday night saw history in the making as Spain lifted a third consecutive major title and became the first team to defend a European Championship crown. In truth the game was over by half time and the Spanish were simply too good for what was a spirited performance from the Italians. The score line was also the highest margin of any European Championship final which in years to come will be viewed as something of an embarrassment for Italian football, however truth be told, they did well to limit it to that. It simply was not their night and as the Spanish brought their A-game to the final, even if it was, they had little chance of winning.
With football pundits around the world eating their words post match following the 'Spain play boring football' debacle, you can't help by think that a new era in football has emerged. Labelled by many as the 'best team to ever play the game', the Spanish lay trust in their ability to maintain possession with 6 midfielders in the starting line up and sublime passing and moving that has proved too hot for any team to handle. Have the days of the traditional centre forward passed? Take note Andy Carroll, your role as the 'target man' may be numbered.
The semi finals were, in truth a little more entertaining for the neutrals as both games were nail biters come the end. Spain had to rely on penalties to push aside an energetic performance from Portugal with Cesc Fabregas talking to the ball again to good effect with the decisive spot kick! Although how Ronaldo will ever forget the night he didn't even get the chance to take a penalty for his team that saw them miss out on a place in the final is beyond me? Why did he not take the first spot kick? many citing that we wanted the glory of the winning penalty so waited until last, however sadly for him, it was all over by then.
Many people's player of the tournament, Andrea Pirlo was instrumental in a wonderful performance that saw the underdogs Italy, knock out joint tournament favourites Germany in the other semi. Pirlo pulled the strings all night and 'Super' Mario Balotelli duly obliged with 2 great goals to sink German hopes. A late penalty brought some excitement, but the game was won by half time.
So to look back, the best team of the tournament walked away victorious yet again, the golden boot was collected by Fernando Torres for a record breaking low, 3 goals and one assist piping Germany's Gomez who notched up the same tally by played more minutes. So what does that tell us about the future of the game? A striker wins the Golden boot having only played a handful of minutes, Spain win by a record margin despite not playing with a recognised centre forward!
And of course, I couldn't sign off without just casting your minds back to my pre-tournament prediction, Spain of course.