• Spain v Italy, Euro 2012 final

Spain dedicate success to loved ones and lost ones

ESPN staff
July 1, 2012
Jordi Alba was delighted with his contribution © Getty Images

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque suggested he was vindicated for sticking to his principles as Spain hammered Italy 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012.

De Bosque had faced criticism that his side had become too negative by hogging possession, but they turned on the style in Kiev. He also paid tribute to injured stars Carles Puyol and David Villa, who both missed the whole tournament, and remembered his family in the post-match celebrations.

"They have produced a huge effort," De Bosque told Telecinco. "Our first goal damaged them, then the second was definitive. I did what I thought was best, and nothing else. I have done for nothing more.

"I dedicate this to the Spanish football and my family, especially. This goes for everyone. I've seen Puyol and Villa and told them to go out and celebrate, they are part of this. They have been very important."

Jordi Alba, who scored that crucial second goal, added: "It was my first European Championship. They made history before and I have now made it with them. I don't quite believe it yet, but it's sinking in.

"Now I will celebrate with the team. I have had a very good tournament and in the end, scored a goal. At times like these, I remember my friends, my family and the people who have helped me so much.

"I am very happy about [signing for] Barcelona. There was an agreement between the clubs and in the end, it all went well. I am pleased with all that is happening for me."

Xavi, who assisted two of his side's goals in another instrumental display, said: "We're very happy, for the whole country it is a joy. For us, it's well deserved. We were superior over Italy. We have produced perhaps the best performance of the tournament. We're happy, we have to enjoy, we have made history for all the people who follow us and our families.

"We know that there are high standards. When people didn't believe in us it was tough."

Goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, who kept his 79th clean sheet in 137 caps, also said: "I guess people will be very happy in Spain. We celebrated here so much. We've made easy the difficult thing. To win 4-0 in a final is not easy and we have had very difficult times.

"There will always be criticism, because we set the bar very high. It is time to enjoy this time together."

Substitute goalkeeper Pepe Reina was among the players seen to honour the memory of former Liverpool and Real Betis defender Miki Roque, who sadly lost his battle with cancer during the tournament.

Reina wore a Betis shirt featuring Roque's name during the players' victory lap of the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

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