Italian newspapers on Monday mourned the “end of a dream” for Italy after a crushing 4-0 defeat in Euro 2012 football final but paid tribute to a Spanish side that clearly dominated the match.
Pictures of striker Mario Balotelli and defender Leonardo Bonucci in tears on the pitch were splashed across the front pages,along with pictures of dejected fans watching the game on giant screens in city squares across Italy.
“It was the stronger,more elegant,more imaginative and more serene side that won. More than winning against us,they humiliated us. This was not a game,it was a spectacular lesson in football,” said La Repubblica daily.
A headline in the newspaper read: “Thank You Anyway,Italy!”
Many newspapers hailed Spain’s “historic” achievement in winning its third major football tournament after the Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010.
Italy’s top-selling daily Corriere della Sera said the final in Kiev was a “one-way traffic” game and its headline said: “Spain trounces a tired Italy.”
“Spain were better than us,” it said,adding: “Tomorrow,we will pick ourselves up. We now have a team again.” The main sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport commented on the “technical and athletic superiority” of the Spanish team.
“The end of a dream,” read a headline in Corriere dello Sport.
La Stampa said: “The story did not have a happy ending”.
But it said that the Italian side had managed to retain its “dignity” and could “renew the dream” of football greatness after its Euro-2012 performance.
“Spain enters the history books,Italy in tears,” said Il Messaggero.
“The defeat yesterday should not cancel out the magnificent performances by our players in this championship,” it said.
“We should not forget that we were expecting a semi-disaster,considering the betting scandals and the lack of prestige of our football teams.”
The newspaper praised coach Cesare Prandelli for engineering “a miracle” by “putting the game and talent over intrigue and corruption.”