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Faultless Ramos the star of Spain's showcase

Published: Monday 2 July 2012, 0.55CET
Sergio Ramos's flawless showing ensured the defender was the Castrol top performer as he helped Spain stride to a historic 4-0 victory against Italy in the UEFA EURO 2012 final.
Faultless Ramos the star of Spain's showcase
Spain's Sergio Ramos was the Castrol top performer in the UEFA EURO 2012 final ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 2 July 2012, 0.55CET

Faultless Ramos the star of Spain's showcase

Sergio Ramos's flawless showing ensured the defender was the Castrol top performer as he helped Spain stride to a historic 4-0 victory against Italy in the UEFA EURO 2012 final.

Spain defender Sergio Ramos did not put a foot wrong as La Roja overwhelmed Italy 4-0 in Kyiv to complete an unprecedented hat-trick of major tournament wins. 

The 26-year-old defender has been integral to an exceptional Spain side that conceded just once en route to their title defence. It was business as usual as Vicente del Bosque's men earned their fifth straight clean sheet in Poland and Ukraine, and Ramos's contribution was acknowledged as he topped the Castrol EDGE Index with a score of 9.69.

Defensively, Ramos was faultless. He earned points for a valuable block on Andrea Barzagli's goal-bound effort; for keeping an Italian attack – including an in-form Mario Balotelli – in check; and for ball recovery, regaining possession from Cesare Prandelli's side on no fewer than 15 occasions. 

The Real Madrid CF man's boundless energy, athleticism and determination ensured he was as potent in Italy's penalty area as he was protective in his own, and a good deal of his rating is for his attacking endeavour. He gave the Azzurri nightmares from set pieces and had four efforts on goal, including two on-target shots from close range, to crown an imperious performance.

Ramos headed a Spanish clean sweep. Marauding left-back Jordi Alba scored a fine goal to grab a 9.09 rating and finish second, while Iker Casillas came third on 9.07 to round off the top three.

Castrol EDGE Index: Spain v Italy
1. Sergio Ramos (ESP) 9.69
2. Jordi Alba (ESP) 9.09
3. Iker Casillas (ESP) 9.07
4. Xavi Hernández (ESP) 9.06
5. David Silva (ESP) 8.60

Key facts
– Spain are the first European side to win three consecutive major tournaments (UEFA EURO 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO 2012).

– Vicente del Bosque has become only the second coach to win the World Cup and the UEFA European Championship (after Helmut Schön, who won in 1972 and 1974 with Germany).

– Spain have equalled Germany's record of three UEFA European Championship wins (1964, 2008, 2012).

– La Roja became the first team to score four goals in a EURO final.

– Iker Casillas equalled Edwin van der Sar's record for clean sheets at the EUROs, this match earning his ninth shutout.

Last updated: 02/07/12 9.45CET

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