No team in international football has ever been more closely associated with the idiom ‘Always a bridesmaid never a bride’ than the Spanish national team and in 2008 they were out to break the tag against none other than the serial winners Germany. On paper and right through the tournament both these teams were a cut above the rest and not many were surprised with these 2 lining up against each other in the final.
The Spanish team with their tiki-taka style was up against the ruthless efficiency which we have come to expect from the Germans.
But Spain dominated the match from start to finish and a burst of speed by Fernando Torres to latch on to a through ball by Xavi and calmly slot the ball across Jens Lehmann settled the encounter. The Spanish team had numerous chances to extend their lead but the profligacy in front of goal did not come back to haunt them and they ran out worthy champions in the end.
While on the other hand it was the final match for one of the Germany’s greatest ever players Michael Ballack who will ruminate over his career on the national level as being so near yet so far with multiple final and semi final appearances but no silverware to show for it.
But with the Euros 2008 the Spanish team dropped the tag of perennial underachievers and headed towards the World Cup in 2010 as favorites and two years later became world champions too.
Euros 2008 Final- Spain vs Germany 1-0
Germany: Lehmann, Friedrich, Metzelder, Mertesacker, Lahm (Jansen 46), Hitzlsperger (Kuranyi 58), Frings, Podolski, Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Klose (Gomez 79).
Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila, Senna, Iniesta, Fabregas (Alonso 63), Xavi, Silva (Santi Cazorla 66), Torres (Guiza 78).
Goal Scorer- Fernando Torres
Bookings- Casillas, Torres, Ballack, Kuranyi