Spain retain European crown
Spain recorded the biggest European Championship final victory of all-time to crush Italy 4-0 in Kiev on Sunday night and become the first team to win three successive major tournaments.
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First-half goals from David Silva and Jordi Alba put the world champions in full control before late efforts from substitutes Fernando Torres and Juan Mata sealed a resounding triumph.
And they did it with the most awesome display of passing power, which made a mockery of all those who had questioned them beforehand.
It was all too much for Mario Balotelli, who marched straight down the tunnel at the end and angrily shrugged away efforts from Italian officials to get him to stay, before returning for the presentation ceremony.
Italy were not disgraced and would have held out hopes of a comeback until Cesare Prandelli's final replacement Thiago Motta was stretchered off within four minutes of his arrival, leaving his team-mates to battle through the final half hour with 10 men.
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After the game, Spain boss Vicente del Bosque was delighted to see his side make history with another tournament triumph.
"This match was great for our players, they controlled the game," said Del Bosque.
"After the first goal the Italians became more dangerous but we kept the pressure, the depth, we are very happy.
"This success of Spanish football is something historic."
The magnitude of their achievement has not been lost on the players, with Barcelona-bound Alba delighted to have played his part in a piece of football history.
"My team-mates made history before and now I am doing so together with them in my first European Championship," said the flying full-back.
"I am struggling to believe it, but it seems to be sinking in little by little.
"I told my friends and family I was going to score tonight and that's the way it turned out."
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Cesare Prandelli praised his Italy side after they surprised many pundits by making the final, following knockout wins over England and Germany.
"You could tell right away that they were fresher physically," said Prandelli, whose team played in the semi-finals on Thursday, one day after Spain.
"We didn't have time to recuperate, especially against players like these. It became very, very difficult indeed to come back from 2-0 down.
"We came up against a terrific side. They're world champions. Obviously, when you go down to 10 men, the game's over."
Prandelli told Rai tv: "Anyway, it has been a sensational tournament and I pay my compliments to my players.
"We must grow and arrive at these important competitions with the right space during and after the Italian championship."
Italy's captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon admitted the better side had won.
"Tonight, there was no contest. They were too superior, so the bitterness at losing this final is only relative," he said.