Alonso reflects on glory

  • Last Updated: July 2 2012, 8:22 BST

For Xabi Alonso there was a distinctly different feeling amongst the Spanish squad after they won the European Championship compared to the "euphoria" of their triumph four years ago.

Xabi Alonso celebrates with his family

Spain regained their European crown thanks to a comprehensive 4-0 win over Italy and became the first side to win three successive major international tournaments in the process.

But Alonso said there was a much calmer reaction than when they ended a run of 44 years without a trophy in 2008.

  • Pictures of the celebrations that followed Spain's emphatic victory over Italy in the Euro 2012 final.
Pictures of the celebrations that followed Spain's emphatic victory over Italy in the Euro 2012 final.

He told AS: "The sensation and euphoria is different to the last European Championship. Everything is more moderate.

"We have celebrated with our families and we are very calm. Four years ago there was more euphoria.

"We ought to feel more euphoric but that's the way things are and we can't force them. The team has a lot of humility.

"We were fighting for a common goal. We didn't want to be an example to anybody, we wanted to return to the people and transmit happiness.

"If the fans enjoyed themselves then we have done the double. To go three out of three is incredible. The first time you achieve it, it is fantastic and you don't know if it will last. This has lasted.

  • Spain have won the 2012 European Championships after a stunning 4-0 win over Italy in the final.
  • Flying the flag or rather wearing it... Italian fans have flooded into Kiev's Olympic Stadium as they prepare for Spain vs Italy in the Euro 2012 final.
  • Spanish fans are hoping to see their side make history by picking up a third successive major trophy and will be praying that 'tiki-taka' triumphs tonight
  • Spain have reached the final after topping Group C before going on to defeat Laurent Blanc's France and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in the knockout rounds
  • Despite drawing with Spain in their Group C clash, Italy qualified as runners up. Wins over England and Germany booked their place in tonight's final.
  • Euro 2012 mascots Slavek and Slavko pose with the Henry Delauney trophy prior to kick-off. Will it be Casillas or Buffon who lifts the cup after full-time?
  • As the closing ceremony reaches its conclusion the teams make their way onto the pitch for the national anthems.
  • Italy start with a familiar line-up; with Pirlo and Balotelli certain to be the two men that they turn to for inspiration.
  • Spain make one change from their triumph over Portugal, replacing Avaro Negredo with Cesc Fabregas, once again reverting to the 4-6-0 formation.
  • The game is underway, and Italy are making it clear very early on that they don't intend to give Spain much time on the ball.
  • Spain have been far more positive than was expected, as they surge forwards from the off, not afraid to shoot from distance or run at the Italian defence.
  • Spain dominate the early exchanges, looking willing to shoot from range. Fabregas breaks into the box and picks out Silva who heads past Buffon. 1-0 Spain!
  • A truly brilliant goal to really kick start the Euro 2012 final. The Italians look deflated having conceded after just 13 minutes.
  • Italy have responded well, with Balotelli and Cassanno looking particularly dangerous, as Spain narrowly survive a succession of dangerous corners.
  • Italy continue to dominate, but Spain break forward on the counter. A pin point pass from Xavi finds Jordi Alba who beats Buffon one on one and it is 2-0!
  • It will be hard for Italy to swallow afterseemingly settling into the game, but Spain are two up at half-time thanks to a breath-taking move.
  • Disaster strikes early in the half for Italy, as having already made all three substitutions, Thiago Motta is forced to retire with a hamstring injury.
  • With Italy down to ten men and two goals behind Spain begin to take total control. Camped inside the Italian half and in constant posession of the ball.
  • A defence splitting pass finds substitute Fernando Torres clear through on goal. He takes the ball in his stride and slots it home to make it 3-0.
  • The goal makes the Chelsea man the joint top scorer at the tournament, and also equals the record for the largest win at a European Championships final.
  • Torres is involved again as Spain add a fourth. El Nino finds fellow Chelsea man Juan Mata who scores in his first game of the tournament to make it 4-0.
  • Mata's goal sees Spain break the record for the most goals in a European Championships final and puts their win beyond any doubt.
  • The final whistle goes and Spain remain European Champions and have made history by becoming the only side ever to win the competition on three occasions.
  • It is contrasting emotions for Italy however, as they will feel hard done to after plyaing most of the second half with ten men.
  • Casillas lifts the Henry Delauney trophy for a second time and fireworks fly at the Olympic Stadium to mark the end of a memorable European Championships.
Live pictures from the Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

"This is to try and make the people happy and to the people that are suffering, like those in Valencia (where forest fires have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes), we have to help them and dedicate this triumph to them."