[SPAIN-ITALY REPORT CARD] Another round of superlatives comes Spain's way after a 4-0 win over Italy in the Euro 2012 final made Spain the first team in history
to sandwich a World Cup title with two European Championship crowns.
* Spain’s 4-0 win was the biggest final victory in European Championship (and World Cup) history.
* Spain became the first team to win back-to-back Euro titles since the quadrennial competition’s inauguration in 1960.
* Spain conceded only one goal in six Euro 2012 games -- in its 1-1 tie with Italy in their Group C opener.
* Spain (2012, 2008, 1964) joins Germany (1972, 1980, 1996) as the only three-time Euro winners.
* Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who guided Spain to the 2010 World Cup final after taking over for 2008 Euro-winner Luis Aragones, joins West Germany’s Helmut Schoen as the only men to coach World Cup and Euro winners. Del Bosque also won two Champions League and two Spanish La Liga titles with Real Madrid in 2000-02.
* Each of Spain’s four goals was a golazo, giving goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon no chance. David Silva, one of Spain’s five 5-foot-7 players, opened the scoring in 14th minute by heading home a short Cesc Fabregas cross after Andres Iniesta’s precise pass sent Fabregas down the wing. Left back Jordi Alba, on a breakaway created by Xavi’s pass, struck before halftime. Subs Fernando Torres (set up by Xavi) and Juan Mata (finishing off a neat Torres pass) rounded out the scoring.
* Spain has not lost a knockout-round game at the Euros or World Cup since France beat it 3-1 at the 2006 World Cup in the round of 16.
* Keeper Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Silva, Xabi Alonso and Torres (who also scored in the 1-0 Euro 2008 win over Germany) became the first players to play in two Euro final victories. All but Silva played in the 1-0 win over the Netherlands in 2010 World Cup final.
* Next up. Spain’s quest to become the third team in history to win back-to-back World Cups after Brazil (1958, 1962) and Italy (1934, 1938). The oldest member of the Spain squad is 32-year-old Xavi.
SPAIN REPORT CARD
8 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
8 Jordi Alba (Valencia)
8 Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
6 Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
6 Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid)
8 Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
8 Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
6 Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
9 Xavi (Barcelona)
7 David Silva (Man. City)
8 Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)
6 Pedro (Barcelona)
8 Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
7 Juan Mata (Chelsea)
ITALY REPORT CARD
5 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
4 Ignazio Abate (AC Milan)
3 Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)
4 Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
3 Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
3 Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
5 Daniele De Rossi (Roma)
4 Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina)
4 Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
5 Antonio Cassano (AC Milan)
3 Mario Balotelli (Manchester City)
3 Federico Balzaretti (Palermo)
3 Antonio Di Natale (Udinese)
nr Thiago Motta (Paris SG)
(1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)
Notable: Italy played the final 29 minutes with 10 men because Thiago Motta, Italy's third and final sub in the 57th-minute, was stretchered off with a hamstring injury four minutes later. Giorgio Chiellini was subbed in the 21st minute because of injury.