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Dirty Tackle

Spain win Euro 2012, define the word ‘domination’

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Spain won Euro 2012 and, in doing so, proved that they are just too good. Winning a historic three major tournaments in a row (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 12) is probably enough to prove that statement alone, but the way they have done it is what obliterates any stubborn arguments to the contrary.

In 10 knockout-round matches over those three tournaments, Spain have not allowed a single goal. In the entirety of Euro 2012, they allowed just one goal in their very first group-stage match against Italy. And in the tournament's final, also against Italy, they changed their possession-heavy style that drew complaints of being "boring" throughout the tournament back to one with a relentless threat on goal that resulted in a 2-0 lead at halftime. From there, Italy's use of all three subs before the 60th minute quickly put them at a further disadvantage when final sub Thiago Motta -- who nearly missed the team bus earlier in the day -- was carried off with an injury just four minutes after coming on, forcing Italy to play the last half hour with just 10 men.

[Related: Fan forces way into Spain's celebration before being subued]

Spain then added two more late goals just to further prove their point and win 4-0. Those last two goals also won the tournament's Golden Boot for Fernando Torres, who started just two of six matches for Spain as the team often opted for a strikerless formation. In addition, Spain captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas became the first international player ever to win 100 matches with his country with that final victory.

It's all those surreal facts and figures in those previous two paragraphs that prove the all-consuming depth of Spain's domination over the last four years. When the primary criticism against a team is that their control of matches is so utterly complete that the results are both boring and inevitable, it's actually the highest compliment imaginable.

Of course, it's impossible to say whether the planet and the sport will exist long enough for a team to duplicate or somehow top what Spain has achieved in this span, but regardless of that or how Spain compare to some of the great Brazil teams, this has truly been a special period to witness.

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(Getty)

Here's video of the trophy presentation...

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