Well, Euro 2010 is finally over, and our Spanish friends are now crowing about winning three titles in a row. Now some of us may find them boring, but let us congratulate them on what is a magnificent achievement. The Nationalmannschaft reached three major tournament finals in succession in the 1970s, but were not able to clinch the third one in 1976. Spain have managed to do this, and the feat is unlikely to be repeated for a long time.
Yes, we are all disappointed – more so given the ease with which the Spaniards swept poor Italy aside. The Italians were tired and tactically outplayed, but more crucially their luck ran out – summed up by the withdrawal of Thiago Motta just four minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, leaving his side to play with ten men. Their final had come three days earlier in Warsaw.
Might Germany have given Spain a better match? On paper, almost certainly. But given the Joachim Löw’s arguably negative approach towards the Italy match, I have this nagging feeling that the Maharishi Jogi might have tinkered with the tactics again and set up a disaster. Maybe the Italy result was a good thing; maybe now the coach will just allow the team to do its thing like Vicente del Bosque has done for Spain.
The Spanish team are not good just because they do what they do and do it well, but because they trust in their ability to do what they can do – and because the coach trusts them.
I’ll be turning out a tournament review in the next few days, but for now I’d like to thank all of those who visited the site during the tournament and provided their excellent comments. It doesn’t stagger to a halt here, however: yes, a tournament has just come to an end – but after what will no doubt be a short summer the new season will begin in earnest. Like with Euro 2012, I will be following the Nationalmannschaft closely on the road to Brazil 2014.
There will be more articles during the course of the summer – including more from the One-Cap Wonders series, and team news and discussion as the 2012-13 international season kicks off with a home prestige friendly against Argentina.