Despite playing with no recognised striker, Andres Iniesta and co proved why Spain are the very best team to ever grace a football field.
The tiki taka football these incredible individuals displayed so effortlessly is a joy to behold.
Smashing records as they waltzed to a third successive major honour, Spain’s 4-0 win over Italy capped off a great tournament.
So, here is my Euro 2012 team. Five Spanish, two Italians, two Portuguese, two Germans and a Russian.
Iker Casillas captained Spain to the title, conceding just once along the way.
Right back Philipp Lahm impressed on the opposite flank. The German is one of the very best defenders around.
Jordi Alba just beats Fabio Coentrao after his stunning goal helped Spain overcome Italy.
Mats Hummels was one of Germany’s standout players. He’s strong, reads the game well and defends superbly.
Sergio Ramos edges Madrid team-mate Pepe. Equally as dogged, but that penalty against Portugal was incredible.
Is there another player in world football you’d want marshalling your defence than Andrea Pirlo? The Italian was without question one of the stars of the tournament.
If Pirlo was great, Andres Iniesta was ever so slightly greater. The little genius lit up the championships with some breathtaking skill, passes and all round play.
Mesut Ozil was the German architect. Still only 23, he was a major threat in every game.
Two goals and three assists makes David Silva a must. He scored in the final and caused defenders all kinds of bother.
Love him or hate him, Mario Balotelli announced his arrival on the international stage with a brilliant double to send Germany home.
Cristiano Ronaldo started slow but was firing on all cylinders by the semi finals.
Other honourable mentions: Gianluigi Buffon, Gerard Pique, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Joao Moutinho, Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gomez.
Published: July 6, 2012
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