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Spain routs Italy 4-0 in Euro 2012

The country became the first European team to win three straight international tournaments.

Imperious Spain took their place among the game's greats in vintage style by thrashing 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.

Spain's emphatic triumph means they have become the first European side to win three major tournaments following their success in Euro 2008 and the World Cup two years ago

The diminutive Silva scored with a rare header after a Cesc Fabregas pull-back in the 14th minute before a superb sprint finish from left-back Alba following a pinpoint Xavi pass doubled their lead four minutes before halftime.

Torres, who scored the winner in the final when Spain won the title in 2008, struck their third goal in the 84th minute before setting up fellow substitute Mata who calmly rounded off the scoring with a simple finish in the 88th.

The result was the highest margin of victory recorded in either a European Championship or World Cup final and Torres is the first player to score in two Euro finals.

Spain's triumph means Vicente Del Bosque is only the second coach to win a European Championship and a World Cup, joining Helmut Schoen who did so with West Germany in 1972 and 1974.

"This match was great for our players, they controlled the game," he said. "After the first goal the Italians became more dangerous but we kept the pressure, the depth, we are very happy. This success of Spanish football is something historic."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli was gracious in defeat adding: "They made history and deservedly - they have a lot of players tried and tested at this level and even though they don't play with a classic striker they cause you plenty of problems."

 
 
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