Spain's reign over world soccer, which began with a victory over Germany in the final of Euro 2008 and continued with the claiming of the World Cup in South Africa two years later, continued with a masterful performance in the final of Euro 2012.
The Spanish squad poses with the European Championship trophy and members of their country's royal family.
Spain has now vaulted itself into legendary status. Their 4-0 defeat of a brave Italy side saw them become the first team to both repeat as European Champions and win three major trophies back-to-back.
Spain won this tournament with its beautiful and efficient playing style that the rest of the world has still yet to conjure up a way to overcome. The squad uses its litany of world-class midfielders to control possession and complete short passes all over the field. That offensive effectiveness is compounded by a defense with all players in constant pursuit of the ball, leaving opponents harried, exhausted and eventually, defeated.
The question now being asked is whether Spain can continue to stay ahead of the competition and claim the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With a look at the final score sheet, it certainly has the talent to do so. David Silva, the first goal-scorer from the final is 26-years old and playing phenomenally. He is coming off an English Premier League victory with Manchester City and has shown no signs of slowing down.
The second player to beat Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon was 23-year old Jordi Alba. Alba just signed with Barcelona and his game should only improve playing and training with some of the world's finest players week-in-week-out. One of those stars with whom Alba will now get to see at close quarters is Andres Iniesta. The quick-footed midfielder was named Euro 2012's best player and will be just 30-years old when the World Cup goes to Brazil in two years' time.
One of Spain's concerns is likely to be up front. With David Villa out with a broken leg, Vicente Del Bosque had to adapt at Euro 2012 with Cesc Fabregas performing admirably as a false nine. Although he scored in the final and won the competition's Golden Boot, it is clear that Del Bosque does not trust that Fernando Torres has rediscovered his best. If the 28 year old can enjoy a revival in the next two years then his pace would being back that extra element to Spain's game.
La Roja's strength in depth and their strong prospects for the future are encapsulated by the fact that the creative linchpin of European Cup winners Chelsea, 24-year-old Juan Mata, barely featured in Euro 2012. When he did get on the field, Mata made an impact with the fourth goal in the final.
Though there will be doubts about 32-year-old's Xavi ability to be as influential in two years' time, there is plenty of other young talent on the Spanish squad. Wide forward Pedro is just 24, while defensive midfielders Sergio Busquets and Javi Martinez are just 23 years of age.
The rest of the world has been warned once again that it will take a stunning effort to dethrone Spain as the best side on the planet.
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