EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Kiev Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Spain

  • David Silva 14'
  • Jordi Alba 41'
  • Fernando Torres 84'
  • Juan Mata 88'

4 - 0

FT

Watch Live on: ESPN, ESPNDeportes, ESPN3.com
  •  

    James Tyler: Bye!

  •  

    James Tyler: Thanks again! Happy Euros! Spain triumphant!

  •  

    James Tyler: So much more to it than that, DJ! But welcome back to the land of the living.

  •  

    [Comment from DJ]
    I just woke up, fell asleep in the 10th minute and I guess Italy did too, Typical Boring Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Find us all on Twitter:
    @JamesTylerESPN
    @jeffreycarlisle
    @R_Ubha
    @rogbennett
    @ESPNStatsInfo

  •  

    James Tyler: Thank you again so much for being a part of Euro 2012 with us!

  •  

    James Tyler: Alright, we must be off. Plenty of postgame coverage on the way. And Balotelli is back on the pitch now. So controversy over. He's also got a bottle of water. Because hydration is essential.

  •  

    James Tyler: They won't be that silly, Gray.

  •  

    [Comment from Gray]
    If they give Torres MVP of the tournament, I'll be outraged. i might even send them a letter.

  •  

    James Tyler: His agent will care at some point, Morpheus.

  •  

    [Comment from Morpheus]
    Who care about the golden boot? Seriously get over it people just right it off. Sure Torres wasnt best but it is what it is.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm sure plenty will try to, but look at it from his perspective. Losing 4-0. Demoralizing. Hard to stomach much more.

  •  

    [Comment from Samad]
    Felt bad for the Italians but good game from Spain.

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    What should we read into Balotelli storming off the field? Big deal or understandable emotional outburst?

  •  

    James Tyler: Andres Iniesta.

  •  

    [Comment from sean]
    JT who's your best player of tournament

  •  

    [Comment from sean]
    watching xavi and inestia play together is pretty spectacular

  •  

    [Comment from danman]
    Torres got all his stats against Ireland and 10 man Italy. Ridiculous!

  •  

    James Tyler: But for a couple of weeks at least, you're on your own.

  •  

    James Tyler: In all seriousness, we'll be doing plenty of chats in the 2012-13 season. Maybe some MLS, some Olympics, definitely plenty of EPL.

  •  

    James Tyler: Aww, I'm sure you'll all do just fine. It's summer! Great weather! Etc.

  •  

    [Comment from Tearfool]
    JT, we're going to be miserable without you. When do we see you again?

  •  

    [Comment from La Roja]
    LA ROJA did with class and playing great fundamental futbol

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Shearer: "Italy met a team in a league of their own."

  •  

    James Tyler: I daresay Llorente could have done the same, Tom. Game was beyond Italy by that point.

  •  

    [Comment from Tom]
    Torres looked sharp against an exhausted italy side that had given up

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    It's cute that the Spanish players let Llorente wear a uniform.

  •  

    [Comment from sean]
    pirlo played really well this tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: So there's your lot! Euro 2012 is over. But our work on the postgame is just beginning. Thank you profusely for being a part of this tournament on the live chats. They have been fantastic thanks to all of you.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's all about minutes played, guest. Apparently. El Nino did his in much less playing time.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Manduzic or Dzagoev didn't get any assists?

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    WELL DONE SPAIN

  •  

    James Tyler: Tried their best, didn't complain, didn't look for sympathy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy will feel beyond despair. Outclassed, but also some bad luck to play most of the second half with just ten men following Motta's injury.

  •  

    [Comment from Garv]
    Wow, shot of Balotelli storming off the field past his manager.

  •  

    James Tyler: Agree, and not just because I'm an LFC fan. Barely factored in this tournament.

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    Torres winning the Golden Boot is kind of lame...

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: That's your lot! Spain wins! Another title! Three straight majors! Woof!

  •  

    James Tyler: No, Jordan. Just couldn't remember everyone on 3 goals. But the fact that Torres is set to win the Boot is quite amazing.

  •  

    [Comment from jordan]
    James tyler do u hate ronaldo? cause he is tied for the goals lead too

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    This was for 1994 WC QF and Luis Enrique's nose.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: With that assist, Fernando Torres will win the Golden Boot at this tournament based on having fewer minutes played than Mario Gomez.

  •  

    James Tyler: Hoping that Spain's victory means we get another video of Pepe Reina drunk on the plane.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQFn1Vo2mFc

  •  

    James Tyler: Puyol and David Silva are frantically typing on their Blackberries backstage somewhere, anxious for a party.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Saying here on the telly that Torres is going to be awarded the Golden Boot? Three goals and an assist, like Gomez, but fewer minutes on the pitch.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo hacks down Arbeloa. Why? Just because.

  •  

    James Tyler: Masters manhandling the lively challengers in Kiev.

  •  

    James Tyler: Three minutes of added time.

  •  

    James Tyler: Some Spanish fans chanting "WE WANT FIVE!" maybe.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Torres is tied with Balotelli, Mandzukic, Gomez.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Four goals is the most ever scored by a team in a EURO final.

  •  

    [Comment from mike]
    3 goals and an assist for torres. is that not the tourney's highest scorer?

  •  

    James Tyler: Presumably, Torres set Mata up in the hopes that the favor is repaid many times in the EPL next season.

  •  

    James Tyler: #WhiteStripesSong

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    Juan Mata's goal-per-touch percentage is going to be skewed in this game

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Juan Mata and Fernando Torres will join the list of players to have won a European Cup/Champions League and European Championship in the same year. Only five other players in history have pulled that off.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: How many minutes was he on the pitch? First appearance of the tourney, no?

  •  

    James Tyler: Torres free in the box, he slips it to Chelsea teammate Juan Mata for a cursory finish.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR SPAIN! LA ROJA JUST RUBBING IT IN!

  •  

    James Tyler: England, GGM. Because we're idiots.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Is there another team in the world where Mata doesn't start?

  •  

    [Comment from Walt]
    Player of tournament?

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse]
    Iniesta the best, had a great tournament!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR SPAIN: The superb Iniesta off, Juan Mata on. The Chelsea man gets four minutes to amble around.

  •  

    [Comment from Mitch]
    Humiliating!

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse N]
    thought italy looked quite good until they went down a man and ran out of gas.

  •  

    James Tyler: Five minutes left. Poor Italy.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: This would be tied for largest margin of victory in a EURO Final and is also only the second time in its EURO history that Italy has conceded 3 goals (33 matches).

  •  

    James Tyler: Long ball for Balotelli is knocked away by a sprightly Casillas.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Three killer balls setting up all three goals.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nah; Spain killed this game.

  •  

    [Comment from Walt]
    the 3 substitution rule killed this game

  •  

    James Tyler: No-one sent off, Titan. Italy used all three subs and then a player got injured.

  •  

    [Comment from Titans Win]
    Who was sent off? Sorry, in the car.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Well, Rog was right about Torres scoring in the last 10 minutes, but it doesn't mean anything.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice move to slip away from Abate and Barzagli. Easy as pie.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Fernando Torres is the first player to ever score in two EURO Finals.

  •  

    James Tyler: He scored the game-winner in 2008, and here he is scoring the cherry on top in 2012. Well, then.

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse]
    El Nino is back!!!!!!!!!!!111

  •  

    James Tyler: Easy finish from a simple move.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR SPAIN! FERNANDO TORRES! THAT'S JUST MEAN!

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    1 goal allowed in six matches, 570+ minutes over Euro 2012 ... amazing

  •  

    James Tyler: Jordi Alba's up! But he's already been signed by Barca. Mario Mandzukic is up! But he's already been signed by Bayern. Gebre Selassie is up! But he's already been signed by Werder Bremen. And Alan Dzagoev's dad says he's been contracted by Tottenham.

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    So what player saw their stock raised the most in this tournament? Anyone see their stock reduced notably?

  •  

    James Tyler: Nine minutes left, and still Spain flooding forward to get involved. Such energy. Then again, easier to keep running when you're up 2-0.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: During this Spain run over the last three major tournaments (19 matches including today), it has scored 30 goals and allowed six.

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Fields of Athenry time for Italy?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Linesman's flag saves Pedro.

  •  

    James Tyler: Offside! Another silky Spanish move culminates in a poor pass for Pedro.

  •  

    James Tyler: Spain fans, curiously, are not singing "Seven Nation Army."

  •  

    James Tyler: 13 minutes left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ramos and Balzaretti tangle on the edge of the Italy area, Ramos goes down, could have been a PK but not.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: They are out of subs BigBob.

  •  

    [Comment from BigBob]
    Why doesn't italy put another man on the field? is it not allowed?

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm just happy to see Fernando get some sympathy minutes.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I feel a bit of the Chelsea-Barca here. Game already won for Chelsea (or progress all but assured) but Torres adds the finishing touch.

  •  

    James Tyler: Look at Torres!

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse]
    Will Torres score??

  •  

    [Comment from Jim]
    Spain has been attacking all game. Great team !

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Motta off injured.

  •  

    [Comment from guest]
    Why is italy playing a man short?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Just a matter of when Spain get the third.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Upon reflection, I think there is more of a case for Brazil late 90s/early 2000s than I originally thought. Interesting arguement to say the least.

  •  

    [Comment from La Roja]
    is it safe to talk about La Roja making history now

  •  

    James Tyler: Di Natale flagged for offside.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Andrea Pirlo with 36 completed passes so far. He had averaged 66.2 per game at this tournament coming into this match.

  •  

    James Tyler: Halt, even.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tiki taka time! Game grinding to a half.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Let's see if Mario loses his cool in the final 20 minutes.

  •  

    [Comment from Garv]
    Neat note: this is the 4 year anniversary of Del Bosque first getting the Spain job.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    All Del Bosque has to say is, "Scoreboard!"

  •  

    James Tyler: Pedro with a dangerous cross but it's cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo muzzled, Balotelli isolated, backline wobbly.

  •  

    James Tyler: Who knows, Travis? Maybe VDB just rolls with this. It works.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Boring, boring Spain :)

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Of course, Winlar. VDB was fired by Real Madrid after all *after* winning a league title.

  •  

    [Comment from travis]
    when david villa comes back who gets dropped from the midfield?

  •  

    James Tyler: Spain utterly comfortable, now more so than in the first half.

  •  

    James Tyler: 23 minutes left.

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    Del Bosque is going to manage to win a Euro and STILL be relentlessly second-guessed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chiellini had to be swapped for a defensive sub, Di Natale was attacking, and Thiago Motta was to bring control to midfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: Just a series of positional switches, Mike.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Balotelli has been good at winning free kicks - which aren't.

  •  

    James Tyler: Hindsight is 50/50, Mike. Was forced into the Chiellini sub.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    I wish Prandelli had been more attacking in those last two subs. Why not bring on Giovinco?

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli tries to get something started but he handles as he tries to get the ball control.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Truer words have never been spoken A.

  •  

    [Comment from A]
    Well this game went from interesting to kinda anti-climactic in a hurry

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Whistle blew and I thought for a sec he was giving a pen on the free kick.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick for Italy is angled to the back post and Busquets makes contact with Barzagli.

  •  

    [Comment from bill]
    if this were a videogame the italian manager would be furiously hitting the "reset" button right now.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Well...biggest blowout in Euro finals history is definitely on the table now.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Motta being helped down the tunnel, commentators here say.

  •  

    James Tyler: ANTI-SUB FOR ITALY: Thiago Motta off, no-one on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sadness? Fettuccine alfredo?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: They play with 10 men.

  •  

    [Comment from kate]
    what happens to italy now?

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Wow. Murphy's Law is in effect for Italy

  •  

    James Tyler: Untrue: I'll pick him for worst signing.

  •  

    [Comment from Carys]
    Nope, JT won't vote for Torres for anything, now that he plays for Chelsea.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: He's going off for sure and not coming back.

  •  

    James Tyler: Prandelli's going to have to go with 10 men the rest of the way.

  •  

    James Tyler: Now, Thiago Motta looks like he's shredded his hamstring.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Uh oh for Italy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Actually, Juan, I pick TYTON.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    I know James Tyler's vote for MVP is for Torres

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Silva did his job tonight.

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    MVP is obviously Llorente

  •  

    James Tyler: Situationally, it's Cesc. Overall, it's Iniesta, in my opinion.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Like what I've seen from Pedro this tourney. Has been an impact sub in the second half of games. Had a good end of season to earn a spot on the team.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    I think Fabregas is MVP. Spain's offense is so much better when he's out there.

  •  

    James Tyler: An extra burst of pace to decimate Italy on the break.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Has to be Torres!

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR SPAIN: David Silva off, Pedro on.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Lots of good candidates for Spain MVP. Of course, that's why they're in the position they're in.

  •  

    James Tyler: So Italy has no subs left. This is it.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Another bad choice there by Balotelli.

  •  

    [Comment from hanch6]
    Agreed. Iniesta is MVP.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lofted to the back post but Casillas leaps again to palm it out of danger. Balotelli's follow-up shot is curled well wide of goal.

  •  

    [Comment from La Roja]
    Jeff I would go with Cesc as MVP

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo hovers over the ball.... at least 30 Italian players inside the box. Maybe even Prandelli, too.

  •  

    James Tyler: Di Natale is fouled by Sergio Ramos. Free kick deep in Spanish territory.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    No more subs for Italy. Better hope they don't get another injury.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    MVP = Iniesta. Most consistent player for Spain all tournament.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I'd go with Iniesta as La Roja's best. He's been Spain's most consistent player in the tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. Jordan Henderson cost 20m.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good question, Winlar (in the tournament, I presume).

  •  

    [Comment from Eamonn]
    Jordi Alba for 14million is absolute robbery. He's top class

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ITALY: Montolivo off, Thiago Motta on. Prandelli needs another bulldog to exert pressure in the middle.

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    If Spain win who is MVP? Iker's been brilliant, but not a whole lot to do.

  •  

    [Comment from gotaly]
    you're killing me di natale.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ball over the top for Di Natale is overhit. Casillas collects.

  •  

    James Tyler: To refresh: two brilliant goals separate the two teams at present. A lovely Iniesta-Fabregas-David Silva move for #1, and a Jordi Alba counterattack cued by Xavi's wonderful pass for #2.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Di Natale making his presence felt. Just the finish that has lacked.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ball wide for Di Natale but he's offside.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: That's since the introduction of the group stage in 1980.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: If Spain keep a clean sheet here, it would become the first team to reach the knockout round and finish the tournament with 1 goal allowed or fewer.

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Italy needs to come up with a strategy other than "aim directly for the guy in yellow"

  •  

    James Tyler: Ahh, but they did. Vs. Italy in the opening game.

  •  

    [Comment from Eamonn]
    Spain have conceded a single goal in the tournament. Ridiculous.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo tries to elude Fabregas and is fouled. Free kick for the Azzurri deep in the Spanish half. Ball's lofted into the box but La Roja clears. Then Montolivo fouls.

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    Just when you think there's a chance, you're reminded that Iker Castillas is back there. No fair Spain

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: My goodness Di Natale. The Casillas Mind Trick of "shoot the ball straight at me" is working well.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Italy! Lovely save by Casillas to deny Di Natale!

  •  

    James Tyler: Or excessive cologne. But yes, Italy laboring a touch.

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    "I've seen them given" is having a great tournament

  •  

    [Comment from La Roja]
    La Roja smell blood

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Now now JT. We don't want any Howard Webb impersonations.

  •  

    James Tyler: At the other end, Balotelli falls inside the box but referee's having none of it.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Maybe it was the sympathy vote like the ref giving Greece a pen vs. Ger.

  •  

    James Tyler: More danger for Italy: long ball into the corner finds David Silva, he works it back for Xavi but the Barca man's cross is deflected to Buffon. Moment of panic.

  •  

    James Tyler: (wags finger at referee Proenca)

  •  

    [Comment from Eamonn]
    stonewall penalty against bonucci

  •  

    [Comment from Peter]
    Handball. That sideline official should resign

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hmm. Hand was up.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick to Spain in the right corner. Ramos gets a head to it, ball ricochets off an Italian and Spain claims a handball in the box. Ref Proenca says no. Replay shows it hits Bonucci's arm.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Cesc almost took the phrase "walking the ball in" to its extreme there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Fabregas ruins Balzaretti inside the box with a twisty-turny run but David Silva is offside when the ball comes in.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: The most common quarter hour to score has been the 15 minutes immediately after halftime, with eight goals.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Fabregas turns infield and shoots from the edge of the box but it's wide of goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    at least force a save

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Alba good on defense too.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Really had to score there, Di Natale.

  •  

    James Tyler: Should have been 2-1.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Lovely passing move and Abate's lovely cross is nodded just over by Di Natale!

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy starts sharply. Ball is worked wide to Abate but his right-flank cross is blocked out for a throw.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Commentators here reminding everyone that Northern Ireland beat Spain 3-2 not too long ago...

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Second half is underway.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ITALY: Cassano off, Di Natale on.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I disagree Dude. I think Cassano has been pretty good the entire tournament, even if the goals didn't come. The Germany game was just a different match tactically. Like I said earlier, Balotelli had tons of space on his two goals. He's never really gotten behind the Spain defense today. They've been quick to shut him down.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: We're going to miss you folks too Jan. We love this time of year.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Milan isn't Spain.

  •  

    [Comment from La Roja]
    Give italy credit they have been cutting into spain lanes and taking the ball away from Spain But Iker has played a great with some great stop on goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ohhh soccerlover, how I love the Miracle of Istanbul. But who will be the Italian Steven Gerrard?

  •  

    [Comment from soccerlover]
    lets remember liverpool-milan 2005 CL final. it's not over until the last whistle is blown

  •  

    James Tyler: Soon, Mike. As soon as the teams emerge for the second half. No word yet whether Balotelli will try to score before the ref gets play underway.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    I'm going to miss Statsie when this tournament is over.

  •  

    [Comment from The Dude]
    So was the Germany game a fluke for Balotelli/Cassano? They didn't look good in any other game this tournament.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    So when does Italy just go all-out attack?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I think that speaks of Spain's ability to control midfield and cut off the supply line.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Balotelli had only 14 touches in the first half, tied with Gianluigi Buffon for the fewest on Italy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Defenders too busy watching Xavi's feet.

  •  

    [Comment from bagel]
    I still don't understand how Albab was allowed to receive that pass

  •  

    [Comment from mcrury]
    It's 2:43 am here in Indonesia, I don't feel sleepy at all. Go Spain!

  •  

    James Tyler: They're struggling to get possession, The Dude. Spain is doing well to cut off distribution.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Ironic if the final becomes the most lopsided game of the tourney.

  •  

    [Comment from The Dude]
    Where are Balotelli and Cassano? Italy need them to show up like they did against Germany if they want any kind of chance in the second.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kyle, it would be amazing. Beyond words. And still possible.

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    Let's be honest, though... how incredible would it be if Italy came back to tie this game?

  •  

    [Comment from Gustavo]
    I think the cross by Fabregas was more of a brilliant play than Silva's header.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Only one team has lost a EURO Final after carrying the lead into halftime - Yugoslavia in 1960 (Led Soviet Union 1-0 at halftime, lost 2-1).

  •  

    [Comment from La Roja]
    Everybody was questioning Spain where the goals was going to come from. Cesc or Torres. Nope anybody can score on this team. They don't know one striker

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Possession: ESP 47, ITA 53

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    what are the possession stats?

  •  

    [Comment from sean]
    that silva goal was brilliance on fab's part and incredible instinct from silva

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Can't decide if Silva's header was a bit of luck or sheer brilliance. Seemed to make a late adjustment to get his head to the ball.

  •  

    [Comment from guest]
    Amunt Valencia! David Silva and Jordi Alba, 2 great examples of what VCF has produced :)

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    doesn't matter what the possession or passing stats show, what matters is that Spain took their two chances and Italy has not

  •  

    James Tyler: Everyone note that? Jon, I'll be contacting you soon. Could use some spending money.

  •  

    [Comment from Jon]
    If Italy wins I'll pay you 1 million dollars

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: For the middle 15 minutes, yes passing was off in middle third. But Spain has been much more effective at playing the killer ball in this game.

  •  

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: But not exactly a smash and grab, either. Get your point, though.

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    Got to feel for Italy right now. Game has been closer than score indicates.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: More bad news for Italy - Spain has won its last 61 matches where it scored the opening goal. The last team to down Spain after conceding the first goal? Northern Ireland in September 2006.

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    I don't know about that, Jeff. Maybe their movement, but their passing was pretty mediocre for a good chunk of that half.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Folks, if you are having TV reception troubles, try ESPN3.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Thoroughly impressive half from Spain. The passing and movement off the ball has been spectacular, much sharper than in their other group stage games.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Thanks!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ravi - if they do, it would be only the second time Italy allowed 3 goals in a EURO match. The only other time was Netherlands in the 2008 Group Stage.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nope. Not even close.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Has this been boring?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: HALF TIME. Incumbents 2, Plucky upstarts 0.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Thanks, Statsie! I think Spain will get another to match West Germany.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Balotelli also hasn't had near the space that he did against Germany. Spain has been very alert to his whereabouts.

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    Italy is in the DANGER ZONE

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ravi - West Germany defeated Soviet Union 3-0 in the 1972 Final. That's also the only time that a team scored more than two goals in a EURO Final.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick is drifted into the box, Italy clears, David Silva shoots from distance but Buffon holds on.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Balotelli's decision making has been poor in this game.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Fear for Italy. They have to go forward even more now.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Barzagli, ITA. Bamboozled by Iniesta's shimmy, the big CB hauls down the Barca man.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Had to ask!

  •  

    James Tyler: Ouch, Ravi!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hey Statsie, what's the most lopsided final?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Rasping shot from Montolivo is smartly parried by Casillas!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: The only team to score two goals in a EURO final without winning was West Germany in 1976. That was 2-2 draw, and Czechoslovakia won on PKs.

  •  

    James Tyler: Think he timed it perfectly.

  •  

    [Comment from Bret]
    That looked dangerously close to offsides, no?

  •  

    [Comment from KT]
    Jordi and Xavi - two more Barca boys come good for Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Don't be a downer, Silva! In the modern era, this is an unprecedented achievement. Footy was different back then.

  •  

    [Comment from Silva]
    This Spanish team can only be considered for the greatest team of all time when they win either two world cups in a row (Brazil 58-62). If we take the argument that winning the Eurocup-World Cup-Eurocup is enough to consider this team as the best of all time, one should look at Brazil's late 90s-early 2000s team for they won 2 World Cups, 2 Copa Americas, and 2 Confederations Cup in 10 years, without mentioning the world cup 2nd place in 1998

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    THIS IS ESPAÑA

  •  

    [Comment from travis]
    Jordi Alba has been phenonmenal all tournament

  •  

    [Comment from Skylar]
    Jordia Alba just ran faster than anyone i've ever seen. What a ball from Xavi

  •  

    [Comment from Cole]
    Run of the tournament!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: No team has led the EURO final by 2 goals and failed to win the title.

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    TOO EASY

  •  

    James Tyler: Alba drifts between two defenders having started the move by winning a header, Xavi with the incisive pass.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Great finish from a left back.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Xavi. Fantastic. He's looked a different player today. Much better than against Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: The left-back bombs upfield unchecked, great pass to play him through, and a superb low shot past Buffon. Well, then. Five minutes to half time, and that might be a decisive goal. Wow. His first for Spain.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Again.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wow. What a ball.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR SPAIN! FROM NOWHERE! JORDI ALBA!

  •  

    James Tyler: Note: do not try that game. It might be hazardous to your health by the time we reach the hour mark.

  •  

    [Comment from Jamie]
    New drinking game, everytime Spain has possession, if you can spot a passing triangle, you take a drink. Unbelievable stuff.

  •  

    James Tyler: Silva gets it at the top of the box but is well dispossessed by Balzaretti before he can shoot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Balzaretti fouls David Silva. Free kick, Spain, just inside the Italy half. And so begins that tiki thing anew.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Come on, he wasn't gonna score from there. The one against Germany was much closer.

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli's pass infield is poor and Spain breaks quickly, but good defending to prevent Sergio Ramos getting a header on goal. Yes, Sergio Ramos was furthest man forward. At the other end, Balotelli gets some room to shoot and does, but it's well over. Cassano was open and hoping for a pass.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sloppy from Jordi Alba. Long crossfield pass goes out for a throw-in to Italy.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Struggling to get into the game so far, Mario.

  •  

    James Tyler: Montolivo finds Balotelli wide left. The striker does well to hold up possession but an errant pass by Montolivo on the return is gobbled up by the Spanish defense. La Roja back in possession.

  •  

    James Tyler: 10 minutes to half time and despite the 1-0 scoreline, this game's very finely poised. Italy not dead by any means.

  •  

    [Comment from Martin]
    what? Italy leading in posession? there must be something wrong with the universe and the space time continuum.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Lazy from Silva.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arbeloa gets some room on the right flank, but takes too long to cross. Italy defends well. Now David Silva's flagged for offside.

  •  

    [Comment from cssounders]
    also he bombs on spain's right: the very side that is weakened by david silva's love of the center of the field.

  •  

    [Comment from cssounders]
    Balzaretti for Chiellini: an unintended, brilliant substitution

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Possession: ESP 46, ITA 54. Passing: ESP 156/184 (84.8%), ITA 129/158 (81.6%)

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Skylar. Balzaretti bombs upfield in the way Chiellini can't. Yet another thing for Spain to defend.

  •  

    [Comment from Skylar]
    Balzaretti seems to have opened the game up wider on the left for Italy since coming in.

  •  

    [Comment from Marcus]
    Statsie, what are the possession and passing stats so far?

  •  

    James Tyler: Better from the Azzurri. Pirlo improvising to find some room. Cassano working twice as hard to get open, too.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wow, Spain on the ropes. Thought Italy pressing would free up more space for Spain. Not so. Great reply from Italy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Cassano uncorks one from the top of the box but Casillas saves sharply to his left!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Italy has only completed 16 of 26 passes in the attacking third so far (61.5%)

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    Italy looking much better last 5 minutes.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Spain's defensive shape looks, dare I say, 4-4-2ish. Cesc and Silva pressuring high and disrupting the flow into Pirlo.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Is that a significant difference statsie?

  •  

    James Tyler: Cassano's pass for Balotelli is well cut out. Italy just not able to make the telling passes in the attacking third. So far, anyway...

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Pirlo's passing is not as sharp in this match as it has been. He completed 83.4% of his passes entering this match, he's only completed 73.7% (14/19) so far.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. De Rossi overcooked the contact a touch. Shame, really.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Who goes down after running into David Silva for goodness sakes.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: True on Xavi being Pirlo's shadow, although Fabregas and even Alonso have taken some turns as well.

  •  

    James Tyler: Instead of lofting it in for his center backs, he shoots flatly. It's well wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick, Italy, well out from goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Jamie]
    Xavi looks like Pirlo's personal shadow today...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wrong choice by Cassano. Needed to the cut the ball back.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good play by Italy! Winning the ball back in midfield, Cassano gets it wide left in space but his cross/shot ends up comfortably saved by Casillas.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Mario Balotelli with only three touches so far, least of any player in the match, including Balzaretti.

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy throw just inside the Spain half, but La Roja quickly wins the ball back. Recommence Operation: possession control.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Lucky deflection there for Casillas off Jordi Alba.

  •  

    James Tyler: For those just tuning in, a superb Iniesta-Fabregas link-up ended with David Silva angling a header in for Spain's goal. Spain looking very sharp and very aggressive. As eager to dispel the accusations of "boring" as they are hungry to win a record third straight major title.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Timely interception by Casillas.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain hasn't surrendered a goal in a major tournament elimination match since France's Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup Round of 16.

  •  

    James Tyler: Xavi finds David Silva at the top of the box but two Italians lurch in to dispossess the Man City genius.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Roma is being bandied about.

  •  

    [Comment from nyceurofan]
    Any news on a possible move for Bradley to another Serie A team?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Harsh yellow. Looked worse than it was and now Pique has to be very careful.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Pique, SPA. Scissoring slide on Cassano from behind. Ref no like.

  •  

    James Tyler: Fabregas tries to play Iniesta in for a shot but it hits the Barca man in the heel. Italy clear.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Rog are you near the WAGS again?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Pirlo so important for Juve - and that says a bunch.

  •  

    James Tyler: 25 minutes gone. Abate's deep cross is cleared. Cassano couldn't get there in time.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Balzaretti converted 95 of the 103 passes he attempted in Italy's quarterfinal match against England, with 35 of those going to Andrea Pirlo.

  •  

    James Tyler: Would appear so, footy fan! Really robust at the back, but there had better be a back-up plan for Pirlo's inevitable decline.

  •  

    [Comment from footy fan]
    SO JT, JC and RU : What do you think this tournament shows about Juventus' capabilities in the new season ? Are they back to being Juventus again ?

  •  

    James Tyler: For those who missed it, Chiellini had aggravated a muscle strain. Not sure whether it was the one that hobbled him earlier in the tournament, but even so. Clearly unable to proceed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Marchisio's cross is blocked but only as far as Balzaretti. His weak shot is well wide. Goal kick, Spain.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Separated at birth: Balzaretti and tennis player Gaston Gaudio.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric (GFOP)]
    Rog how many English fans are at the final?

  •  

    James Tyler: Balzaretti's in good form, sharp, quick, should be fine at LB.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: An inspirational leader off.

  •  

    James Tyler: I've been fine for a few minutes! Let's press on.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain with 45 touches in the attacking third so far. Only 21 for Italy.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: It's back for me now.

  •  

    [Comment from cssounders]
    Balzaretti is a more than capable replacement

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    :( Rog

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ITALY: Chiellini off, Balzaretti on. The Juve CB/LB just hobbled and humbled.

  •  

    James Tyler: La Roja is swarming like angry bees. Angry bees with boots.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Good tackle by Pirlo to avert danger, but bad news for Italy...

  •  

    James Tyler: Uh oh, Chiellini gives it away in his own third... wonderful pressure by Spain and Pirlo is forced to slide inside his box to dispossess Iniesta.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Do you want me to tell you what is happening? Italy are getting walloped

  •  

    James Tyler: Alright, picture's back. John Terry had headbutted a cable out of the wall. Couple of long balls amount to nothing

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Great recovery by Pique after initially being beaten.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Only 3 teams have lost a EURO final after scoring first: 2000 Italy, 1996 Czech Republic, 1960 Yugoslavia.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: And Casillas didn't look good on one of them.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good cross by Pirlo but well cleared. Casillas punching downfield as Chiellini tried to reach it.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain with the early passing advantage - ESP 109/124 (87.9%), ITA 59/73 (80.8%)

  •  

    [Comment from cssounders]
    italy looking dangerous on corners

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Italy is nodded behind by Ramos. Another to come...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Just what the game needed, by the way. Well, any goal early in a game is good.

  •  

    James Tyler: Fifth official watches the goal line and things around the net.

  •  

    James Tyler: Fourth official handles subs and makes sure the managers stay in their boxes.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Yep.

  •  

    [Comment from kate]
    tv broadcast question: is anyone's tv going in and out?

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    JT, can you tell me what the 4/5th refs specific responsibilities are? Is it only judging whether the ball crosses the goal line or is there more?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: This has tilted the tactical battle heavily in Spain's favor. Now they can afford to just keep the ball and make Italy chase even more.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Finally a good call by the ref on the line. Saw it go off the Italian player's back.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo's corner is swung in and Casillas just about palms it away. Looked a bit shaky there with Cheilini and De Rossi nearby.

  •  

    [Comment from Steve]
    This Fabregas guy would look great in the EPL.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo deflects it off the wall. Corner for Italy.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Chiellini looked really old there...

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick for Italy down the other end. The Azzurri need an immediate response. Pirlo and Balotelli hovering over the dead ball. 20+ yards out, just to the left of goal.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Chiellini just didn't have the pace to keep up with Fabregas there. Fantastic pass by Cesc.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Lost a EURO match that is. Apologies.

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    Boring Spain LOL

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain has never lost a EURO Final when scoring first - 14-0-2.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: What a wonderful through ball to allow Fab to get behind the D.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric (GFOP)]
    Second that Wow!

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    How did Fabregas put that ball on the head of Silva? What a ball!

  •  

    [Comment from Martin]
    truly excellent from Spain

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    WHAT A PASS BY INIESTA

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely run by Fabregas behind Chiellini, he lofts a cross under pressure and David Silva does brilliantly to put his header on target. Sublime. Bravo.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: You can cancel the missing persons report on David Silva.

  •  

    James Tyler: Fabregas sets, David Silva converts. Majestic stuff. PAGING RAY HUDSON

  •  

    James Tyler: WOW

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wha a goal.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR SPAIN!

  •  

    James Tyler: Not until now. Blast. (downloads name change form)

  •  

    [Comment from Eric (GFOP)]
    JT does it disturb you that you share the initials with the JT John Terry?

  •  

    James Tyler: More silky movement by Espana, but Xavi's angled pass for Iniesta goes between him and Fabregas.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain with the early advantage in the attacking third with 29 touches to 13 for Italy.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Just for the facial reaction, 10.

  •  

    James Tyler: The French judge has awarded a 9.9. The Russian judge, a 9.7.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    I have Italy ahead on drama 3 -1, judges?

  •  

    James Tyler: Taka-tiki, that's it.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Great acting by Montelivo there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Long ball for Balotelli is dealt with by Casillas, who raced to the edge of the area to hoof it clear. Nice idea by Pirlo to set Super Mario free.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    I think it's called "The Sleeper Move", James.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    I think you're referring to tippen-zapfen JT.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Should have done better. A fair bit of criticism in the past few weeks for Xavi.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Spain! Good pass from Fabregas finds Xavi in space at the top of the box but he blazes over from 20 yards!

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta darts upfield and finds Xavi but the shot is blocked. Then Iniesta has an effort blocked by Chiellini.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: And he's saved his best stuff for the bigger games, Jordi Alba.

  •  

    James Tyler: Spain passing it around with ease. There's a name for it, I think. Can't remember what it's called when they do that.

  •  

    James Tyler: Alba is just what Barca's been lacking -- a consistent box-to-box fullback who gets forward. Will be great for them.

  •  

    [Comment from Cole]
    Alba is going to fit in really well at Barcelona. He has had a much better tournament than I had anticipated.

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta has a shot blocked, it comes to Jordi Alba on the left flank but his low cross is blocked and cleared. Plenty of purpose early on for Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Perhaps, Garv. But who will it be?

  •  

    [Comment from Garv]
    We're about due for a howler or some sort of controversy for this final, right?

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance! Xavi drops it on Ramos' head but the defender powers his effort over the bar. Chiellini lost him in the middle of the box.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Spain.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Oh, boy, don't you just hate it when players take free kicks from there hoping for a goal. Ramos was never gonna beat Buffon from 35 yards.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ramos gets his foot under the set piece but lofts it over the bar.

  •  

    James Tyler: Foul on De Rossi as he comes in heavily on Xavi from the side. Free kick, Spain, about 35 yards out.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    The most amazing thing about Spain is their work rate. They always get back behind the ball with lightening speed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Italy in possession. Long ball forward by Cassano for Balotelli but Ramos does enough to win a header. Danger dissipates.

  •  

    James Tyler: #controversialcomments

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    I bet Spain out-exaggerates Italy 2 to 1

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Silva has been a little off this tournament and there, his pass again with too much weight.

  •  

    James Tyler: Even though he's not a striker, Fabregas does give Spain some added dynamism. Never afraid to spring an attack upfield.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: A bit of an exaggeration there from Abate me thinks.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pirlo with the first shot of the game... and it's screwed well wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Ramos is the only man insane enough to match Balo. At least compared to the more elegant Pique.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Looks like Ramos is shadowing Balotelli early. I thought it would be Pique.

  •  

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off! The Euro 2012 final is in progress!

  •  

    James Tyler: Fabregas with a few last-second panic squats. He's ready. Are you all?

  •  

    James Tyler: I know I am, Andrew.

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    I'm sure everyones happy howard webb isn't officiating today

  •  

    James Tyler: No words to sing!

  •  

    [Comment from Zeus]
    Did any of the Spanish players sing?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Agreed, Jesse N, but he's not a natural right back. But tough on Balzaretti no doubt.

  •  

    James Tyler: You can bet Marchisio, De Rossi and Montolivo will protect Andrea Pirlo the same way bouncers protect a pop star.

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse N]
    i thought balzaretti had a solid tourney and gets replaced in the final

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Hmmm. Silva vs. Chiellini. Interesting matchup there.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: As James said before, it'll be imperative for Spain to suffocate Pirlo. The guy doesn't need much to find a pass.

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS:
    ITALY: 1-Buffon; 7-Abate, 19-Bonucci, 15-Barzagli, 3-Chiellini; 21-Pirlo; 8-Marchisio, 18-Montolivo, 16-De Rossi; 10-Cassano, 9-Balotelli

    SPAIN: 1-Casillas; 17-Arbeloa, 3-Pique, 15-Sergio Ramos, 18-Jordi Alba; 8-Xavi, 16-Busquets, 14-Alonso; 21-Silva, 10-Fabregas, 6-Iniesta

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: A kiss and hug between two of the top keepers in the world...

  •  

    James Tyler: Like wax figures ready for the fire.

  •  

    James Tyler: Look at those stony faced Spanish players.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm flattered that you still consider Liverpool to be a "bigger side".

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: If nothing else, JT, I think Dempsey has earned the right to move to a bigger side.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Five EURO Finals have reached extra time, including both of Italy's previous Final appearances in 1968 and 1990. The 1968 Final was replayed two days later, with Italy claiming a 2-0 win.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: The good news for Rafa losing early at Wimbledon: Watching the Euro final.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ravi: I'd love him. Would welcome him with open arms. And his tattoos could finally give Skrtel and Agger some skin art competition.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    De Rossi looks like a henchman in a Guy Ritchie flick, preferably Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Buffon wins the national anthem again.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ignazio Abate: PUMPED.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: De Rossi has a Sam Kinison look about him.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hey, James, what you make of Dempsey for Liverpool?

  •  

    James Tyler: Rog, how is the Kiev press box? Balmy? Excited?

  •  

    James Tyler: Here come the teams! And here is Ravi Ubha! Full house in chat tonight. I'll be handling play-by-play, leaving room for the assembled talent to pitch in trenchant analysis and sparkling wit.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Something tells me Platini will consider the inconvenience for the media as a positive.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Night of that ballboy's life.

  •  

    James Tyler: For Italy: Pirlo's effectiveness. Cassano's ability to ruffle stodgy defense. Shutting down Spain's passing game.

    For Spain: cracking Buffon's confidence. Scoring goals. They don't do that much.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hi, all. I guess we gave our predictions? 2-0 Spain.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: No one wants to hear our whining James. ;)

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy NC]
    Siked for this final, what are your guys key to success for each team?

  •  

    James Tyler: Nightmare for the poor media, too. Would have plenty to write about the state of Europe's airport lounges.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: If you're following one team, you didn't have to switch countries until the knockout rounds. That would happen from the get-go under Platini's plan.

  •  

    James Tyler: I was thinking a Shakespearean finale to a great tournament. "Once more unto the breach, dear Pirlo, once more...."

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Nick. I have a feeling this may be more of a W.H Auden kind of final...

  •  

    James Tyler: Fair point, guest. But imagine going from Budapest to Sevilla. Or something.

  •  

    [Comment from guest]
    Euro 2012 was over a long distance. Gdansk to Donetsk is a long as New York to Nashville.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nick, were you by any chance the teacher in Dead Poets' Society?

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    Happy Euro Final! Rog, may I offer some Byron to celebrate the Final? "By Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see (For one who hath no friend, no brother there) Their rival scarfs of mixed embroidery, Their various arms that glitter in the air! All join the chase, but few the triumph share; The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away, And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array."

  •  

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: We are under 10 mins from kickoff.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: The cost would be prohibitive as well I think; air travel vs. train/car.

  •  

    James Tyler: I don't like the idea, personally. Would be even more of a logistical nightmare for fans than trying to get from Donetsk to Kiev in 12 hours.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Not sure Luis. I covered Copa America in '07. Very fun tournament, even if the US was horrible in it.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    I actually think having the games in several cities might be cool. Maybe the teams that finish 1st in qualifying get home games?

  •  

    James Tyler: Right, song time. It's that techno anthem of Euro 2012. Lots of flag-waving and synchronized shimmying.

  •  

    [Comment from F.M.Merchant]
    I have confidence that powerful team Spain will win Euro 2012.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jeff: I think Platini envisions some grand tournament of airplane travel. From Paris to Madrid! Then hop to Milan! Then a quick puddle-jump to Dubrovnik! Big winner = Easyjet and Ryanair.

  •  

    [Comment from Luis]
    Jeff, how come everyone in Latin America knows the Euros, but Euros and Americans don't know the Copa America is just as big. Annoying, really

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Ah yes. The birth of the Panenka!

  •  

    James Tyler: Pow, Statsie! Good shout.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: For those predicting kicks today - The 1976 Final between Czechoslovakia and West Germany is the only EURO Final to reach penalty kicks.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Don't think that Euro format has been thought through in terms of getting from venue to venue. I suppose it all depends on how spread out the cities are.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Closing ceremony music from a 60's low budget screwball comedy...where's Barbara Feldon?

  •  

    James Tyler: If you are still lacking for visuals: ESPN has the game on TV, ESPN3/WatchESPN.com has it online, and ESPNRadio.com has live radio feed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Michel Platini had a daydream of $$$$$$$. Simple as that, really.

  •  

    [Comment from Kreed]
    Thoughts on Euro's in the big cities?

  •  

    James Tyler: Re: goalies. I favor Buffon because he's been sharper. Had more to do and done it well. Survived the German onslaught. Being a goalie is all about confidence and form. That's my final word on it.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Sure they do. It's called Copa America.

  •  

    [Comment from bp]
    Jeff - pretty unfair to the likes of Brazil, isn't it? They don't have a tournament like the Euros to win between WC's.

  •  

    [Comment from bp]
    Cas is rarely tested. Buffon has been more impressive in this tourney if only because he has had more to do.

  •  

    [Comment from Baggio]
    Pirlo will be the MOM again

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Brazil didn't win though. Hammered by France in '98.

  •  

    [Comment from Dave]
    Didnt brasil make the final five times in a row in the nineties I think thats a damn good side

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Are you guys getting this closing ceremony? It is like Woody Allen's movie Sleeper.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Yes, Spain will go down as the best team in history if they win today. No question. No one else has one three major titles in a row.

  •  

    James Tyler: I can research a lot more and still come up favoring Buffon. He's wily. Juventus went an entire Serie A season without beating beaten! That has to mean he did something right.

  •  

    [Comment from seth]
    if spain wins, are they the greatest international side ever?

  •  

    James Tyler: Both Spain and Italy have the longest streaks without conceding. Italy only half an hour behind La Roja, albeit with a tougher run-in (aka Germany in the SFs).

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    James, who has been the most consistent goaltender, Cas or Buf? I seriously think you need to go back and do some more researching bud.

  •  

    James Tyler: Get the rest of our writers' pre-game predictions here:
    http://espnfc.com/us/en/news/1120512/euro-2012-finalour-writers-predictions.html

  •  

    James Tyler: I took a lot of flak for favoring Gigi over San Iker. Will Buffon vindicate or abdicate today?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Spain 1-0. Late goal as Italy tire. I dreamed last night that Torres came on and scored. When I woke up, i was so happy for the poor bloke even though it was just a dream

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. Buffon and Casillas two of the best, all-time.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: And midfields.

  •  

    [Comment from Mohammad]
    It's going to be a great battle of the goalkeepers today.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I'm going with Italy to win 1-0 through Cassano. That said, the longer this game stays 0-0 (or tied) the better it is for Spain. They've worn everyone down with possession, and been the stronger team at the end of matches, like against Portugal in the semi.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain comes into this match with a 419-minute scoreless streak at this tournament. That's the longest shutout streak at a single EURO tournament. Of course, it should be remembered that the only team to score against Spain is Italy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, I think Spain's taking it 1-0. But the most gripping of one-goal wins you've ever seen.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Does anyone think this game will be decided within the regulation time, 90 mins.?

  •  

    [Comment from Chris B.]
    Just joining from a scorching United States. Hopefully we will see Spanish Style and the Best of Balotelli today. Promises to be a great game with Italy playing some of the most positive football I have ever seen from them. 2-1 prediction for Spain though with Iniesta being crowned player of tournament.

  •  

    [Comment from Karlo Garcia]
    Spain 2 - Italy 1 Extra Time.

  •  

    [Comment from Dave]
    Watching from my hotel room in Bangkok, cheering to stay awake for the duration

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Closing ceremony about to begin. Hundreds of kids in gimp suits have walked onto side of field

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT -- rumor is he will jump ship back to club football but we will see. He is honestly one of the most self-possessed men i have seen in a long time

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Prandelli has said he misses club football. I think the Italian FA would pay a king's ransom to keep him on board, win or lose today.

  •  

    James Tyler: Love Cesare Prandelli. May he guide the good ship Azzurri for many tournaments to come.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Prandelli has been that way the whole tournament.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes... but he was also being purposefully obtuse. opposite of Prandelli who has been relaxed, loose and open. The Spanish camp has been understandably tense on the edge of history.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Jonathan Costa from ESPN Stats and Information checking in.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Hmmm. Lost in translation then.

  •  

    [Comment from Clare]
    watching from Spain, cheering for Spain!

  •  

    James Tyler: I think it's a flat 4-4-2 for Italy. But I could be wrong.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Jeff... he said he would play with three "attackers" and qualified it by saying, 3 players whose primary responsibility would be to attack.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Back. Well, Italy has been playing this way for the last several games now.

  •  

    James Tyler: We are about 25 mins from kickoff. Listen for the enthusiastic Ukrainian mic man doing the countdown from 10-1. That's when we'll know.

  •  

    [Comment from Casey]
    Italy back to the 4-3-1-2?

  •  

    [Comment from orangeness]
    This goes extra time, but we will not see penalties

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Abate in for Balzaretti at RB for Italy. NO STRIKER FOR SPAIN.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT. Hello from Kiev. Stadium is rocking. With Spaniards and over optimistic Germans.

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS:
    Italia: Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; Marchisio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Montolivo; Cassano, Balotelli.

    Espana: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Fabregas, Iniesta.

  •  

    James Tyler: Hi Jeff!

  •  

    [Comment from Coach McGuirck]
    I'm tied to a tiki-taka-triple today. Viva España!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Greetings everyone. Will we be celebrating a Spanish dynasty today, or an Italian renaissance?

  •  

    [Comment from joey]
    italy will win 2-0

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Watching at home, rooting for Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Conservative estimate, mind you.

  •  

    James Tyler: Could well be, Dan. UEFA's initial estimates reckon that 750 million trillion people will be watching.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Is Italy-Spain going to be the most watched football game ever?

  •  

    [Comment from Patrick]
    ITALIA

  •  

    [Comment from SMT]
    Forza Italia!!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Happy Euros, JT! Today is the moment of truth!

  •  

    James Tyler: So, where is everyone watching? Who is everyone rooting for? I'm your host James Tyler, and Jeff Carlisle will be here soon along with a Statsie, Roger Bennett live from Kiev, and perhaps also Ravi Ubha.

  •  

    [Comment from wowee]
    Happy EUROS to you too!

  •  

    [Comment from Jwalk]
    Im here on time!!

  •  

    James Tyler: And a coupla-three weeks until the Olympics...

  •  

    James Tyler: It is a happy day, but also a sad day. The final game of Euro 2012.

  •  

    James Tyler: Happy Euros!!!!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Spain

  • 14(9)

  • 19

  • 17

  • 52%

    48%

  • Italy

  • 11(6)

  • 18

  • 10

Match Stats

  • Spain
  • Italy
14(9) Shots (on goal) 11(6)
17 Fouls 10
3 Corner kicks 3
3 Offsides 3
52% Time of Possession 48%
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 2