Del Bosque basks in achievement

Hillingdon Times: Vicente del Bosque said Spain put in 'an extraordinary performance' in the final Vicente del Bosque said Spain put in 'an extraordinary performance' in the final

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque labelled his side's record-breaking performance in Kiev as "extraordinary".

La Roja became the first international side to win three successive major tournaments thanks to their 4-0 win over Italy, the biggest final win in European Championship history. First-half goals from David Silva and Jordi Alba put Spain in control before Fernando Torres added a third late on and then set up Chelsea team-mate Juan Mata to wrap up an incredible win.

Del Bosque said: "It's true we were lucky enough to play a great match. Everything worked for us. It was an extraordinary performance against a difficult opponent."

The manner of the triumph was the perfect answer to a growing number of critics, who have labelled Spain boring, but Del Bosque insisted there was no outside influence involved in Spain's success.

"We played our own game," he said. "There were no real external influences: we were faithful to what we've done in recent years."

Del Bosque expressed some sympathy for Italy, who had less preparation time after Thursday's semi-final win over Germany.

Thiago Motta had gone off with a hamstring injury just four minutes after his introduction and their opponents were forced to play the final half-hour with 10 men.

"The Italians have played a great tournament," said Del Bosque. "They had the bad luck of the injury to Thiago Motta and that's where it all ended for them, unfortunately."

Andres Iniesta claimed the man-of-the-match award after another exceptional performance. He is one of four players - Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Xavi are the others - to have started all three final triumphs.

"It's very nice to have this man-of-the-match trophy but it's especially great to be champions again," he said. "The team played a great match and all the players were at their top level. We are very happy."

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