Italy? They made just two mistakes.
1. They tried so hard to get to the final. Battling through the group, a feat they were not guaranteed to achieve, entitled them to 120 minutes of running versus England. Then a performance of heroic proportions allowed them, as usual, to vanquish the Germans. (what England wouldn’t give for that power by the way). Simply put, they and Pirlo, ran out of puff.
2. Against all good advice and contradicting all available evidence, Italy tried to give Spain a game. Sadly this approach failed them, though fair play for trying. Italy could, and perhaps should, have reverted to defensive type. Then maybe nil-nil parity might have been achieved through 90 minutes. Maybe Ballotelli would have pinched a goal, or even, maybe penalties.
But that is the ultimate strength of this Spain team, you cannot play them at football, they will ultimately hurt you.
Luckily, despite all the wins and stuff, they are not the best team ever. Firstly, if this Spain side tried to play in any other era, even venturing back such a short distance as the 90’s, they would be unceremoniously kicked out of existence. Where is their Gerd Muller up front? Their Vieira in Midfield?
England were criticised in this tournament for only defending, and rightly so. But Spain are now like the boy who practices playstation FIFA every night, they may win, but nobody likes them for it.
Roll on 2014, and please, let’s hope hope someone can wrest the ball back from Spain, and if they don’t like it and want to go home? Then good.