Thursday 14 December 2017

Euro 2012 final: Spain player ratings

IKER CASILLAS: For such a one-sided final, the captain still had some work to do. Flicked away a couple of dangerous corners and safely dealt with efforts from Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo. 7/10.



ALVARO ARBELOA: A workman in a team of artists, the Real Madrid man knows his role and provided support on the right when required. Not a night for him to take the spotlight. 7.



GERARD PIQUE: Carried the ball powerfully up the field once in the second half but generally not required to do anything beyond the norm. Went about his work confidently. 7.



SERGIO RAMOS: Laid out his intentions early on in a strong, but legal, collision with Mario Balotelli and comfortably won that head to head. Completed a fine tournament in place of the missing Carlos Puyol and almost capped it with a cheeky goal in injury-time. 8.



JORDI ALBA: Started busily pushing up from left-back and put his side two up when he surged up the field, collected Xavi's pass and finished exquisitely. Barcelona may have found themselves another world-beater. 9



XAVI: After perhaps dipping a fraction below his exceptionally high standards, this was a performance of the very top level. Shot just over in the 10th minute but produced a pair of assists that showcased his innate eye for a weighted pass. 9.



SERGIO BUSQUETS: The man notionally challenged with breaking up the play and snuffing out the danger ahead of the back four had little of that to do. Made one good sliding challenge and otherwise kept the ball moving in the centre. 7.



XABI ALONSO: A wonderfully composed presence deep in the Spanish midfield. Reeled off a handful of his trademark raking cross-field passes and frequently got his side going. 9.



DAVID SILVA: Looked switched on from kick-off and timed his run perfectly to score the rarest of headed goals to make it 1-0. Substituted just before the hour. 8.



ANDRES INIESTA: Another class act in the centre of the park, Iniesta was always on hand to exchange passes, carry the ball forward and pick out a yard of space. His pass to Cesc Fabregas created the room for the opening goal. 9.



CESC FABREGAS: Promoted back to the starting line-up after some eye-catching defensive displays, the Barcelona man made an impression in the false striker role he has often filled in this tournament. Quality assist for Silva's goal. 8.



Substitutes:



PEDRO (for Silva, 59mins): A willing recipient on the right wing but Spain were coasting by the time he was involved. An easy outing. 7.



FERNANDO TORRES (for Fabregas, 75mins): Brought on to compound the misery of 10-man Italy, he did just that. A cool finish brought him his third goal of a truncated tournament - and the Golden Boot - and he selflessly fed Juan Mata for the fourth. 8.



JUAN MATA (for Iniesta, 87mins): Given his first taste of the tournament with just three minutes left, the Chelsea man cashed in by supporting Torres and sweeping into an open net when the pass came. 7.



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