At last, the end approaches. In a few short hours, we'll know whether Spain are the first team in football history capable of winning three consecutive international trophies, or if Italy always wins in a match-fixing scandal year.
After a shaky semifinal against Portugal, which went to penalties, tournament favourites Spain are in the final of Euro 2012. Their opponents, Italy, took down the other expected finalist Germany in convincing fashion. I think Spain will be slightly scared, as Italy have come into form at the right time while Spain have struggled with it, switching between the novel 4-6-0 formation and a more-traditional 4-3-3, with Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres, and Alvaro Negredo all getting starts in the "number nine" position this tournament.
I imagine the game will be far better than the first match in Group C between these two, which really kicked off the crusade to brand Vicente del Bosque's Spain as "boring." I mean, it has to be better, right? Not really, no. When was the last genuinely exciting international football final you watched? Go ahead, I'll wait. Don't expect this to be an open, beautiful game, but it should still be lots of fun to watch.
Spain Lineup (4-6-0): Iker Casillas; Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa; Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez; Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva
Italy Lineup (4-3-1-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Ignazio Abate; Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio; Riccardo Montolivo; Antonio Cassano, Mario Balotelli
Chelsea Interests: Fernando Torres, if Vincente del Bosque wants to use him, and Juan Mata if he can escape la canasta española.