Category: EURO 2012
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.”
Laurent Blanc is not renewing his contract as manager of France national team, the French Football Federation said Saturday. France made it to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals but lost to defending champions Spain.
The favorite to replace Blanc is Didier Deschamps, who played 103 matches for France, and is set to leave as Marseille manager after a difficult last season.
Deschamps would be the ideal choice to replace Blanc, having made no secret of his desire to coach France one day. He was France’s captain when it won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, the national team’s last major trophy, and would be a popular choice.
Blanc was reportedly unhappy he wasn’t offered a contract extension before Euro 2012 had started, with the FFF preferring to wait and see how the team performed.
France lost its final group match to last-place Sweden to set up a clash against Spain in the quarterfinals, losing 2-0 to the defending champions in a largely defensive performance
European football’s governing body is to give a special award to fans of Ireland for their behaviour in Euro 2012 co-host Poland, UEFA’s secretary-general, Gianni Infantino, said yesterday.
“The executive committee has decided to give a special award to the Irish football fans,” he told a news conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on the eve of the Euro 2012 final between holders Spain and Italy.
“Everyone was very impressed by the fans of the national team of the Republic of Ireland who came to Poland. The team’s results were mitigated by the fans.
The Republic of Ireland lost all three of their Group C matches against Spain, Italy and Croatia but there was high praise from the Polish press, public and authorities for the way in which the team’s fans conducted themselves.
Irish fans captured Polish hearts in particular after their 4-0 defeat to Spain in the Baltic port city of Gdansk with their good cheer and song.
Indeed so moved was Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that he told his fellow commentators from French TV channel TF1 to stop commentating and listen to the fans as the match drew to a close.
UEFA boss Michel Platini has made the surprising proposal that Euro 2020 be hosted in 12 or 13 cities across Europe.
During the last two decades, the UEFA European Football Championship has had a number of tandem hosts: current Euro 2012′s Poland and Ukraine, as well as Euro 2008′s Austria and Switzerland, and Euro 2000′s Belgium and Netherlands.
At present countries who have expressed interest in hosting Euro 2020 are Turkey, as well as tandem Azerbaijan-Georgia, and trio Ireland-Scotland-Wales.
Platini’s Saturday proposal is the first time a high-ranking official suggests that the prestigious tournament could be organized on a basis that is not country-centered.
“This is only an idea, but in December or January we have to make our final decision. The idea seems very appealing to me, especially given we will have the 60th anniversary of the tournament,” said the UEFA president.
“We could organize the tournament in 12 or 13 cities spread out all over Europe,” said Platini, adding he has officially addressed the proposal to UEFA’s executive board.
The next European Football Championship, in 2016, will be hosted by France.
World champions Spain took their place among the game’s greats when they thrashed Italy 4-0 to become the first team to win successive European Championship titles on Sunday.
Goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata gave the world champions an easy victory over an Italian team down to 10 men through injury for the last half-hour.
Mario Balotelli scored twice to seal Italy’s 2-1 semi-final win over Germany on Thursday to leave the Euro 2012 favorites ambitions in tatters while the Azzurri march on to the final.
Manchester City’s youngster broke German hearts with a first-half header and sublime strike as Joachim Loew’s inexperienced team, the youngest of the 16 at Euro 2012, failed to cope with Cesare Prandelli’s street-wise Italians.
A late penalty from Mesut Ozil proved no more than a consolation score for the Germans whose 16-year wait for a major title continues.
Italy are now into Sunday’s final in Kiev to face defending champions Spain with the Italians bidding to win their first European crown since 1968.
Germany 1-2 Italy Highlights
Cesare Prandelli hailed Mario Balotelli’s performance as “excellent” and “unique” after his two goals put Italy in the Euro 2012 final with a 2-1 win over Germany.
The 21-year-old Manchester City man showcased his great talent with two brute-force strikes in the first half to send his team through.
“Ballotelli was excellent, just like the whole team,” Prandelli said. “I believe that a team should have an idea and Balotelli really corresponded to this idea. He had a great performance.”
“Balotelli was in the game, he did exactly what I asked him to do,” the coach added. “When it comes to Balotelli, I think he is unique. He is strong physically, he can work for the team, but he is also on time, when he is required in the penalty area.”