The Euro Cup 2008 edition is over and the best team won. And we can mean it because only too often we have not seen the best team winning (e.g. Greece victory last cup!).
This very deserved Spain Victory works on many levels, beyond the "at last" that some might scream. Spain showed where football is headed and with Germany gave us a thrilling and outstanding game even if the score was a meager 1-0. But Spain's unfortunate adversary also played very well showing us all what is worth saving from football tradition. In this respect the defeat of France and Italy announced a new era, and a big crisis in these two countries football leagues. But let's not waste more time on that road kill and rather savor this great finale and welcome back officially Spain among the greats. I cannot see anyone right now defeating the Spain we saw today. Even though I started rooting for Germany, the Spanish team operated the miracle of turning me around and make me wish for them to score more during the second half.
But there was also something deeply satisfying during that match: the emotion displayed by the Queen of Spain and the Chancelor of Germany. If any one had a doubt as to the standing of football in the world, these two women showed how much of a cultural thing it has become, how far it has come in crossing sexual, racial, class and cultural barriers. Sorry US of A, but none of your team sports comes close to football, or soccer as you love to call it. The screams at Yankee Stadium might be impressive, but they were no match for the Vienna crowd tonight where most had nothing at stake.
Update: the pictures are in. Enjoy while they last up at Yahoo.