Thousands watch Spain take Euro 2012 title in Kiev

Thousands watch Spain take Euro 2012 title in Kiev

Thousands of football fans have witnessed Spain thrash 4-0 in Kiev at the conclusion of the UEFA 2012 European Football Championships.

Defending champions Spain became the only team to win three consecutive major tournaments, with many now arguing the present team is the best ever.

More than 11,000 Spanish football fans were in Kiev for the match, with approximately 6,000 Italians joining the party.

Fans from Poland, Germany, Russia and other countries participating in the tournament were also in the Ukraine for the event, the interior ministry said in a statement before the match.

Masterclass

Spain were dominate for large parts of the match, with David Silva slotting home an exquisite header after just 14 minutes to open the scoring.

New Barcelona signing Jordi Alba doubled the lead just before the break with a powerful running shot, leaving Italy with a mountain to climb after the break.

However, any hopes of an Azzurri fightback were seemingly crushed when third substitute Thiago Motta limped off with a hamstring injury, reducing them to ten men.

Minutes later substitute Fernando Torres scored the third, before setting up Juan Mata for the fourth, as Italy finally succumbed.

Hosts

Fears the tournament would be marred by violence were largely discredited, although rival Polish and Russian fans were involved in several incidents when those two countries met.

However, UEFA chief Michel Platini was quick to praise Poland and the Ukraine.

He said: “The hosts have showed themselves to be hospitable and tolerant countries, and no incidents of racism were recorded on their territory.

“On the contrary, fans saw a welcoming, friendly and tolerant country.

“Everyone who came to the tournament can confirm that racism was not recorded either in Ukraine or Poland.”

France will host the next European Championships in 2016, with qualifying set to begin after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The competition will be expanded from 16 to 24 teams.