The great finale has arrived. The moment that all soccer fans were waiting is finally here. The Euro 2012 has reached its end after nearly a month of competition, in which so many things have occurred. It may not have been the tournament where a lot of goals have been scored or where matches have been epic. But a final is a final, and more if the finalists are two great national teams like Spain and Italy. These two Mediterranean countries are now partying, enjoying the pregame, but the intoxication of joy can become tachycardia as the minutes passes. After 90 minutes one country will laugh and the other will cry. Bets say that the Spanish team is the favorite, but in soccer nothing is ever written, especially when Italy is playing.

Spain and Italy are two countries that in recent months are experiencing the worst economic times since the eighties. The two countries go hand in hand when asking for financial aid to Europe. Today, however, they will forget the solidarity they share.

Italy and Spain, two styles of strategies, although both efficient. The Spanish style is one of touch, elegant, dribbling and speed, against the Italian catenaccio, the claw and value, plus the kind of Pirlo and hunger of the striker Ballloteli. Two antagonist styles from the two best European teams that will face off in a game that has acquired a military component.

Spain may go down in history as the first selection in soccer history to win European Championship, World Championship, and European Championship in a row. Three big tournaments in 6 years, something that no team has ever achieved. The team will face its fourth European Championship final, after 1964, 1984, 2008 and aims to win its third European title and confirm the hegemonic cycle of Spanish soccer.

On the other side the Italian also want to write their name in soccer’s history after they defeated Germany in the semifinals, thanks to the two goals scored by Mario Balotelli.

Spain’s starting team is already decided according to Del Bosque’s second coach. Spain is expected to come out with their regular team and the only question is who will occupy the vacant seat on this selection, the forward position, harmed by the absence of Villa. However, it appears that the number 9 position will be occupied by the FC Barcelona player, Cesc Fabregas, despite not being a striker. The most knowledgeable soccer fans say that this post should go to the striker Alvaro Negredo, even though Del Bosque’s bet has paid off recently.

90 minutes of tension that will let one of these countries forget their financial situation for a couple of days. Then they will have to come down from the clouds…


Image Courtesy of  Continental AG UEFA EURO 2012 – Claudio Villa / Getty Images