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  • Date:01 Jul 2012
  • Kick-off:19:45
  • Venue:Olympic Stadium
  • David Silva (14)
    Jordi Alba (41)
    Fernando Torres (84)
    Juan Manuel Mata (88)

Live Commentary


Spain have defended their European title, becoming the first team to do so. They're also the first team to win three straight international competitions.


It's all over!


Ramos tries a cheeky backheel but Buffon is equal to it as the game enters the final minute.


Having played fewer minutes than Germany's Mario Gomez, who also has one assist to his name, Torres will take home the Golden Boot.


That goal for Torres draw him level with five others on three goals for the tournament.


The fourth official says there will be three minutes of time added on.


Spain are worthy, worthy winners and now they've got a fourth. Torres beats the offside trap and unselfishly squares to Chelsea teammate Mata, who slots the ball into an unguarded net.


GOAL for Spain!


Iniesta walks off and is replaced by Mata. The Chelsea man will get a brief run-out as Del Bosque makes his final substitution.


Torres gets his name on the scoresheet. Italy concede possession in their own half and Xavi rolls the ball through to Torres, who slips the ball past the on-rushing Buffon.


GOAL for Spain!


Xavi tries to play in Alvaro Arbeloa down the right, but the Real Madrid defender strays fractionally offside.


The statistics show an even 50-50 split in possession, but there's only one team winning this now.


Spain break with Pedro and Busquets before the ball finds the feet of Iniesta, who lays it off to the overlapping Alba. The left-back's cross picks out Pedro, who scuffs the ball wide with the goal at his mercy. The flag was up, mind.


Only five players have won the European Cup and European Championship in the same season. Torres and Chelsea teammate Juan Mata, who hasn't played a minute in this summer's tournament so far, appear set to add their names to that list tonight.


A second change for Spain as Fabregas, the provider for Silva's opener, is replaced by Fernando Torres.


Fabregas plays a lovely one-two with Pedro in the Italian box before lofting a cross towards Iniesta at the far post. Abate rises well to clear though.


Into the final 20 minutes plus stoppage-time now. Vicente del Bosque would become only the second coach to win the World Cup and European Championship should Spain hold onto their lead. West Germany's Helmut Schoen was the first (1972 and 1974).


Pedro fires in a low cross from the left wing but Balzaretti does well to cut it out.


Balotelli clearly isn't giving up the ghost as he wins another free-kick deep in his own half after Pedro sends him to the ground.


Balotelli goes down and Italy are awarded a free-kick. Pirlo bends it towards the far post and Bonucci goes down as he vies for the ball with Sergio Busquets, but referee Proenca is unmoved.


Motta lasted just four minutes before being stretchered off the pitch.


Trouble for Italy as Motta goes down clutching his hamstring. He went down without contact and having already made their three substitutions, the Italians will have to play the rest of the game with 10 men.


Del Bosque opts to make his first change of the evening, with Pedro coming on for Silva, the scorer of Spain's opening goal.


Pirlo sends it in but Casillas is there again the claw it away from Motta. Italy retain the ball before Balotelli lashes a shot that's too high.


Di Natale goes to ground under pressure from Ramos and Italy have a free-kick out on the right flank, just outside the box.


A third and final change for the Italians and Montolivo jogs off and is replaced by Thiago Motta.


Iniesta looks to play in Fabregas but the latter can't get the ball under control. A let-off for the Azzurri.


Chance for Italy as Di Natale finds himself with just Casillas to beat. The 'keeper spreads himself well to block the initial effort and gathers the striker's attempted chip after the rebound to quell the threat.


Cries for a penalty as Ramos' header strikes the arm of Leonardo Bonucci. He didn't know much about it but the arm was outstretched. The referee waves away Spanish appeals though.


Fabregas hits a tame shot wide of the post and is then involved again as he cuts in from the right and prods an effort goalbound. Buffon gets a hand on it to take the pace off it and Abate slides in to prevent Spain from adding a third.


He's just come on and Di Natale's first touch is a header from Abate's cross that goes just over Casillas' goal.


The referee blows the whistle to signal an end to the first-half. Spain are 45 minutes away from making history as the first team to win three consecutive international tournaments. Italy, meanwhile, have it all to do.


Silva hits a speculative shot from distance but it's straight down the throat of Buffon.


First Italian caution of the night as Andrea Barzagli stops the Spanish attack with a poorly-timed tackle.


Riccardo Montolivo is the latest player to test Casillas. It's a long way out though and the Spanish 'keeper palms it away.


Left-back Jordi Alba times his run to perfection and is played through by Xavi. The Barcelona-bound man coolly slots the ball past Buffon to double Spain's advantage. No better time for his first international goal.


Goal for Spain!


Balotelli takes on a couple of Spanish defenders and strikes from distance but it's always rising and goes a distance over the bar.


Spain dominated the early stages, but Italy are working their way back into this match.


Cassano hits a fizzing effort from 25 yards that forces Casillas to fist away.


Casillas is once again called into action as Cassano cuts in from the left and pulls the trigger. It's deflected but straight into the hands of the Spanish captain.


Balzaretti swings in a dangerous cross from the left but Casillas gets a hand on the ball to take it away from Balotelli's head. Good goalkeeping from the Real Madrid custodian.


The first caution of the match goes to Gerard Pique, who clatters through the back of Antonio Cassano.


Fabregas tries to slot the ball through to Iniesta, but his pass is slightly behind his Barcelona teammate and the attack comes to an end.


Spain are making life difficult for their opponents, pressing the player on the ball at every opportunity.


Italy are forced into their first change of the night as Chiellini hobbles off and is replaced by Federico Balzaretti. It looks like his knee was the problem.


Iniesta picks up Xabi Alonso's deep cross but Pirlo make a crucial intervention in the box before clearing into touch.


Italy causing problems from these set-pieces. Sergio Busquets heads behind for another Italian corner before Casillas gets a solid punch on the ball to nullify the threat.


Free-kick to Italy. Pirlo's effort is deflected behind. The ensuing corner is deep to the far post and Casillas gets a vital touch to take it away from an Italian head.


Lovely defence-splitting pass from Andres Iniesta finds Fabregas who holds off Giorgio Chiellini to cross for David Silva who heads into the far top corner.


GOAL to Spain!


Iker Casillas is called into action, rushing out to clear the danger with Mario Barotelli seeking to outpace Sergio Ramos to the through ball.


Spain knocking the ball round nicely before Fabregas lays it off to Xavi on the edge of the penalty area. His fierce strike goes just over.


Ramos climbs highest to meet a corner from the right but once again it flies comfortably over Gianluigi Buffon's goal.


Daniele de Rossi is penalised for bringing down Xavi about 40 yards from goal. Sergio Ramos tries the spectacular but it goes sailing over the crossbar.


David Silva tries to dribble his way through the Italian backline but the Azzurri defence eventually manages to wrestle the ball away from him.


Italy's midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo has the first shot at goal, but his effort from the edge of the box slices horribly wide of the target.

Spain, in their traditional red, get proceedings underway. Italy are in blue.

This evening's referee is Pedro Proenca of Portugal. He was also the man in charge of this year's Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

Now time for the Marcha Real, Spain's national anthem. It's one of the few anthems without any official lyrics.

The players are out on the pitch in Kiev and the Italian national anthem is ringing out around the Olympic Stadium.

Spain are bidding to become the first team to successfully defend a European Championship title, while 2006 world champions Italy are seeking a second Euro crown after a previous success in 1968.

The Italy coach has made just one change to the team that beat Germany 2-1 in the last four, with Ignazio Abate returning to the starting line-up at right-back in place of Federico Balzaretti after recovering from injury.

Cesare Prandelli has elected to keep faith with the 4-3-1-2 formation that has yielded victories over England and Germany in the knockout phase, rather than revert to the 3-5-2 system deployed in the opening match with Spain.

That means Alvaro Negredo drops to the bench in the only change to Vicente del Bosque's starting XI.

Fabregas returns to the side as a 'false number nine' having started on the bench in Spain's shootout win over Portugal in the semi-final.

The teams of course met on June 10 in their Group C opener - a match that ended 1-1. Antonio di Natale opened the scoring that evening but Cesc Fabregas' equaliser ensured a point for La Roja.

Spain's record in 30 games against Italy reads: won 8, drawn 12 and lost 10. However, only one of those victories has come in a competitive fixture - the consolation round at the 1920 Olympic Games

The venue for tonight's showpiece is the 69,000-seater Olympic Stadium in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

Hello, and welcome to AFP's live text coverage of this evening's EURO 2012 final between defending champions Spain and Italy.

Italy have made their second change during half-time with Antonio di Natale coming on for Cassano.

A disappointing night for the Italians, but a well-deserved victory for La Roja. Thanks for following along with AFP's live text coverage of the EURO 2012 final.

Spain have now won three European Championships, drawing level with Germany.

**Provisional teams until kick-off


  • Vicente Del Bosque Coach
  • Iker Casillas Goal
  • Alvaro Arbeloa Defender
  • Gerard Pique Defender
  • Sergio Ramos Defender
  • Jordi Alba Defender
  • Xavi Midfielder
  • Sergio Busquets Midfielder
  • Xabi Alonso Midfielder
  • David Silva Forward
  • Francesc Fabregas Forward
  • Andres Iniesta Forward
  • Victor Valdes Substitute
  • Jose Manuel Reina Substitute
  • Raul Albiol Substitute
  • Javi Martinez Substitute
  • Juanfran Substitute
  • Santiago Cazorla Substitute
  • Jesus Navas Substitute
  • Alvaro Negredo Substitute
  • Fernando Llorente Substitute
  • Pedro
  • Fernando Torres
  • Juan Manuel Mata


  • Cesare Prandelli Coach
  • Gianluigi Buffon Goal
  • Ignazio Abate Defender
  • Andrea Barzagli Defender
  • Leonardo Bonucci Defender
  • Giorgio Chiellini Defender
  • Claudio Marchisio Midfielder
  • Andrea Pirlo Midfielder
  • Riccardo Montolivo Midfielder
  • Daniele De Rossi Midfielder
  • Mario Balotelli Forward
  • Antonio Cassano Forward
  • Salvatore Sirigu Substitute
  • Morgan De Sanctis Substitute
  • Christian Maggio Substitute
  • Angelo Ogbonna Substitute
  • Emanuele Giaccherini Substitute
  • Alessandro Diamanti Substitute
  • Antonio Nocerino Substitute
  • Fabio Borini Substitute
  • Sebastian Giovinco Substitute
  • Federico Balzaretti Substitute who played
  • Antonio Di Natale Substitute who played
  • Thiago Motta Substitute who played

Match Report

Spain crush Italy to win historic Euro 2012 crown
Spain confirmed their status as one of the greatest national teams in football history by overwhelming Italy 4-0 in Sunday's Euro 2012 final in Kiev to retain their European crown.
Vicente del Bosque's team became the first side to successfully defend a European Championship title, as well as the first to win three consecutive major tournaments after their triumphs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
Accused in some quarters of having lost their ability to excite, Spain produced a thrilling demonstration of attacking football to confirm beyond doubt that this remains a golden age for Spanish football.
Andres Iniesta and Xavi were the architects of victory, playing key roles in goals by David Silva, Jordi Alba and Fernando Torres, who teed up fellow substitute Juan Mata for Spain's fourth.
The match-winner in the Euro 2008 decider against Germany, Torres became the first player to score in two European Championship finals, while it was the most handsome winning margin in a final in the tournament's history.
Italy played the last half an hour with 10 men after third substitute Thiago Motta was forced off by injury moments after coming on, as the momentum that had taken the Azzurri past Germany and England in the knockout rounds disappeared.
The star of the semi-final win over the Germans, Mario Balotelli endured a fruitless evening, while Andrea Pirlo was upstaged by the pass masters in the Spanish midfield.
Dropped for the semi-final against Portugal, Cesc Fabregas returned to Spain's starting line-up to occupy the 'false nine' role he had taken up against Italy in the 1-1 draw between the sides in Group C on June 10.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli also made one change to his starting XI, with Ignazio Abate replacing Federico Balzaretti at right-back after missing the semi-final win over Germany due to muscle fatigue.
It was quickly apparent that Spain had a point to prove and in the 10th minute there was a glimpse of the pin-sharp attacking football that had eluded them in recent matches, as Xavi exchanged passes with Fabregas before rifling a shot narrowly over.
Four minutes later the deadlock was broken, Iniesta threading a superb pass down the inside-right channel to Fabregas, who slipped around Giorgio Chiellini before cutting the ball back for Silva to head home.
Chiellini's evening lasted barely more than 20 minutes, as the Juventus defender was forced off after landing awkwardly and had to be replaced by Balzaretti.
Having being eclipsed by Iniesta in recent matches, Xavi proved that reports of his demise are grossly premature by creating Spain's second goal four minutes before half-time.
The 32-year-old maestro collected a pass from Alba and then delayed his pass supremely before freeing his future Barcelona team-mate to run in and place the ball past Gianluigi Buffon for his first international goal.
Prandelli replaced Cassano with Antonio Di Natale at the interval and the Udinese man made an immediate impact, heading just over from Abate's centre and then obliging Casillas to save after ghosting in behind Spain's defence.
At the other end, Buffon thwarted Fabregas after the Barcelona man weaved his way past Balzaretti and Leonardo Bonucci, who was lucky not to concede a penalty when he appeared to block Sergio Ramos' header with his arm.
Italy's hopes of a comeback evaporated in the 62nd minute, as Motta was carried off on a stretcher with an apparent hamstring injury just five minutes after replacing Riccardo Montolivo, leaving Prandelli's side with 10 men.
The game dipped in intensity until the arrival of Torres, who rolled home Spain's third from Xavi's pass in the 84th minute before teeing up Chelsea team-mate Mata for an 88th-minute tap-in.





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