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Sombreros off to super Spanish senors
Simon Parker column
Lo siento por conseguirlo totalmente equivocado. Yo soy un burro.
Which, if Google can be trusted, translates along the lines of: “I’m sorry for getting it totally wrong. I am a donkey.”
Yes, I didn’t need the Harry Hindsights to bombard me with abuse after the Spanish dished out the ultimate football lesson in the Euro final.
I got the messages stating the obvious anyway, whether it was on Twitter or in CAPITAL LETTERS over three pages. Thank you for your interest.
Of course, I knew they were coming as Spain stroked the ball round the bemused Italians like they were operating on a different universe.
My suggestion that the super senors were strangling the life out of football looked rather daft as they cut and thrust like a modern-day Zorro.
But I wasn’t the only one to question the standard of entertainment they had dished up previously. If anything, the masterclass in Kiev merely supported the argument that Spain had been so frustrating and dull to watch because they were playing so much within themselves.
Like an Olympic sprinter going through the motions in qualifying, they had done just enough to make their way through to the final. Once there on the grandest stage, they upped their game to the rarefied heights we all know they are capable of.
A masterclass of a performance last Sunday does not cancel out the fact that the two previous games with France and Portugal were the dullest spectacles of an otherwise cracking tournament.
Maybe the biggest problem is that other teams cannot live with them. Spain are that good that nobody can stop them.
The Germans, surely, would have offered a much tougher test had they not been dismantled by Mario Balotelli. Otherwise the Italians had overstretched in going as far as they did and were ruthlessly found out.
The writing was on the wall well before a second injury left Italy down to ten with half an hour’s torture to go. If anything they’d needed one more man to cope, not one less.
So sombreros off to the marvellous matadors for proving beyond any doubt they are untouchable in the current era.
Those 90 minutes reminded us all that tiki-taka is much, much more than simply tippy-tappy when used with such zip and conviction.
But is it too greedy to want to see such a superlative side play in that manner a bit more often?