Spain have finally overcome their history of underachievers to win Euro 2008. They did so while playing a variation of the style that sometimes led to them being eliminated from competitions. This time around there was one huge difference, the teams spirit. Weather it was winning at the last minute against Sweden, or pinning the Italians back for an entire game, they seemed to all be in the frame of mind to take the game to their opponent. This I feel made all the difference because as we have seen before technically gifted teams don’t always win trophies.
I am reluctant to single out praise for certain players because the entire team had a wonderful tournament, but Torres, Xavi, and Senna really showed up in the final. Senna was a giant in midfield, keeping Ballack quiet for the majority of the match and shutting down multiple attacks. Xavi, having been recently named player of the tournament, set up Torres for the all important goal and ran the midfield. As for Torres, I never expected someone to slip past Lahm so easily, and to still beat an out-rushing Lehman was quite an accomplishment. Casillas showed hes the best goalie in the world right now, but was hardly trouble all night with the Germans only having four shots, three of which were on goal.
As for the Germans the only player that seemed to show up was Frings. While not as effective as he can be, he showed determination the entire match. This brings me to Ballack, I feel for the guy. Hes been runner up to so many things this year I can only hope he takes this in stride and shows up ready to play next season. He carried this team to the final when they needed him, but was unable to do much last night.
The fact that Spain is still a relatively young team means they can only get better. Lets just hope it isn’t another 44 years until the next trophy.