Euro 12: What Another Crown Would Mean for Spain's Legacy

Adam FriedgoodContributor IIIJune 13, 2012

GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 10: Players of Spain stand together during their national anthem prior to the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Spain and Italy at The Municipal Stadium on June 10, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Everyone knows Spain always fields a great team, but this current squad is cementing its legacy as one of the best teams of all time. 

Before the last European Championship in 2008, Spain had qualified for the two major tournaments—the World Cup and Euros—a remarkable 20 times. During these tournaments however, Spain had failed to live up to expectations, holding a record of 30 wins, 20 draws and 23 losses and only winning the entire tournament once (1964).

Spain's legacy was starting to become one of a team that didn’t come through in the clutch.

That all changed in 2008. Led by Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres and team captain and goalie Iker Casillas, Spain earned its second European victory. During this tournament, Spain’s dominance began, winning four games and drawing one before capping off the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Germany.

Spain was determined to build on their stellar play during the following World Cup in 2010. After losing to Switzerland in their first game of Group Play, Spain bounced back and rattled off five straight victories to get to the championship game against the Netherlands, whom they defeated 1-0 in extra time.

Spain finally earned their first World Cup victory after 76 years and solidified themselves as the No. 1 team in the world.

Finally, Spain’s legacy was backed by victories and not disappointments. No longer could you question Spain’s status at the top of the soccer world.  

Which brings us to this year’s Euros. Spain can finally play to build on their already impressive resume, instead of just validating themselves as a legitimate team.  

A win in this year's Euros tournament would not only tie Germany for the most ever European victories and make Spain the first team to ever win three tournaments in a row as well as the first team to win back-to-back Euros, but it would also put Spain in the discussion as one of the greatest football legacies ever.