Posted 02.07.2012 06:42:19 UTC
Updated 02.07.2012 06:42:19 UTC
Majestic Spain took their place among the game's greats by thrashing Italy 4-0 to retain their European title on Sunday, the biggest victory margin in a World Cup or Euro final - and all without a recognised striker.
Their success rewrote the tactical handbook and the record books after goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba and late substitutes Fernando Torres and Juan Mata gave the world champions an ultimately easy victory over an Italian team down to 10 men through injury for the last half-hour.
"It was a great match for our players, they controlled the game," Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque told reporters.
"But there is not one football, the important thing is to score goals. We have strikers but we decided to play with players who went better with our style."
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli added: "They made history and deservedly - they have a lot of players who are tried and tested at this level and even though they don't play with a classic striker they certainly cause you plenty of problems."
While Spain's brilliant performance brought them a fully deserved success, what they achieved needs to be placed in some historical perspective, if only because their tiki-taka short-passing style has been criticised during the tournament.
Spain have become the first national side to win three major tournaments in the modern era after their Euro 2008 success and World Cup victory two years ago and have equalled Germany's record of three European titles.