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It took 44 years but Spain are finally European champions once again.
A well-taken first half goal from Fernando Torres sealed a 1-0 win over Germany in an open, attacking final which summed up the whole of Euro 2008.
Looking at the match and the finals in general, technically-gifted Spain probably deserved to end their major tournament hoodoo. Do you agree?
Germany’s Philipp Lahm will wonder how he allowed Torres to beat him to the ball and slot home. In fact, the German defence was unusually creaky for much of the tournament. Can they bounce back for the 2010 World Cup or will Spain’s dynamic side continue to dominate?
Let us know your views below.
PHOTO: Spain’s Torres scores past Germany goalkeeper Lehmann during the Euro 2008 final at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna. June 29 REUTERS/Christian Charisius
THE OPTIMIST (Elena Moya)
Spain’s chances of beating Italy and reaching the Euro 2008 semi-finals are better than ever.
‘This time is different’ is the line that is repeated tournament after tournament, just before the team inevitably falls in the quarter-finals. But on this occasion it really is different, and here’s why.
1) Spain’s inferiority complex - based on four centuries of Inquisition, a fallen empire and a dictatorship that only finished thirty years ago - is evaporating. A winning mentality has been fostered by players like Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas.
I’m a bit worried about Spain. I’m not talking about the credit crunch, rising unemployment and the end of the housing boom here, I’m talking about their chances at Euro 2008.
When the draw took place last year, the Spanish press were celebrating that la selección had avoided the European big guns, but as the tournament has drawn near it has dawned on many that making the last 16 may not be such an easy task.
Typically Sunday’s 1-0 win over Deportivo Coruna came with the usual dose of nail-biting, wincing and stomach churning that have made the Calderon such a stressful place to be in recent seasons.
For once a tie between two English sides in Europe brought out the best of the Premier League. A breathless second leg at Anfield has already been hailed as a classic after Liverpool won through 5-3 on aggregate to set up yet another semi-final against Chelsea, which will doubtless be slightly less of a classic.
Still, let’s take a bit of time to let Tuesday’s match sink in. It will be remembered by Liverpool fans as another great European night at Anfield, while Arsenal supporters will see the tie as a whole as a tale of two penalties — one turned down in London and one given in Liverpool.
The great 1970s TV programme ‘Fawlty Towers’ left its mark by being voted Britain’s fifth best sitcom in 2004, and the way Fernando Torres is going he’s bound to leave an indelible print on English football.
‘Fawlty Towers’ only lasted four years, in which a mere 12 episodes were shot. No doubt Liverpool will want the 24-year-old Torres to stick around a little longer, even if he didn’t sparkle at the weekend against Manchester United.