This is what we've all been waiting for. 18 days of football have been leading up to this point, and today we are getting a new European Champion - or are we? Spain could become the first team to win consecutive UEFA European Championship trophies if they beat Italy today. If they do, it will be their third European crown in the history of the competition - they won it in 1964 and in 2008 - which would tie them with Germany for the most titles in EURO history. If Italy hoist the trophy they will return to the top of the Europe for the first time since 1968. Today is their first EURO final since the year 2000 when they lost to France.
Spain haven't impressed many in this tournament, and were even dubbed as 'boring' by many fans which in my opinion is harsh. What matters, though, is that they have reached the final of three consecutive major tournaments (two EURO's and one World Cup) and they are one of the most difficult teams to beat. They have allowed only one goal in the entire tournament, interestingly enough it was against Italy in the Group C opener. Afterwards they beat Republic of Ireland, Croatia and France to earn a place in the Semi-Final where they beat Portugal after penalties.
Italy on the other hand appear to be playing better after every game. They started with some shaky performances in the Group, and managed to squeak through to the Quarter-Finals on the last day. There they disposed of England after a penalty shootout in a game that miraculously didn't end after 90 minutes with a convincing victory by the Italians. In the semis they provided one of the shocks of the EURO as they at times completely dominated tournament favourites Germany and therefore earned a place in the Final.
Enjoy the Final!Line-ups:
Spain: Casillas; Arbeloa, Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi; Silva, Iniesta, Cesc
Italy: Buffon; Abate Barzagli Bonucci Chiellini; Pirlo Marchisio De Rossi; Montolivo; Cassano Balotelli