Spain – European Champions

Spain, then, are the European champions and, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s difficult to argue a case against them winning it. Euro 2008, however, was just like that in many respects. How many times did you sit down in front of the television and think, “Well, they’re definitely going to win it”? At least three or four, I’d bet. Before we get going with what actually happened in Vienna last night, it’s time to dispel a quick myth about Spain’s Euro 2008 win before it starts to get out of hand. Euro 2008 was not, by extension, a victory of Liverpool Football Club. The Spain team that started last night contained one Liverpool player – Fernando Torres – and a further one – Alonso – who got on the pitch as a substitute. This has been the pattern throughout the tournament, but Liverpool supporters are suffering from some extreme delusions of grandeur if they think that last night was about them. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Villareal all fielded more players in the Spanish team that kicked off last night than Liverpool did. The match itself was intriguing rather than exciting – a chess match, rather than a 100m sprint. Indeed, the best chance of the opening twenty minutes came with Andres Iniesta’s low cross that was deflected goalwards by Christoph Metzelder, forcing an outstanding save from the...

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