Another 4-6-0 formation for Spain? Italy's midfield against Germany I'd say was even stronger than Spain's, and both of their strikers were constantly challenging for possession. Hope they play out of their minds like that again, today because I effing hate 120 scoreless minute games...
OT - Euro 2012 Final - Spain vs Italy - 2:45PM ESPN
I would feel better if they have Villa healthy at striker but they're pretty much will go with all midfielders with Torres coming in as a sub later in the game
His injury mattered more than I thought it would. He is really missed up top.
On opposing defense with his pace and scoring. Still, a great accomplishment for them to be in the championship game without Villa and Puyol.
in Canada today, please don't drive around honking your horn with Italian or Spanish flag if 'you' win or lose. It's Canada Day, fergodsakes! Show some respect or gtfo.
Note: flying both flags, say Italy and Canada is Ok in my books.
Anyone find a decent stream?
My kids are complaining that the Italians can't sing.
GAME TIME! SPAIN TIME!
La Furia Roja FTW!
Great run of play right there.
Damn it. Bad marking by Italian defenders there.
Damn did ESPN crap out for anyone else?
Not working for me. None of the ESPN channels are.
Yes, it did for me and I'm on vacation in Florida at Parc Soleil
ESPN2 is frozen too, not exactly great timing there WWL
ESPN3 is working fine BTW.
Way to go ESPN, biggest match of the year
Someone at ESPN isn't going to get a good performance review
It seems to be working fine now. Hopefully the rest of the match goes uninterupted.
Gotta love the shameless MLS plugs.
Why not. I'm a Galaxy fan so I like the updates.
Just a small jab at quality of current product verses plugged product.
My ESPN crapped out too... i just reset my cable box, working now... thank god
loved the Barca->City connection! rockin my Xavi shirt and my Kun Aguero shorts!
I have a strong feeling this will be the final score. Spain = Kings of the age old game of Keep Away
What I really love about Spain brings me back to my soccer days in high school. We employed a triangle style of movement that Spain use as well. Quick triangular passes as opposed to long ball or counter
possession is king.. goin on 450+ mins now without conceding
Looks like this one is over :(
Agreed. Spain are such a technically skilled bunch. I would love to see a Brazil - Spain World Cup final if Brazil could finally play up to their potential in 2014. That would be a beautiful game. Imagine the international intrigue if Spain could continue their success that far.
It's hard to believe Brazil won't get to the finals in 2014.
Beautiful. The conquest is on.
Such a good signing for Barca.
All I want to see now is Torres come in at the half.
I don't know much outside of trying to watch Sunderland from the EPL because I have a man crush on McClain, but is Spain just more talented roster wide than any other Euro team? They seem to be just dominant while other teams have a superstar Spain just has depth of talent that is unmathched. Is it that or just great team play and strategy?
IMO, it is all of the above.
They probablly have the most technically proficient team in the world. If you tried to get England to play like Spain they would not be able to. They don't have the players to be able to play that tiki-taka style of soccer.
Their midfielders are freaking brilliant. It's amazing that they can do so well without having an elite striker. Their defense is solid but how can it not be when you don't face many challenges thorughout a game.
Spain has really good team chemistry, owing to the fact that practically its whole starting lineup plays on one of two clubs (Real Madrid and Barcelona). Sometimes the rivalry between these two clubs can lead to in-fighting, but under the captaincy of Casillas (who is also an incredibly good goaltender) this hasn't been a problem.
They seem to have a psychological edge at this point as well. They've won some gut-wrenchers.
Some skeptics have raised questions about possible doping going on in Spanish soccer, and by extension the national side.
If this post (from a cycling forum) is correct, there is only token drug testing in the Spanish Liga, where virtually the entire national team competes.
Hopefully the rumblings are not true, but it wouldn't shock me if it they were. Spanish athletes have suddenly been extremely successful in a number of sports over the past decade, and doping scandals have occurred there before (chiefly in cycling, but a doctor associated with FC Barcelona was previously implicated).
he really needs to have the game of his life, again, but it looks to me like he's trying to do too much.
WHAT. A. RUN... see you at the Nou next season Jordi!!!
Love that the last major tournament loss by the Spaniards happened to NORTHERN IRELAND.
At first game of WC where they lost 1-0. Still, amazing at how great of a team Spain really are. I cannot comprehend how USA manage to beat them at 2008 confederation cup semi.
Just looked it up. You're right. Bad reporting on ESPN and worse paraphrasing by me. FAIL.
I think what ESPN said was that the last time they lost after having a lead was in 2006 to Northern Ireland.
USA played lights out defense in that game, and Spain also had big problems w/ the USA's height. Spain even had to stop kicking its corners in the air and instead settle for short corner kicks on the ground because they could not keep the ball.
It was the only way the USA (or just about any team) could try to successfully play Spain, and it worked that day.
was brilliant in that game and USA were lucky that Spain didn't score 3 goals.
Good showing by El Rojo
1 more half to go!
I'd be interested to see something on how location on the field affects the likelihood of a penalty being called. Its fairly obvious that "ticky-tack" trips and pushes near mid-field that do get called will never get called in or near the box
but using your last substitution to put on a player who's just coming back from a hamstring pull was pushing the odds a bit. Unfortunate for the viewers, for sure....
^Agreed... a desperation move. As much as I want spain to run away with it, kinda would like the drama of a 1 goal game for the fans..
Great job by Spain. The best in Europe without a doubt
italy can be proud for getting to the final. But Spain is just too good. Especially since being a man up. Spain even put in their human victory cigar in Fernando Torres. Guy hasn't done anything significant on a big stage in a long time it seems.
Human victory cigar... lol. Kinda happy for him after how much he's fallen off at Chelsea. Nice to see him taking home the tourney Golden Boot
Meh. Don't like the guy. And only one of his goals had any meaning whatsoever (but against a completely inferior opponent in Ireland) this tournament.
So it's occurred to me watching UEFA that the British announcer keeps saying "Spain have ..." instead of "Spain has ...", and now the fat US commentator is emulating that. Is this a British thing? It's grammatically jarring to my ears.
It's a British English thing. Groups are always referred to in the plural. They do it for musical groups as well ("Oasis are a band from Manchester...").
It's a British thing. You'll get used to it
Why do the US commentators back in the studio feel the need to do this as well? When watching international soccer do we have to abandon American English, and start using British phrases like "he's done well here" that commentators would never otherwise say about basketball or baseball players?
I HATE when Americans feel the need to affect British colloquialisms just because they are talking about soccer. As if that somehow gives them more credibility and makes them look "in the know".
Nobody in America would ever say "Spain are in debt" when discussing the Euro crisis, yet they feel compelled to say "Spain are European Champions" in soccer. It comes off as silly and pretentious.
Also, you don't have to use words like pace instead of speed, or kit instead uniform, just because we are taliking about soccer. We can use our own words for those things, we'll know what you mean. I guarantee they don't use those words in Spain, they use their own.
Have some self confidence. The USA is not an elite soccer power at this point, but that does not mean we are not allowed to talk about the sport in our own version of the language. If you lack confidence, then at least start using Spanish or Portugese terms, since England is not an elite soccer power either.
When talking about the country Spain, even British people would agree that "Spain is in debt." When talking about the Spanish soccer team, you would say "Spain are European Champions." What else would it be? Spain is European Champions?
We do it with our own sports teams all the time, like "the Miami Heat are NBA Champions," or "the Thunder are playing poorly." In this case, the team names are also countries, so it is confusing you.
Jesus Christ, I hope none of you are English majors.
I may have been a dick about it, but I'm not wrong.
In American English you might say "Spain are European Champions" (you're equating the subject with a plural predicate) but you would also say "Spain is controlling the midfield" or "Michigan has the ball at its own 30." In Britain you'd use the plural in both cases.
I can't believe people care about this stuff or think it's a sign of some sort of snobbery. I lived in Europe long enough, and most of the people I watch soccer with here are European, and eventually it just starts slipping out this way since it's how everyone around you talks. Kasey Keller played in England for years and I'm sure at some point he started referring to "football" and "the pitch" and using plural for teams, just like I'm sure any European kid who comes here and plays American football starts saying "field" for "pitch" and "game" instead of "match" on about day 2, and doesn't switch back when he goes home and talks about our football.
Bob Ley?? Steve McManaman and Ian Darke are both english if you are refering to the play by play announcers...
He's not, he's referring to the in-studio American team using British terms that they don't use otherwise.
^True.. but he doesnt deserve the label hes got at Chelsea the last 2 seasons.
In addition to being a long-time die-hard Spaniard, I love to watch them play because of the tiki-taka technicality. Not only are they the most technically proficient club in the world with one-touch passing, they also possess the best spacial awareness, vision, and soccer-intelligence. The ways they move the ball, find the open man, and shift formations are unparalleled. A pleasure to watch, from both an athletic and cerebral point of view.
Italy got it's ass kicked today
I really wanted this win, but I am proud of the way we got to the finals
shows me alot of hope for 2014, just gotta find a replacement for Pirlo
I think Buffon will still be the GK in 2014
my hat off to Spain, they deserved it
Gli Azzurri, Forza Italia for life
Andrea Pirlo is a straight stud... I wouldnt be surprised to see him in the 2014 WC at age 35. Guys still got mad game, he almost single handedly controlled the entire midfield in the England game.
They and their players are ALWAYS overrated, largely because a majority of the commentators we get exposed to are English. I just saw some ridiculous "best of the tournament" team from a BBC commentators that had Steven Gerrard starting at attacking-mid over Xavi, Fabregas, David Silva or Mesut Ozil, all of whom performed better in this tournament than Gerrard.
But hey...at least Gerrard is actually good, right? The same guy had Glen Johnson as starting right-back. Are you kidding me?
Here it is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18657918
Not saying Pirlo isn't a great player--he is. But demolishing England was hardly the feat of the century.
LOL.. Maca and Ian are always slobbering on Englands nuts. I almost forgot Gerrard was in the tourney, hahahaha. Taking him over those 4 you mentioned is just downright insaine...
I'll check out that vid in a sec, I was just getting at how well rounded Pirlo is.. guy is still one of the crispest passers around, and had a great first season at Juve... top assister in the league and led them to an invincible year. Dude ages well.
one of the minute-by-minute bloggers proposed Ashley Cole as the greatest left back in the history of the game. They're delusional.
Only Gary Lineker understands, for which he's treated as a buffoon.
^Ashley Cole?!?! BAHAHAHAHA
9 min: Ibrahimovic pings a high pass from left to right in a bid to find Seb Larsson, but Ashley Cole, perhaps the outstanding member of the Golden Generation, reads its flight and nods the ball calmly back to Joe Hart. Is there an argument to be made that Ashley Cole is the greatest left-back of all time?
13 min: Radbert Grimmig offers Phillip Lahm as the greatest left-back of all time. An excellent player, but I'd just about take Cole over him. Lahm's probably better as a right-back as well, isn't he?
15 min: "Come on Jacob, Roberto Carlos defended and attacked 3 times as much as Ashley," says Chris Oquendo. Cole was definitely a better left-back than Roberto Carlos.
Cole is better than Roberto Carlos??!
What about Maldini, de Boer, Breitner or--if we really want to go back--Santos from the 1958-62 Brazil teams?
As I see it, every single one of those left backs is better than Ashley Cole. And all of them were one at least 1 major tournament winning team.
he roamed out of position and left the door open at the back a few too many times for me; he was still a lot better than Ashley Cole. Everybody you mention was much better with Maldini a clear #1 IMO. Andreas Brehme should be on your list too.
If you think about how you would have to see soccer to think that Cole was the best of these, you'll understand a lot about why England hasn't had international success. It's not just homerism; it's an odd set of opinions about what really matters on a soccer field.
I think straight-up delusion about talent is part of the problem. I was over there for Euro 96, World Cup 1998 and Euro 2004, and the degree of delusion about England's place in the soccer world is monumental. They had decent talent under SGE, but it wasn't more than decent, and it's hard to imagine even that team--England's best since the 1960s--doing much better than Italy did against Spain the other day. 2004 was probably their best shot at a title, and they crashed out of the quarterfinals. Now they not only lack that talent, but there don't appear to be any new Ashley Coles or Steven Gerrards to take the place of these ones once they retire.
But then, the moment things go wrong, an absurd level of recrimination starts. Everyone and everything gets torn apart, second-guessed, villified and so on. Other countries have high expectations too, but usually those are the ones that, you know, win stuff consistently. The other mid-level powers--Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Croatia, Uruguay, Mexico, Japan, etc.--are simultaneously more realistic and more forgiving.
Then there's the whole "what you value" thing. Roberto Carlos was, as you said, prone to getting caught out of position and in the end was probably a better midfielder than he was a defender, regardless of the position he played. But he actually helped his national team win big games by integrating into a system that highlited the strenghts of his game more than his weaknesses.
I think it's fair to say that, along with only having decent talent, England culturally puts little to no value in the kind of cohesive thinking this emerges from. SGE did a better job with this than anyone else, and of course he was vilified for "not letting 'em shine." It seems as if all the players England fans love are flashy role-players who excel in club football because they're surrounded by other role-players, all of whom know their respective roles. But then you get to international competition and it's as if everyone says "I've got me spot 'o turf right here and I'm gonna mind it now."
It would be tragic if it weren't so damned funny.