Spain’s Euro 2012 Triumph Reveals the Team’s True Strengths
Which is Spain’s greatest influence or factor in their triumph at Euro 2012?
- Squad’s Depth: Spain remains the deepest team, particularly in the midfield area. With a host of players capable of dictating play or dominating possession or creating scoring opportunities such as Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso, the Spaniards did not have any problem maintaining control of matches. This exhausted opponents chasing after the ball and also meant opposing teams created less scoring chances.
- Iker Casillas: The Real Madrid captain proved once again he is one of the world’s best goalkeepers. Against Italy during the Group Stage he made a couple of crucial saves which could have made the the match’s result beyond the team’s reach. He also bailed Spain out with another fine save against a spirited Croatian side. In the Final, Casillas intervened a couple of times, in specific during corner kicks, when the exhausted Azzurri tried to mount a feeble comeback early on during the match before their challenge fizzled out.
- Overcoming Adversity: Real vs Barcelona is probably the biggest football match after the World Cup final, the European Championship final and the Champions League final. There is no doubt El Clasico is one of the beautiful game’s and even sport’s most anticipated events. Tensions between the El Clasico rivals were not allowed to divide the Spanish squad despite the sensitivities between certain Real Madrid and Barcelona players.
- Re-writing History: Spain became the world’s first nation to win three consecutive major tournaments after completing a trifecta of Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 triumphs. However, to call this team as the best ever would be a dis-service to certain historic teams such as the Brazil squad which won World Cup 1958 and 1962 to become the second and last side to ever retain a World Cup title after the Italian side of 1934 and 1938. In addition, the Brazil side which won the World Cup 1970 and the Italian side which won World Cup 1982 had to overcome some historic sides and stiff competition on their way to lifting the sporting world’s most prominent trophy.
- Proving Many Wrong: Many fans of the game, pundits as well as the world media had played down Spain’s chances of winning the European title after an indecisive start yet the Spaniards answered their critics in an emphatic manner by dismantling the Italian side, albeit a tired, over stretched and injury-ridden Azzurri. However, this also highlights Spain’s depth as the Spaniards did not face the same fitness issues and physical concerns as the Italians due to the depth of Vicente del Bosque’s squad.