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Spain claim victory in vintage style

Kiev - Spain cemented their status as soccer's global superpower in vintage style by thrashing an overwhelmed Italy 4-0 to retain their European championship title on Sunday.

The victory in an excellent final full of attacking intent meant they become the first team to win back-to-back European Championships - either side of their maiden World Cup triumph in 2010.

Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas celebrates after defeating Italy to win the Euro 2012 final soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Kiev. Credit: Reuters

Spain attacked from the start and went ahead after 14 minutes with a David Silva header and doubled the lead four minutes before halftime when left back Jordi Alba galloped past a frozen Italian defence onto a precise Xavi pass before planting a confident shot beyond Gianluigi Buffon.

Italy's slim hopes of a comeback disappeared when third substitute Thiago Motta pulled a hamstring, leaving his side down to 10 men for the final half-hour.

Fernando Torres made it 3-0 six minutes from time and fellow substitute Juan Mata added the fourth. - Reuters

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