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Spain Toasts Historic Euro Victory, Promises More to Come

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Spain’s coach, Luis de la Fuente, hailed his team of history-makers after they became the first nation to clinch the European Championships four times with a dramatic 2-1 victory over England in Sunday’s final at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

Mikel Oyarzabal delivered the decisive blow with an 86th-minute winner, following a stunning equalizer from Cole Palmer that had canceled out Nico Williams’ opener. Spain’s relentless attack throughout Euro 2024 saw them score 15 goals, a new tournament record, and win all seven matches without needing penalties.

Spain’s journey to the title was anything but easy. They overcame defending champions Italy, hosts Germany, and pre-tournament favorites France and England. Despite being considered underdogs a month ago, De la Fuente always believed in his squad’s potential.

“It’s not that I thought we were favorites, but I felt we were in a position to win the tournament, and we have done just that,” De la Fuente stated at a post-match news conference. “It’s hard to improve on what we have done here, but this group can keep growing because they do not tire of hard work, competing, and striving to win.”

The victory marks Spain’s fourth European Championship, putting them ahead of Germany’s three titles and securing their third since 2008. Midfielder Rodri, who left the match at halftime due to injury, reflected on Spain’s golden era, which saw them win back-to-back Euros in 2008 and 2012, along with the 2010 World Cup.

“What a day, probably the best of my sporting career,” Rodri told reporters. “We are the most decorated side in the European Championships. This victory honors the previous generations that laid the path for us. Now, we are champions of Europe and have made history.”

Rodri’s exceptional performance throughout the tournament earned him the Player of the Tournament award, while Lamine Yamal was named the Young Player of the Tournament. De la Fuente and others are now calling for Rodri to receive the Ballon d’Or, especially after his Premier League triumph with Manchester City.

“For me, Rodri is the best player in the world,” De la Fuente proclaimed. “Give him the Ballon d’Or now, please.”

De la Fuente also expressed gratitude to his players for their unwavering belief in his leadership, especially after a rocky start that included a loss to Scotland in his second match in charge. Despite early doubts from the media, his players’ faith never wavered.

“I was always sure that my players believed in me,” De la Fuente said. “For a year and a half, since I have been in charge, they have been infallible. Now it’s all happiness, pride, and enjoying this moment that we have earned because nobody gave us anything for free.”

Spain’s success this summer has been characterized by a more direct and dynamic style of play. While maintaining their traditional possession game, they have also excelled in transitions, with Williams and Yamal proving lethal on the wings. The duo combined for the opening goal against England, showcasing the team’s versatility.

“We have more versatility in our game, taking advantage of the characteristics of the players that we have,” De la Fuente explained. “We have pace on the wings, control and possession in the middle, and a very solid defense. This balance has been crucial for us.”

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