Spain: Road to the Top of Euro 2012

Spain has once again gained the title of European Champion, and in this post, I will talk about their “road to the top.” Spain had a very good start, winning all of their qualifiers with flying colors. They started Euro 2012 as being the favorite team, having previously won the Euro Cup in Austria and the World Cup in South Africa. They had a slightly bumpy first game against Italy, but the Spanish managed to equalize the score before full-time, ending the game at 1-1. Little did either team know that they would play again in the finals with a completely different outcome. The next game against the Irish was a breeze for the Spanish. Spain managed to outscore Ireland 4-0 without breaking a sweat, and if they tried harder, the goal margin would have probably been even larger. Spain’s mistake when playing their last group stage game was that they underestimated Croatia. Throughout the game, the Spanish kept telling themselves that the goal will come eventually, and that it won’t be much of a challenge to score. By the end of the 1st half, Spain finally understood what they were up against. They began shooting every chance they got, but without success. Dangerously close to full-time, Spain finally broke through the Croatian defense and scored, giving themselves a ticket to the quarter-finals after their 1-0 win. Spain had a nice beginning to the knockout stage of Euro 2012. They secured a firm win against France (runner-up in Group D) with a score of 2-0. The two goals from Xabi Alonso were a great way to celebrate his 100th international appearance. Spain’s semi-final against Portugal was like a war without an end. No matter how many times either team attempted to score, the ball just wouldn’t touch the back of the net. After the 120th minute ended without a single goal, the game went on to a penalty shootout. When Bruno Alves missed his penalty, Cristiano Ronaldo realized that his “winning goal” will never come, and Cesc Fàbregas awarded Spain one more game in Euro 2012 after his spectacular goal. The Spanish were sure they could pull it off again in Kiev, Ukraine, and their confidence proved to serve them well. The ball stayed primarily in Italy’s half throughout the duration of the game. The few breakaways made by the Italians were ineffective, and their defenses were often broken. The Spanish proved that they owned the game with 2 beautiful goals in the first half, leaving the Italians trailing at 2-0. By the end of second half, Spain scored 2 more goals, breaking the record for largest Euro Cup final win (4 goal margin). After Spain’s 4th goal, users set a new sports-related record on Twitter, posting over 15,000 tweets per second. In conclusion, this final is a game that will never be forgotten by soccer fans worldwide, and La Furia Roja rightfully celebrated their triumph against Italy and the acquirement of their 3rd Euro Cup after the match.