DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR TORRES
Fernando Torres reflected on Spain's European Championship triumph and paid tribute to the attitude of his teammates as Vicente Del Bosque's all-conquering side became the first team to retain the trophy with a thumping 4-0 win over Italy in Kiev.
On what was a truly memorable night for the Chelsea striker, Torres cemented his place in the history books by becoming the first player to score in two European Championship finals, while also walking away with the tournament's Golden Boot having come off the bench to score Spain's third on the night and his third of the campaign.
He capped a marvellous cameo by turning supplier for his Blues teammate Juan Mata to score the fourth, unselfishly teeing the substitute up for an easy finish, and he was understandably overjoyed at the final whistle.
'You can't ask for more, but it is the work of the team and the togetherness that has brought us here,' said Torres. 'You always want to win more and more, but right now we have to enjoy this. We have won by a distance against a great team like Italy.
'We are very happy. This was the objective that we had at the start of the tournament. We knew we were the opponent to beat, that it was going to be more difficult than ever and it has been.'
Having recently secured both Champions League and FA Cup winners' medals at club level, the last campaign will undoubtedly rank as the most memorable of Torres' career thus far.
A night which ended so well, however, had begun on a slightly sour note for the striker when Cesc Fabregas was preferred as the focal point of an attacking trio, but with Spain 2-0 ahead, dominant and with the game all but over, he entered the fray at the expense of the Barcelona man, coolly slotting home a Xavi pass with his first real opportunity.
It was a wonderful performance by Spain; an emphatic response to those critics who had labelled their style of play as boring and devoid of a killer instinct earlier in the tournament, as they ruthlessly took the Italians apart from the first whistle.
Having become the only team ever to win three successive tournaments, they now have every right to adopt the mantle of the greatest international team of all-time, an achievement which wasn't lost on Torres.
'We have dominated from start to finish and enjoyed a magical evening. Now we can say that national teams of the future will concentrate on us to try and make history,' he said.
'We had luck in some moments of the championship but at the end we will reflect on what it means in Spanish football history.
'Football can be just or unjust like that depending how you look at it and that is why we like it so much.'