So Euro 2012 has performed its final act.
As Spain strolled their way to victory for the third International tournament in a row, a retrospective glance at the whole tournament shows that the same themes of tournaments gone by came marauding back.
Spain are super-human
It was fun watching the pundits on BBC and ITV try and pick holes in Spain up to the final. They went from being boring, to being silly for not playing a striker, to being below par, blah blah blah. But last night, as they embarrassed Italy like a bully on the school playground, it was evident that their footballers aren’t actually humans, they are a band of medieval knights that cannot be penetrated. Even Torres scored.
The tournaments quirky touches became tedious
In 2010 it was the vuvuzela that slowly began to erode the patience of everybody trying to get through each game. This year, as Paddy Power rolled out an ironic advert ‘bringing back’ the vuvuzela, Ukraine and Poland were busy tormenting us all with the monotonous chant of ‘Seven Nation Army’ every time a team got a throw in. There was even the ingenious touch of a count down to kick off, making each game seem like some sort of tacky American game show.
Somebody became a God-like figure
This time around, of course, it was Andrea Pirlo. His flowing locks giving him Samson-esque powers as he stormed his way past his subordinate opponents. All of course until Spain came along, slowly punching his ego back down to size with each of their roughly 8 million passes during the final. As he shed a tear watching Spain lift the trophy, it became evident that Pirlo is human after all.
What a surprise, England were useless
They went about it a different way this time, but as England’s merry band of horny, overpaid gargoyles (or role models, whatever) were dumped out in the quarter final on penalties, the status quo had well and truly been resumed. Now attention in Britain swoops over to Wimbledon as Andy Murray tries to get past the semi final. Will he? Won’t he? He probably won’t.
It was, in all cases, a welcome reoccurrence, as the tournament wasn’t marred by racism. As the tournament began, the monkey chants and Nazi salutes brought fears of a three-week long disaster, which thankfully wilted away like Roy Hodgson’s hopes of becoming a national hero. So well done to the brilliance of Spain, the allure of Pirlo and the consistent disappointment that is the England national team for creating different talking points.