The Spanish national soccer team, coached by Vicente Del Bosque, won the Euro 2012 championship here on Sunday, trouncing a valiant, but outmatched, Italy 4-0.
Spain's victory over Cesare Prandelli's squad makes its team the first one in history to win three major international contests in a row, having previously triumphed in both the Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010.
The much anticipated match got underway at 9:45 p.m. local time at the Olympic Stadium, and - with Spain setting the tempo, forcing Italy into a deep defense - it took less than a quarter of an hour for David Silva to find the net with a header that put La Roja up 1-0.
Jordi Alba scored again for the Spaniards in minute 41 to give them a 2-0 lead at the half.
Italy had several chances as the second half got under way, but an hour into play Thiago Motta was injured - evidently a hamstring pull - shortly after coming off the bench and had to leave the pitch, reducing Italy to 10 men with all three of their substitutions already expended.
Spain put on a passing exhibition that exhausted the Italians, and late in play, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata added extra - albeit unneeded - insurance in the 84th and 88th minutes, respectively, for the final lopsided score.
Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon were the starting goalkeepers for Spain and Italy, respectively, while Fernando Torres was awarded the Golden Boot for his late goal.
Some 64,000 spectators viewed the match live, and among them were Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, among others.
Jubilant Spanish fans poured out into the streets in Madrid and other cities after the victory, and King Juan Carlos telephoned Del Bosque to congratulate him.
After the match, Prandelli said at a press conference that although his team was tired, "Spain made history. They deserve it. They have played fantastic soccer over the past four years and they have players (who play at) a magnificent level. ... They caused us many problems today."
He went on to say that "Today we played against the champions and playing against them with 10 (men, after Motta's injury) is very difficult. We had some chances at the beginning. When you play against Spain you have to have all your energy. They dominated us. And we can only congratulate Spain." EFE