Despite the Azzurri dominating proceedings early on, it was Spain who hit the front foot in the 14th minute when David Silva opened the scoring, before Jordi Alba raced out of defence and doubled their lead four minutes before the interval.
In the process, Spain made history by becoming the first side to win three successive major international tournaments, with Del Bosque in charge for the last two, and speaking after the game, he credited Silva’s opener with knocking the stuffing out of Italy and Alba’s second with effectively deciding the result.
He told Telecinco:
“They were trying really hard and the first goal wore them down. The second was definitive.
“We understand the joy of the people and we will celebrate the little happiness that we have given them.”
At his post game press conference Del Bosque added:
Before I start to analyse anything I’d like to say that everyone loses sometimes. Italy had a great tournament but had that injury with Thiago Motta [which left them to play the last 28 minutes with ten men] and the game effectively ended then. We played well, got the first goal and though Italy responded well we reacted and got a second. Our success is historic but we have to begin looking to the future and qualifying for Brazil.
This is a great generation of players. They have roots and know how to play because they come from a country that knows how to. We have a great bunch of lads, some playing abroad – they never used to. This is a great era for Spanish football. After Vienna [and the UEFA EURO 2008 final] Luis Aragonés, the then coach, showed us the way, the direction to go. But there are challenges ahead with World Cup qualification,and then the Confederations Cup where, representing Europe, we want to do well.
We had an extraordinary match but don’t underestimate Italy – they just had no luck. Everything went our way tonight. Italy had one fewer player, one less day of rest and they tried throughout but couldn’t get into the game. We played our own game and were faithful to what we’ve done over the years. I have spoken to the King [Juan Carlos] and his son and they told us they will see us tomorrow. This is a great time for all the Spanish people.