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Spain has done it again. They have reached the soccer Olympus for the third time in a row, showing their superiority against any other national team. And they have showed in the best possible way: rolling the opponent. Both in the score and in the game play. Italy was just a toy in Spanish hands. Spain will enter into football history as the first team that got crowned champion for three times in a row in a major tournament.
We all remember the Brazil of the 70′s, the Maradona’s Argentina, or the Netherlands from Johan Cruiff. But none of them reached what Del Bosque’s kids have achieved.
Spain didn’t just win, they also overwhelmed their rival from minute one. Del Bosque started with the same eleven players that he started with when they played Italy in the group phase game. In that game they tied, but Spain has shown again that they can always be counted on in the important games. Italy, for their part, started changing some players and their system. The play went wrong for Prandelli, who failed to cancel the Spanish midfielders. And everyone knows what happens when Iniesta, Xavi, Silva and company play without pressure.
Spain did not take long to score its first goal. When the clock was marking minute 15, Spain got ahead in the score, and from there dominated the match until the end. The play began with Inesta’s boots, who looked at Fabregas, who crossed to Silva, who put the ball in the squadron with his head.
The second goal was scored by the newest player of the tournament, Jordi Alba. The brand new Barelona FC transfer, started running from his left side position, went through the defense. Xavi found an impossible hole with a great pass that left Alba alone with Buffon. He played as if he was an striker, and made the 2-0 in the scoreboard.
Thus, half time came with a clear 2-0. Spanish rule was so overwhelming, that it felt that Italy could not do anything. Pirlo, Cassano or Balloteli, the most important Italian men were completely thwarted, which resulted in an Italy unmoved by the play of the reds.
Prandelli tried a new method and got Motta and Di Natale onto the field. Midfiled Motta was injured a few minutes after entering, which ended up destroying an Italy which had already suffered the injury of Chiellini during first half.
The second half was a Spanish monologue. Few teams can boast having a midfield like Spain’s, a defense with men like Ramos, Pique and Alba, and a goalkeeper like “Saint” Iker Casillas. Del Bosque began the game without a striker, but at the 75 minute mark he put Fernando Torres in, who ended up killing the game. It was Torres who scored the third goal after a head to head with the Italian goalkeeper. From his boots were also responsible for the fourth goal, which was scored by Mata when the game was about to end.
Thus, it is clear that there is no rival who can beat Spain. Best of all is that the team is young, so there is still time for Spain to keep making history.
Image Courtesy of Laurence Griffiths