Today is the Euro 2012 final between Spain, the current European and world champion, and Italy – a team that surprisingly eliminated big favorite Germany during the semifinals thanks to two goals by star “Super Mario” Balotelli.
The match, played at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, is set to begin at 2:45 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcast in the United States by ESPN and ESPN Deportes (Spanish). It also can be streamed through ESPN3.
Euro 2012 started on a sour note as several players were racially bashed by Russian and Croatian fans, prompting FIFA to fine UEFA after a worldwide outcry from fans. One of the victims of the racial slurs, Italian Mario Balotelli, will be playing today threatening Spain’s record which hasn’t lost in a European Championship since 2004.
PolicyMic will be live blogging the Euro 2012 final. Bookmark and refresh this page for live updates.
Sunday 4:37 p.m.
Sunday, 4:33 p.m.
Mata scores Spain's fourth goal (minute 87:52).
Sunda,y 4:28 p.m.
Torres scores Spain's third goal against Italy (minute 83:13).
Sunday, 3:29 p.m.
Jordi Alba scored the second goal for Spain at the first half's minute 40:00, putting La Roja ahead of Italy 2-0.
Sunday, 3:01 p.m.
Spain's Silva has just scored the first goal of the game, 13 minutes after kick off, to put La Roja ahead of Italy in the Euro 2012 final.
Sunday, 2:39 p.m.
The Euro 2012 final will kick off in a few minutes. Here are the line ups for both teams:
Spain: Iker Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas.
Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Ignazio Abate, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi, Riccardo Montolivo, Antonio Cassano, Mario Balotelli.
Sunday, 9:54 a.m. Players to Watch and Prediction:
From PolicyMic's expert Nick Craddock:
"This very well could be the most consistent match Italy's Balotelli has played for a five-game stretch. Despite his two great goals in the semifinal against Germany, particularly his second goal, he coupled a moment of brilliance with a moment of stupidity by taking his jersey off and receiving a yellow card. If a hot-tempered Balotelli picks up an early booking, he could just as easily be a detriment to his team with an untimely sending off in the championship game.
In a single-elimination game, anything can (and will) happen. For the most part, Germans midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira were frustrated by the Italian midfielders in the last semifinal. However, the Spanish boast the best arsenal of midfielders in the world and, seeing that Fernando Torres’ role in the title game remains up in the air, Xavi Hernandez or Cesc Fabregas might be called upon for but one flash of wonder. Both players usually deliver in clutch time for La Roja. No reason exists to prevent either of them from cementing Spain’s golden generation of footballers’ place among the elite in soccer history."
Prediction: Spain wins 1-0 to capture an unprecedented third consecutive major championship.