Spain striker Fernando Torres has won the Golden Boot as top scorer at Euro 2012, scoring three goals in just 189 minutes played.
Torres came off the bench to score Spain’s third, and his third of the tournament, in the 84th minute of a 4-0 victory in the final against Italy. He also scored twice in a 4-0 group stage win over Ireland.
Six players scored three goals at Euro 2012, and the tiebreaker was who provided most assists.
Torres duly delivered four minutes after scoring by squaring the ball for Juan Mata, another substitute, to score.
The other three-goal players were: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Alan Dzagoev (Russia), Mario Gomez (Germany), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal).
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque hailed a “great generation of footballers” after seeing his side crush Italy in the final of Euro 2012 in Kiev on Sunday.
Spain become the first team ever to win three major tournaments in a row.
“This is a great generation of players. They have roots and know how to play because they come from a country that knows how to. We have a great bunch of lads, some playing abroad – they never used to.
“Italy had bad luck because Thiago Motta was injured and then everything turned in our favour.”
The Spain coach’s tactics had come in for criticism throughout the tournament but he stuck to his guns by choosing not to field a recognized striker while choosing Cesc Fabregas as a false nine and he was adamant it was the right decision.
“The important thing is to score goals. We have a very balanced team. We have security in our players. We have great strikers, but we chose to play with players who went better with our style.”
Spanish star Andres Iniesta was named player of Euro 2012 on Monday by European football governing body UEFA.
The 28-year-old – who was man of the match in Spain’s historic 4-0 win over Italy in Sunday’s final – was selected by a technical committee made up of 11 people.
Iniesta, who prior to the final was battling out the player of the tournament award with Andrea Pirlo, succeeds compatriot and Barcelona team-mate Xavi, who won the award at the 2008 edition.
Millions of people have been partying and celebrating all night long in Spain after their national football team defeated Italy at the Euro 2012 final.
The capital Madrid saw a huge improvised procession with torches, fireworks, national flags, dancing and shouting.
La Roja’s 4-0 victory in Kiev made them the first team to win three successive major international tournaments.
Spanish media are also jubilant about the historic victory and do not spare any praise for the players and the coach with headlines such as “They Rewrote History and Became Legends.”